Some tips, and a timeline, to help plan your wedding day.

Why does having a timeline matter? How many hours of photography do I really need? Where the heck do I start? I feel you. Navigating the dream of your day, with these drowsy details and the occupying decision fatigue, isn’t always easy. As a full-time wedding photographer and former bride and, I have some fabulous tools for you to help fast-track all that planning frustration to some time-saving bliss. First, with the PDF attached below, but while you’re here – let’s thrash out this Q&A.

Do timelines matter?

A resounding YES. On every wedding day, there’s your dream team of magic makers: your MC, your caterer, florist, bridal party, planner, DJ, photographer, videographer and makeup artist. We are all there to make sure your day runs so smoothly that you don’t even have to stress about what’s next, where’s dad for the family photos, or where’s that knife for the cake? A straight-forward timeline of events easily puts everyone in the same page. When there’s not an expectation for what’s next, I’ve seen far too many brides and grooms feel frazzled by miscommunication, confusion, lost time and lateness.

What does a timeline look like?

Exactly what it sounds like! Although your photography and makeup schedule may differ in details, your overarching flow of the day would be a combination of all the aspects of your day, for example, for the getting ready part of the brides day:

7am – get up and have breakfast

7:30am – makeup artist arrives

7:45am – first bridesmaid has makeup done

8:15am – next bridesmaid, and so on.

— to fast forward, for a 3pm ceremony —

1pm – bride’s makeup to be done

1:15pm – photographer arrives (hot tip: it’s always best for the photographer to arrive near the end of the brides makeup for more flattering getting-ready photos!)

1:45pm – bride’s finishing touches, bridesmaids start to put on their dresses, all going away bags are already packed and rooms are cleaned for photos at this point.

1:50pm – bride puts on dress with mom

Just after 2pm – bride does reveal/first look with dad + bridesmaids

2:15pm – bridal portraits (often this can get skipped because of this time not being factored!)

2:30pm – photographer/videographer make way to ceremony for decor, At this time, the groom has already arrived at the ceremony to welcome guests.

2:45pm – bride, bridesmaid, mom and dad make way to leave for the ceremony.

How many hours of photography coverage do I really need?

To photograph every highlight from you and your boo getting ready to getting down on the dance floor, I’ve found that 9 hours is a snug, sage fit! 8 hours, or less, often means things tend to get missed. If you want more time allocated for some wild dancing photos, and more of the morning mood, you can never go wrong with 12 hours. If you’re ever unsure, chat to your potential photographer about what’s important for you to have captured – and they’ll advise you!

Where the heck do I go from here?

A lot of your vendors will provide you with a timeline, or suggestions for coverage below. (You’ll find your FREE suggestion below for your photography coverage, yay) A good Google/Pinterest search, a chat to your already-married besties for some advice and your wedding planner with fill in all those gaps. Sending out a detailed timeline at least two weeks before your date, from breakfast to the bouquet toss, is ideal for optimum planning bliss! At the same time, always remember to make time for what matters most to you – or cut out the stuff that isn’t you!

And as promised, here’s your free coverage and timeline guide for your photography! Click here to sign up and grab your freebie. HAPPY WEDDING PLANNING from me. And remember, you do you.