There is so much I could talk about when it comes to timelines. Timelines are the most important part of every wedding day and often get left to chance as details and last minute favors steal away a bride’s time. Today I want to focus on creating a great timeline to help make your day go smoothly and let your vendors know when their services are needed.

Step 1… Where to start? I like to start from the ceremony time and work my way backwards and forwards. The ceremony is one time that is not going to change so it is a great place to start.

Step 2… Are you going to have a first look or wait until after the ceremony for pictures with your hubby? This will determine when the bulk of all of your pictures will take place.

Step 3… Do not create a schedule that is down to the minute. It is important to build in some buffer time in case a part of your day runs late. That way you are able to catch up and not always feeling like you are running behind.

Step 4… Plan to have hair and make up finish an hour before you need to leave for the church or have your first look. That gives you plenty of time to get into your dress and do all of your last minute touches.

Step 5… Create a family photo list. This is so helpful in making the formal portraits go quickly and smoothly. There is no need to take photos or combinations of people you do not want. Time is so precious on your special day!

Step 6… Talk to your photographer about the locations you want to take portraits. Tell them the things you like about their style, what your favorite parts of the venue are and go on a scouting day with them. That will help you know how long pictures will take. Make certain you plan enough time for your pictures so you can be relaxed during your session and don’t regret not having some of those special shots after your wedding day.

Step 7… Make certain you list addresses for all locations, rooms or areas of your venue where there ceremony will be, cocktail hour, the reception, etc. This is vital information for all of your vendors.

Step 8… Always have a rain plan in writing! Vendors need to know where to go and what the plan will be if there is bad weather on your wedding day.

Step 9… Communication with all of your vendors is key. Letting everyone know the timeline helps them make your day run smoothly. For example, letting your florist know that you are planning a first look, helps them make certain you have your bouquet for that special moment.

Step 10… No matter what happens, enjoy your day! Don’t let the little things get in the way of having a fantastic day with your friends, family and new hubby! Best Wishes!