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Things That Impact Your Wedding Day Timeline

Wedding Planning Tips

Creating your wedding day timeline can be very overwhelming, but don’t worry – we have you covered! As professional wedding planners, we work with A LOT of timelines. So here is a list of a few things that impact your wedding day timeline that you may not realize. After all, we want you to look as happy as this couple was on their big day (which you can read all about on their wedding day blog)!

Photo by: Carly Mac Photography

1. Not getting into the venue as early as you actually need to in order to start hair and makeup on time.

There is a very good chance that your venue has great getting-ready spaces, but there’s also a very good chance you cannot access them early enough to start hair and makeup and get ready as early as you need to. Find out when you can get in, and check with your hair and makeup team and photographer to see if that works. If not, plan on starting the hair and makeup process at another location and move to the venue to get dressed.

2. Not doing a hair and makeup trial.

One of the reasons your hair and makeup artists either include or strongly recommend you do a hair and makeup trial is they can learn how your hair responds to what they are trying to do, and they want to make sure you are happy with how you look. If they have never worked on you before, then there is a chance they will have to start all over again if you don’t like the finished look, and no one allows time for that.

Photo by: Kelly Russo Photo

3. Not having enough hair and makeup artists for your group size.

In general, most hair and makeup professionals need a minimum of 30 minutes, per person, per service. If you know you are going to start getting ready at 9:00am, and need to be done by 12:00pm, and you have 8 people getting hair and makeup done and only one artist for each, the math doesn’t add up. Your hair and makeup professionals should know this but also be sure to advocate for what you need and be prepared to pay for it if needed. 

4. Wedding party not being prepared.

Whether that means making sure they follow instructions from hair and makeup artists on how to arrive for services or just being not well informed about what is going on and when they have to be there.

BONUS INFO: As you can tell, hair and makeup impact your wedding timeline a lot more than you realize. For extra tips on booking hair and makeup, check out THIS blog.

Photo by: Carly Mac Photography

5. Not having lunch preplanned.

It’s a long day, and you and your people need to eat. There should be a plan ahead of time to have lunch delivered or already at where you are getting ready. Be sure to make sure both of you have plans with your respective groups if you won’t be at the same place. Trying to order that morning or getting people’s lunch orders that day just adds to the chaos and can make things run behind. Getting UberEats/DoorDash is too unpredictable.

Photo by: Bethany Jackson Photography

6. Not booking transportation for the wedding party.

If you need to get to different spots in the day for photos, the ceremony, and/or the reception, keep your wedding party together in one vehicle. Trying to organize carpooling and finding parking at popular spots for photos can take extra time and cut into your timeline. If you need some extra tips for booking your transportation, be sure to check out THIS blog full of helpful tidbits!


7. Not working in all the extra shots you want into your timeline.

Got cute getting-ready outfits for your people? Want to do a first look with your wedding party and/or parents? Trying to do a big group shot or a picture with every table? Everything takes longer than you think it will, so talk to your photographer about all these shots and be sure they are planned for on the timeline.

8. Not having your photographer booked for enough hours.

In mid-June, you are not likely able to get many getting-ready photos and sunset photos with only 7-8 hours of photography coverage. And a sparkler exit? Forget about it. We will always maintain 10 hours of coverage is the sweet spot of photography. Can you do it in 8-9 hours? Yes. Will you not get all the shots you want and/or feel rushed all day? Most likely.

9. Not allotting enough time for dinner.

No matter how you are serving dinner, it almost always takes longer to get guests their food then you want it to. Ask your caterer for a realistic amount of time it will take for them to do the type of service you are having with the number of guests you are expecting. If you think they will get 200 people through a two-line taco bar buffet in 30 minutes, think again.

10. Not allotting enough time for dessert.

Hint: people like dessert! Give them some time to enjoy it. If you are having some kind of dessert buffet, particularly if it is dessert minis, people will line up for it unexpectedly, and right when you are trying to do toasts or start the first dances. Be sure to have it out early enough that people can get it more at their leisure or have enough time for them to get it. 

If this list makes you feel a little stressed out, like maybe you are heading for a wedding day timeline disaster, it’s not too late! Check-in with your vendors about these things and make sure there is a plan to avoid them. A good Wedding Planner or Manager who does your timeline for you will have already pointed out any potential pitfalls in it and will be sure to direct you on how to avoid them. 

Do you still need an experienced Wedding Planner or Manager? Contact us today and get your stress levels back to normal.

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