1. When is sunset? When I made my timeline for my wedding day the first thing I wanted to know was when was sunset and I worked backward from there! I KNEW sunset photos were SUPER important to me and being on the beach it was going to be the best time when the sun was low enough that it wasn’t blinding us from reflecting off the ocean. My go-to website to find out when the sunset time is for any day is this site: https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/usa/columbus
2. First Look? Are you doing a first look? This is the next question to ask because this determines how early you need to start the wedding day if you are joining in on the cocktail hour and the best time for the ceremony. A first look not only gives you two a chance to have a special quiet moment before the ceremony but we can also knock out all the wedding party formals as well! Our couples who do a First Look have about 30% more pictures than couples who do not do a first look. We have more chances to get photos as well in case there is rain in the forecast.
3. Plan cushion time. A lot of our weddings run about 10-15 minutes late even with cushion time planned in… so if there was NO cushion time planned into the timeline than ceremonies would easily start 30 minutes past their time or picture time would just vanish. We learned early on that planning an extra 5-10 minutes here and there during the day makes sure that we get back on schedule from hair/makeup/travel/long speeches/etc.
4. Account for Travel time: This is super important if you are having your ceremony in a separate location from where you are having your reception and where you are getting ready. If google maps say it only takes 5 minutes to get from A to B – plan 10 minutes! Why? Because you need time to gather your bags, dress, etc, and figure out who is going in what car – maybe waiting for an elevator? There are so many extra little things that can really eat up time you wouldn’t normally think about – so I always add an extra 5 minutes to travel to.
5. If you are not doing a first look – make sure to plan for at least separate bridal party formals prior to the ceremony. After the ceremony, we will have family formals first, pictures of the entire wedding party, and pictures of just you two together.
We help all of our couples plan their timeline for the day. We have several examples we send over to our couples to give them ideas for their wedding day and always come up with a great game plan for the wedding day. We try to keep everything perfectly on time during the wedding day because we know it is important to walk down the aisle at exactly the time you want. We also go with the flow of the day and rearrange anything as needed if hiccups come up (hello thunderstorm!).
I hope this has helped give you some tips for creating the perfect wedding day timeline!
I am an Ohio based photographer who loves photographing weddings and engagements, traveling to beautiful sandy beaches, running after our adorable son Wyatt and border collie Bentley. A chips and salsa freak. Lover of coconut smelling lotions - candles - tea - desserts and... well anything that smells coconuty, and finally warm summer nights on our patio! Come hang out with me on Instagram and Facebook!