3 Things that will Affect Your Wedding Timeline

bridesmaids laughing because they avoided these 3 things that affect your wedding timeline

Does timeline feel overwhelming to you? I know you’re aware of how important it is for the day to flow correctly. But if you haven’t been a part of 1.5 billion weddings like me, you may be forgetting a few seemingly minor things when you plan yours! Even if a wedding coordinator is handling this, they may overlook these 3 things that will affect your wedding timeline.

If there is anything worse than running late, it’s being the photographer that is causing it, YIKES!! I learned super early on in my wedding career, that you do not want to be the cause of the day running behind. This is why I always have a call to plan timeline with my brides. Keep in mind there will always be things we can’t control and rarely is there a day that goes ‘exactly’ according to the schedule. However it’s still important to plan! And with this planning there are some things that you may not have even given a thought to that will affect the timing of your day! So let’s talk about them!

a wedding dress hanging that does not have a corset back that will not affect your wedding timeline
  • The wedding dress. More clearly, the time it takes you to get into your wedding dress. If you choose a corset dress, or even one that has a billion buttons lining the zipper- you will definitely need to account time for that. While your wedding dress stylist or seamstress can get you suited up fairly quickly, they won’t be there on your wedding day. So give a little extra time, because your best friend *may* have just laced you almost all the way down to realize ‘dang I just did that wrong’… and what you thought would be 10 minutes, has now turned into 40. 
  • The receiving line. To those of you who are wondering what exactly the receiving line is, it’s when you stand at the back of your ceremony area to greet all of your guests as they exit to relocate to cocktail hour. Sure, you may think hugging and kissing 100 people may take 10 minutes, but rest assured Aunt Suzy and cousin Becky will have more than just a simple “congratulations” to say… to you both. What you think could be 15 minutes, can easy be 45. So if you are wanting to do this, no sweat- always remember this is your day. Just be sure to plan enough time, especially if you are not choosing to do a first look.
  • Family photos. I totally understand how important family is, so I always send my brides an easy form to list the family combinations they prefer because to me it is a very personal thing. Some people just want immediate family and some people want photos with their 3rd cousin, twice removed. (Is that even a thing? Who knows.) Or may be it’s mom who wants the whole side of the Smith crew to have a photo together, because no one is ever in the same place at once. Yes all 30 of them. Whatever you want, the important thing here is to know this can run on longer than expected. Not only do we have to grab 30 people to get into one photo, but if any ‘escape’ into cocktail hour, this 5 minute orchestrated photo could turn into 10. Try that with three different groups of people and you get my point. I always have a conversation with my brides in one of our calls to designate someone in charge of family members during photo time. They’ll oversee family and ensure no one leaves who isn’t supposed until they are confirmed to boogie into cocktail hour! As the bride you should not be stressing about this the day of. It’s also worth mentioning, that an alternative time to accomplish a few extended family photos is during dinner down time. Or even cocktail hour, if you schedule your day so that you can enjoy this time with guests.
Bride laughing and enjoying her day because she avoided these 3 things that will affect your wedding timeline

There ya have it, the 3 things that will affect your wedding timeline. All in all, your timeline is extremely important so be sure to discuss not only with your planner, but definitely your photographer! I make sure I have timeline calls with all my brides because it is so important to me that they have the best possible experience on their wedding day! Planning as best we can to relieve any stress the day of. But my biggest tip, is even if things get behind, remember this is your day. Nothing can start without you and do not let anything bring you down or keep you from enjoying it to the fullest. Even in imperfection, it will be perfect!

Need some more help planning timeline, with examples of variations put together by someone who’s shot hundred+ weddings?! Click here for your FREE wedding timeline guide!

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