6 Things to Ask When Planning Your Wedding Day Timeline
I know, I know. No one really likes making schedules. Wouldn’t it be better to just let things happen? Well, yes and no. The truth is that when you have a general plan in mind, you actually have the ability to be flexible. Having a timeline makes it far easier to transition from one thing to the next without stressing out. Think of it as a happy medium between complete chaos and complete rigidity. If a few things here and there don’t quite go as planned, we have a wedding day timeline in place that is adaptable! You can just jump back in with the next thing. So to help you get started, here are six questions to ask yourself as you plan your wedding.
1. What day of the week will my wedding be on?
Depending on whether you’re going for a weeknight or a weekend wedding, you will have different considerations to keep in mind. I myself got married on a Friday evening! And a lot of what my husband and I planned, had to deal with our friend’s and family’s work scheduled. If it is on a Monday-Friday, you should do what you can to accommodate your guests’ work schedules. Also, remember to take into account the usual weeknight traffic! No one wants guests walking in late to their wedding. So if you are going for a weeknight, consider making your wedding late enough for all your guests (and vendors) to arrive in good time.
Weekends, on the other hand, do have a little more flexibility time-wise; you don’t have to worry about work schedules or traffic at certain parts of the day. Unless it’s a football day in Rocky Top Tennessee, then be aware of traffic in the downtown Knoxville area! (#govols) But, there is one thing that you need to remember about weekend wedding dates: they tend to fill up fast! This is extremely important to consider when booking vendors, especially photographers (yes, our schedules tend to fill up very fast!). So start scheduling as early as possible to make sure everyone has the date free to celebrate with you!
2. Are the ceremony and the reception at the same location or at different locations?
At some weddings, the ceremony and the reception take place at the same venue. At others, there is some drive time between the wedding location and the reception location. You are free to choose whatever ceremony venue and reception venue you want. But do take your locations into account when planning your timeline, especially if you have multiple locations. How much travel time will you need? Will you be traveling during peak lighting situations? Are your guests able to easily navigate from one location to another?
It can be a good idea to minimize car time as much as possible, and you can accomplish this by getting ready at either the ceremony or reception location, for example. Even for a short drive between the ceremony venue and the reception venue, make sure you provide directions and maybe even parking information to your guests. This will help everyone stay on time. When everyone knows where they are going and how long it will take, your whole day will run a lot more smoothly.
3. How big will my bridal party be?
Whether your bridal party includes every friend you’ve had since high school or is limited to just one or two on each side, it’s important to have the list finalized as early as possible. This will make everything easier as you are trying to coordinate when to meet for hair and makeup, how long to spend on the photo session, and how much time your grand entrance into the reception hall will take. Once you have your bridal party set, you can start communicating to make sure everyone knows what’s going on. This will also help your vendors out immensely as they plan how many places to set at the head table, how many people need to fit in the limousine, and how long you will need for the photo sessions. As you and they plan together, you can get a better idea of how the wedding day will flow so that there will be no surprises.
4. What kind of lighting do I want for my wedding photos?
Lighting makes a big difference in your wedding day timeline. Many brides and grooms love to get photos during golden hour, the time just before the sun goes down on a summer night. And with good reason! Golden hour is an absolutely gorgeous time for photos! But it does mean sneaking out of the reception for a while, or simply ending the reception early enough that you can catch that last rays of sun after your guests leave. Just make sure that you don’t plan to take your photos too late in the evening… or there won’t be any light at all! Now that would be a pity, wouldn’t it. Your photographer will help you plan the perfect time to take your wedding photos so that you can catch the best light. Then you can plan the rest of your reception accordingly.
5. Does my venue have any rules or restrictions?
Here is where some of the real nitty-gritty comes in. Who cares about rules anyway? Well, your venue just might and it is important that you are respectful of those rules. You don’t want to get in trouble just because you weren’t paying attention, right? So it is a good idea to know the rules of the venue well before the wedding day. Does the venue have rules about how early you can arrive? What about how late you can stay? When can your vendors start sending up and when must they start packing up? These definitely will play a big role in your wedding day timeline. Also, keep in mind other rules like space restrictions and noise restrictions. If you know of these ahead of time, it will take a lot of pressure off.
6. Do I have the right photographer?
One of the most important parts of your wedding day is your photographer. Your wedding photos make the memories that will last you a lifetime. Whether or not you choose Erin Morrison Photography for your wedding photography or not, you need to make sure you hire a professional wedding photographer. You need someone skillful, sensitive, responsible, and committed. You need someone who will capture your own personal style, and your style as a couple as well! A good photographer will be someone who is willing to listen to what you want and love you for who you are. Believe me, the relationship that you have with your photographer will come out in the photos! A good photographer will also help you walk through the timing of your big day so you know how long to spend on photos and when. It’s something that this wedding photographer does for every single one of her couples. Planning your wedding day can be overwhelming. But when you have a professional walking with you every step of the way, things suddenly become a lot easier.
Consider Erin Morrison Photographer
If you are looking for that perfect photographer, consider checking out my wedding portfolio to see if I just might be the one! I am committed to making your most precious memories last forever! Please feel free to contact me at any time!