The Dreaded (But Wonderful) Wedding Day Timeline

When planning your wedding day, there are a million things to think through. But don’t worry, it’s manageable and not as scary as it sounds.

My first suggestion is to base it all around your lighting. This might sound a little photo-biased, but it’s a good thing to think about. Lighting does not just affect your photos but it also affects your temperature, guest experience, and your personal comfort.

When thinking through your ceremony time, consider standing in front of everyone you know and love, with a tux and dress on, makeup, and 10000 bobbie pins in your hair. Then add 20 degrees. This is not the most pleasant memory of your wedding day. If you’re having an outdoor wedding, try to avoid the peak temperature times of the day. This will vary by season so break out that Farmers Almanac and see what the average temperatures are for your date. Your ceremony pictures cannot be re-created so make sure you are not squinting in full sun or peering through the darkness in a low lit room. Try to find a comfortable time of the day which will give enough light to be comfortable while still giving you great photos, AND being considerate of your guests who are sitting in the audience.

Once you have your time set for the ceremony, you need to determine if you will be doing a first look, no look, or waiting until the ceremony to see one another. You can read here for more information about the pros and cons of these choices.

These are two major factors in setting your timeline so once you have these set, you will be on your way to scheduling your most comfortable wedding day!

A few other things to think through:

  1. Will you be getting ready on-site? If not, make sure you allow time for travel.

  2. Are you prone to feeling anxious if things feel rushed? Your wedding day will no doubt feel, at some point, like it’s flying by. So if you are concerned about having time to slow down, consider adding in a break in the day between pictures and the ceremony. This allows for a bite to eat, a break some smiling, and some much needed sitting time.

  3. If you are having a first look, aim to have this done first, just after you finish getting ready. You will want to have these photos while you are feeling your best and most put together. By starting with these before heading into your bridal party photos, you have a chance to calm jitters and you eliminate the need to have to “hide” from each other without ruining the first look.

  4. Will you take all your family photos before the ceremony? After? Or some before and some after? Many couples who share in a first look opt to have all their family photos taken before the ceremony. If so, have your family list created and ready to go. You should also contact all family members you want to have in these photos and make sure you give them a 10 minute buffer to allow for stragglers. You should aim to do these closest to the ceremony time so that you are not asking many of your guests to arrive too early.

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