How to Create a Timeline for Your Dream Wedding


For many couples, the task of creating a wedding day timeline can seem daunting. Besides scheduling out the ceremony and reception, so many other details can play into the flow of the day. As tempting as it can be to forgo a timeline altogether, this is one thing that shouldn’t be overlooked. A little planning up front can be the difference between a rushed schedule and the allowance for creative liberty. Not to mention, the timeline can take on the role of the middleman so you won’t have to answer a million questions right before you walk down the aisle. Instead, you can relax and enjoy the most important part of your wedding; your soon-to-be spouse. Here are seven wedding timeline tips to make sure your big day goes off without a hitch!

1. Allot Ample Time for Hair and Makeup: While you’ve probably done a trial run of your hair and makeup for your engagement photos, chances are the primping may take longer than expected on the big day. To start your wedding day off stress-free, account for this process taking some extra time. It’s also a good idea to set aside plenty of time for retouches in case you encounter wind, rain or anything else that may require a quick fix to ensure your hair and makeup is flawless.

2. Give Your Photographer a Shot List: Provide your Des Moines wedding photographer with a checklist of the pictures you want beforehand. It’s ideal to do this early on in the process, but providing a list ahead of time will ensure that you’ll love the photos you receive. This doesn’t need to be an exhaustive list, but if there’s something specific that would set your day apart, make sure to share!

3. Plan Your First Look Before the Ceremony (Or Not): Whether you love the first look approach or are dead set on seeing your spouse for the first time at the ceremony, make sure you’ve thought about which approach is right for you. It’s one of the easiest ways to organize your whole day.

4. Be Mindful of Outdoor Lighting: Capturing photos during sunset or nighttime adds an entirely new element to the wedding day. Make sure to consider sunset times to take advantage of these breathtaking moments. Unlike the first look, sunset sessions take place after the pre-wedding jitters and these portraits can be candid and sincere in a very relaxed setting. These are some of my favorite photos to capture from the day and even a quick 15 minutes is enough to snag an image you’ll love for a lifetime.

5. Create an Outline for the Reception: Ensure all goes according to plan by drafting up a timeline for your wedding reception. This includes events such as the cake cutting, toast and first dance. It’s also one of the biggest opportunities to make this wedding yours. Don’t feel like you have to cut the cake or have a series of dances in a typical fashion. During one wedding, the bride and groom snuck away to have a private first dance with only me in the room to photograph it. Those images turned out beautifully and the moment they had together will last forever.

6. Don't Forget About the Kids: Children have to be fed and well rested so they don't disrupt the wedding happenings. Make sure you leave room for flower girls and ring bearers to nap and eat. Ironically, doing the same for yourselves and the wedding party is good too, so make sure you have enough rest and fuel to get you through the day!

7. Discuss Overtime with Vendors: You'll definitely want to know how much you'll be charged if vendors are required to put in overtime. If it's reasonable, you don't have to stress too much. If not, stick to the schedule to avoid costs that aren’t foreseen. Most of the time vendors are happy to be flexible, so just have a open conversation with them about your needs.

When it comes down to it, time management is everything. Applying these wedding planning tips will help you map out the perfect timeline for your special day. I can’t wait for all the Des Moines weddings I have lined up for 2019 and look forward to working with some fantastic couples.

If you think we could work together to achieve your wedding vision, feel free to reach out!