There are many factors that have to be considered when planning your ideal wedding day. Some of these factors include the time of year, the size of your bridal party, your venue contract and any special priorities throughout the day. I have put together a list of some helpful tips and tricks that can take away some wedding day stress. Together, we can draft an ideal wedding day that will allow you to maximize your time and create an experience unique to you. In addition to these four tips, the time of the ceremony can play a role in the wedding day timeline. Another great article on drafting a timeline can be found here.
Natural daylight is one of the most important factors when drafting a wedding day timeline. Photographers and Videographers need as much natural daylight as possible to capture outdoor footage. If beautiful scenery and “light and airy” photos are your main goal, plan your wedding for the spring/summer when it stays light later into the evening. Thus, giving you more flexibility in your ceremony/reception and photography time. Conversely, if you love dark and moody images and like artificial lighting techniques, perhaps a fall or winter wedding is more your style. Golden hour is a magical time of day where literally any photo will look amazing. Golden Hour is considered the first or last hour of sunlight in a day since the sun’s position produces a soft and warm light with long shadows. In the winter, Golden Hour could be at 4 PM and during the summer, much later.
Being surrounded by friends and family is a true joy. However, friends and family can cause unintentional stress! If you are looking for more of an intimate wedding with a few friends and your fiance, then you will have more flexibility in your wedding day timeline. Fewer people needing hair and makeup appointments means more time for photos and more quality time with your soon-to-be spouse. Alternatively, if you have 15 best friends and could not imagine getting married without them standing with you, then you will have to carve out time for everyone. Each of these scenarios has pros and cons. You have to think about what will truly make you happy. With prior proper planning, each of these options could lead to a successful wedding day!
One large part of the wedding day timeline is the venue contract. The venue contract is the timeframe that vendors have to operate within. For example, access to the venue begins at noon and ends at midnight. Set up, ceremony, reception, cocktail hour and tear down is completed during this time frame. Whatever the end time on the contract is, most likely means your event needs to end an hour earlier. Vendors will take the last hour to typically clean up and load out of the venue.
If the venue contract is 6 hours, then there are elements of the wedding day most likely taking place outside that timeframe, i.e, hair/makeup first look, portraits, etc. More staff might be needed for vendor set up/tear down because you are working in a tighter time constraint for all of the key wedding elements to take place. All of these elements will play a role in your budget, your timeline and the flexibility in your ideal wedding day.
Each couple has a unique set of priorities that help guide the wedding day timeline. Photography and Videography might be VERY important to some couples. These clients might want to spend 3 or more hours on location taking photos and creating content for the wedding video. Cultural or religious ceremonies might take a portion of the wedding day and need to be allotted time. Some couples want to begin their wedding day with a relaxing yoga class or co-ed wedding brunch. Other couples want to dance the night away and have a sparkler exit. Priorities are extremely important to create a unique and seamless wedding timeline. Stress stems from not discussing individual priorities for cultural, religious or secular aspects to a wedding day.
Wedding day timelines are pivotal for creating a cohesive and stress-free wedding experience. Without prior proper planning, unexpected pitfalls can derail the timeline. Avoid wedding planning nightmares and thoroughly discuss with your fiance what is truly important to each of you. Only by doing this, will you be able to relax and enjoy the wedding day you worked so hard to plan. When times get stressful, and inevitably they will check out why self-care is so important! An ideal wedding day is possible! Trust your gut and only agree on what makes you truly happy.
Featured Image: Something Blue Photo