Part of the process I go through with all my couples is the wedding timeline. Normally we go through this a couple of months before the wedding, when everything should hopefully be finalised. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to go through this. Here are my top recommendations for what to do and what to avoid.
It’s your wedding!
That’s right, this is your special day, not your parents, or your best friend’s etc. Don’t let other people bully you into doing things you don’t want to do. All your friends might say “you have to have a photobooth, we had one at our wedding and it was brilliant”. They are not you, a photobooth might be great but you might hate the idea or it might not be in your budget.
The same goes for the timeline, there is a rough sort of order dictated by the Church and the venue, but you have some freedom to re-arrange things so don’t be afraid to do so. Do what feels right for you.
Allow enough time to enjoy your wedding day
This is the big one, that I see people fail to do, all the time at weddings where I have been the photographer. There seems to be this urge to fit as much as possible into the day and entertain everyone, all the time. On the day itself, you end up rushing around trying to do everything and talk to everyone. It’s quite frankly exhausting and not much fun. Try and allow time in the schedule for people just to mingle and catch up. There doesn’t need to be something amazing happening every 20 minutes.
Put aside time for the two of you
This follows on from the point I was making above really. Your wedding day is important for many reasons, but one of the main ones is the two of you. Allow some “you time” in the day. This can also be a great time to go off with your wedding photographer to get some couple shots. It’s very easy to forget about those, and then wonder why you didn’t get any lovely shots of the two of you on the day. Your wedding photographer will probably prioritise this for you anyway. Couple shots are best in the late afternoon when the light is more flattering.
Allow plenty of time for the formal shots
It always surprises my couples when I tell them to allow 10 minutes for each formal shot. By formal shots I mean group shots of the guests. Why does it take so long? You can guarantee that in almost every shot one vital person will have gone to either the bar or the toilet and will need rounding up, like a lost sheep! It then takes some time to organise everyone to look their best ( “you might want to put that can of lager somewhere”). The wedding photographer may also need to add some lighting to the shot, which takes some time to set up.
Expect delays, plan for them
The one thing in common with almost every wedding day I’ve documented is that something or someone is late, at some point. Delays are pretty much inevitable on a wedding day, and it’s important not to let them cause undue stress. The way to do this is to plan for delays and allow for them in your timeline. A flexible timeline will greatly reduce your stress levels on the day and allow you to really enjoy this most special of days.
I hope this article proves useful when you come to drawing up your own wedding timeline. Your photographer will help and advise you with this. Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions, I’ll be happy to answer.