Wedding Timeline Tips


March 3, 2021

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Couple walks while holding hands at a wedding in Colorado photographed by Hillary Shedd Photography, Colorado Wedding Photographer

Wedding Timeline Tips by Hillary Shedd Photography | Colorado Wedding Photographer

Wedding Timeline Tips by Hillary Shedd Photography | Colorado Wedding Photographer

Creating a wedding timeline can be a daunting task. For the majority of couples, this is your very first time planning a wedding! My first piece of advice for couples who are worried about their wedding timeline is to hire a wedding planner or a day-of coordinator (I have a handful of amazing recommendations if you’re looking!), but if hiring someone to help just isn’t in your budget, here are my top eight wedding day timeline tips:

  1. Make a details box. Collect all of the items you’d like detailed shots of and put them in a box for your photographer. That way when I show up, all you have to do is say hello, point me towards your details box, then go back to celebrating with your ladies! Items you may want in your detail shots include invitations, your rings, his ring, shoes, veil, jewelry, your dress (hang it near the box! :), special heirloom items, and some leftover flowers. 
  2. Be the last one ready. Have your Bridesmaids, Moms, Grandmas, and anyone who is helping you get ready, be completely ready before you put on your dress. This way, the genuine reactions of your hype women will be what you see in your getting ready photos for years to come, and not a hodgepodge of half-ready multitaskers.
  3. Request a focused catering staff. During your cocktail & refreshment hour, ask for one (of more) of the catering staff to always come and find you with their tray of food first. You’ll be busy taking photos, signing your marriage license, and/or catching up with your guests, so having a tray of food always visit you first will make sure you are fueled up for the rest of your big day! Many caterers are amazing and already do this, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
  4. Speaking of family photos, be aware of timing. I like to schedule about 30 minutes for family photos. If you have a large family or are interested in multiple setups and including friends, know that each additional photo set up will add on about 2 minutes to your total family photo timeline.  It’s important to get these photos on your wedding day, so don’t feel like you have to hold back, just be aware of the extra time.
  5. Plan alone time. You will spend months/years planning your wedding! But when the day finally arrives, it will speed by quickly. I like to remind my couples to take some time to celebrate just the two of them. Whether it’s a reflective walk or just spying on your favorite people on the dance floor, that moment will help you pause time so you can remember all the special feelings.
  6. Share your timing. Guests like to know what is going to happen next. I recommend you print your schedule and/or share your timeline with designated family members. Let’s be honest, you’d rather spend your time having your guests tell you how gorgeous you look in your wedding dress rather than asking when everything is happening. 
  7. Identify your most important moments beforehand. I like to ask my couple to share the moments they are looking forward to the most before their wedding day. As a photographer, I want to make sure I don’t miss a beat and have the BEST photos of each of your most anticipated moments. As a couple, identifying these moments can help relieve the stress of wedding planning and remind you that the juice is worth the squeeze. 
  8. Remember your wedding is YOUR wedding! If you don’t want to include any of these items, you don’t have to. I’ve had couples ask me if they’re doing it right, and my answer is always the same, “If you’re happy with your day, you’re doing it right!” It’s completely up to you how many people you invite, what you want photos of, if there will be special dances, etc. I never get tired of attending your weddings because each one is personalized. I LOVE getting to know my couples before their wedding and then seeing their relationship come to life on their wedding day. It’s your day! Own it. 

Couple dances while waving to their guests at a wedding in Colorado photographed by Hillary Shedd Photography, Colorado Wedding Photographer

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