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  • Writer's pictureWhole Lotta Love Weddings

How to create a good wedding timeline

Updated: Sep 7

Wooden painted wedding signage with a curved top

Image via Heather Shaw Photography


1. Start Working Early On Your Wedding Timeline

Start working on your wedding timeline as early as possible. Ideally, you should start planning your timeline as soon as you've booked your venue and finalized your guest list. This will give you plenty of time to make adjustments and ensure everything is in place before your big day.

2. Work Backward from Your Ceremony Time

Start your timeline by working backward from your ceremony time. This will help you determine what time you need to start getting ready when your vendors need to arrive, and when you need to be at the ceremony location. Make sure to account for travel time, parking, and any other factors that could delay your arrival.

3. Include Time for Getting Ready

Include ample time for getting ready on your wedding day. This includes hair and makeup for the bridal party, getting dressed, and taking photos. Plan to start getting ready at least four to five hours before your ceremony time, depending on the size of your bridal party and the complexity of your hair and makeup. If you don't have a wedding planner who is organizing the setup for you, you will need to incorporate setup time too. Setup can take all morning if you can't get into the venue the day before.

4. Consider Your Photography Schedule

Your photography schedule is a critical part of your wedding timeline. Make sure to work with your photographer to determine how much time you need for photos before and after the ceremony. Plan to take photos with your bridal party and family members before the ceremony, and schedule time for romantic couple photos after the ceremony.

5. Don't forget about transportation time

Transportation is an often-overlooked aspect of wedding planning, but it's essential to include it in your timeline. Plan to arrive at your ceremony location in style and on time, and make sure to arrange for transportation for your bridal party and guests as well.

6. Allow Time for Reception Activities

Finally, make sure to allow enough time for reception activities, such as speeches, dances, and cake cutting. If you don't have a wedding coordinator, work with your DJ or band to create a timeline for the reception, and make sure to allow enough time for each activity.

In conclusion

Creating a good wedding timeline is all about careful planning and attention to detail. By starting early, working backward from your ceremony time, including ample time for getting ready, the setup, considering your photography schedule, accounting for transportation, and allowing time for reception activities, you can create a timeline that ensures a smooth and memorable wedding day.

If you're reading this and have a sudden panic about having to keep an eye on the schedule on your wedding day (instead of just having fun!), book us in to coordinate your wedding for you.

Get in touch and find out if we have availability, here.

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