March 26, 2021
From attending and photographing over 50 weddings, I’ve learned a thing or two, which is good news for my couples because I will share all my Pinterest experiences with you to make your day run smoothly. Here are some aspects I take into consideration when building a custom wedding timeline:
Investing in a planner, especially a day-of coordinator is one of the best decisions you could make! Do you want to relieve a little stress and make sure your maid of honor and momma isn’t under a ton of pressure? Hire a coordinator to take care of all the tedious details, so you can direct your attention to the big stuff. You and your bridal party won’t have to worry about any of the mishaps that may happen on your day! They will already be taken care of.
If you’re looking for a wedding coordinator, I highly recommend Shelby Christine Events. She serves the Spokane, Washington community and still has some availability for the 2022 and 2023 wedding season! Shelby will quickly become your BFF and will go above and beyond for you from the moment you inquire! You can visit her website here!
Ashlyn is another incredible full-service wedding planner serving Idaho who will be there through the entire process leading up to your wedding day. Visit Ashlyn’s website here!
Book a hotel room near your venue, play some music, bring snacks and enjoy yourself! Don’t forget to eat on your wedding day! Spend this time with people whom you enjoy, whether it’s your sisters, mom, mother-in-law, or best friend! Don’t feel the pressure of meeting everyone’s expectations on your day and spending so much time with everyone. If you have friends who live far away or they can’t be there due to COVID, this is the perfect time to Facetime! They can still be a part of your day and it’ll feel like they’re there with you getting ready. I always recommend blocking out 2-3 hours for makeup and hair, then 30 minutes to get dressed, but consult your artist to see how long they estimate it will take!
This is always such a sweet intimate moment to have and it provides a space for you to slow down with your future spouse. This gives you the opportunity to spend several hours together before the ceremony and take in the day. If you’d like to wait until you walk down the aisle to see each other, then that works too, we’ll just plan to take portraits after you’ve said I do! 😉
I’m just going to be real with you, ceremonies never start on time. Whether it’s waiting for grandma to arrive, or your guests are having too much fun chatting that the DJ has to tell them to take their seat 5 times, something usually comes up, and that’s okay. So, ask your officiant what the estimated ceremony time is then add 10 minutes to that. Many of my couples have a 20-minute ceremony, so I block out 30 minutes total into their timeline for the ceremony! Also, add about 10-15 minutes after the ceremony to sign the marriage license and to spend a couple of minutes taking a deep breath and letting the fact that you’re officially married soak in! Here’s an example:
5:30 – Ceremony
5:40 – Actual Start Time
6:00 – Sign Marriage License
6:15 – Grand Entrance
It’s time to get those golden hour photos! I’ll look up exactly what time the sun will set on your wedding day and plan to take portraits an hour before that! If your venue is surrounded by mountains, then take golden hour portraits closer to 2 hours before sunset. I love adding in 15 minutes for us to sneak away from the reception, to get a few extra pictures of you and your spouse at sunset with that magical golden light! Nobody will even know you slipped away from the reception if you ask your DJ to keep everyone entertained; this is the perfect time to do the ‘Cupid Shuffle’ or ensure all your guests have visited the photo booth and signed the guest book.
Sometime before your first dance add-in when you plan to bustle your dress! I recommend assigning either your maid of honor, mother, coordinator, or good friend who knows how to quickly do it. Often times when you pick up your dress from alterations they will either draw you a picture or take a video for you on how to do it. Every dress is unique, and the more elaborate ones can take up to 10 minutes!
Lastly, just let me know what’s most important to you during your wedding day and how long you’ve booked your venue. If the venue has a curfew, then prioritize what’s important to you so you don’t stress about getting everything in. If you plan to do a fun grand entrance, then account for it to take about 10-15 minutes for all of your guests to line up. Additionally, make sure your grand exit is early enough so there’s time for your coordinator and bridal party to clean up before everyone has to leave the venue.
If you want to get coffee in the morning with your fiancé, do it! This is your day and it should be a party that you look forward to! My goal is to ensure you don’t feel rushed and enjoy every single moment with your loved ones; that’s why I’m generous when allocating time for each activity.
I hope this helps you as you are wedding planning! I give 110% to every couple who books me and will always answer whatever wedding or photography-related questions they have for me! My promise to you is that I’ll be by your side, every step of the way!
PNW Wedding Photographer sharing tips to make your day stress free, and love stories to inspire you to make your wedding be a reflection of you!