Stephan Frazier Photography | Wedding time line planning tips

Wedding time line planning tips

March 13, 2015  •  1 Comment

Top 6 Timeline Tips for your Wedding Day


Ok, so you have the plan all set. You’ve got the party bus in place, and checked to make sure its not driven by a crazy person (that’s actually really important!)  And everything is ready to go from the flower arraignments to the end of the night send off.   Then the zombie apocalypse happens.  What are you going to do, give up on your wedding and just let that tacky undead ruin your wedding? No, I don’t think so. Let’s barricade the doors and windows and tell the DJ to turn it up to 11.  You get my point.  Here are 6 suggestions to help with your wedding time line. 

1.  Allow extra time.

Traffic, parents running late, flat tire, what ever, something will happen! Ok, it might not but as any mother will tell you, “Expect the best…” Do I really have to finish that saying?  Let’s face it, things happen, and when you build in an extra 30 minutes then then it doesn’t throw off your entire schedule if something does happen.   I’ve been to over 200 weddings and almost all of them have one or two SNAFUS happen. 

2.  You can’t over plan.

Excel spread sheets, bridal magazines, wedding rehearsals, I’m talking to you Type A’s out there… Planning to the nth degree can be fun, but more importantly, it takes the guess-work out of your day.   You can identify important points throughout the day and delegate key friends to assist you in carrying out the plans, for instance, designate a friend or two who are not in the bridal party to pack up and tidy the bridal room at the ceremony location.  They can make sure things get moved on to the bus and ensure that nothing gets left behind, and you can maintain your schedule without the added stress of collecting all those little things you took out while preparing before the ceremony.  Take the worry out of the day, and you will have more freedom to enjoy it.  It is super fun to think about every aspect of your wedding and it helps build the anticipation as the day approaches. 

3.  Have a Plan B.

Have a back up plan in place. I don’t actually mean you need to have a second reception venue booked or anything crazy. But if you’re getting married in Oakland and you want go to the North Shore for pictures, its always good to check and see what other events are planned downtown for the day of. If there’s a baseball game letting out right around the same time as your wedding, it’s going to cause a delay. Heading up to Mt. Washington or to the Hot Metal Bridge as an alternative to the North Shore might save you the hassle and headache of getting stuck in traffic.


4.  Let it Go.

As the Elsa says, “Let it go, Let it go,..” well, I’ll stop now because I sound off key even when I’m typing. Seriously I can’t sing to save my life.  I always like to remind people that no matter what happens at the end of the day you are still married and that’s the important part. On my wedding day, my wife was 30 minutes late to the ceremony. Seriously, 30 minutes!  Even the minister was beginning to look uncomfortable. Turns out, she and the bridesmaids had a hair situation happening. I’ve never asked what the hair situation was because I love being married and hope to stay that way until the day I die.  We did get married that same day and that was 10 years ago. 

5.  Keep it loose.

No matter what happens you’re still married. Think the best man won’t forget the wedding rings? Seen It! It was a 30-minute car ride each way between the wedding site and the hotel where he left them. So what I suggested to the couple was to get all of the pictures done. I asked a friend of the groom who wasn’t in the bridal party take the room key and get the rings. Then my second photographer and I started getting all the photos we could out of the way so the couple could go straight to the reception after the wedding.  We got all of the family photos done before the rings arrived and got the bride and groom to the reception on time with minimal delay in their schedule.


6.  Let’s communicate.

Talk to your vendors and find out how much time they need to get everything done. Hair and makeup artist, caterers and even the priest should be consulted about how much time they will likely need.  If you’re having a full Catholic mass, then the time is fairly standard; if it’s a non-religious ceremony, those can be done in as little as 15 minutes. Make sure you get input on your time line from the wedding professionals you have hired to provide you with such great service.

Thanks for reading my post and I hope you got some good tips. I know I haven’t laid  out a exact timeline for you. Since every wedding is unique yours needs its own plan.

My goal with this blog is to make sure you get amazing photo and also have a great time. Of course I’m totally selfish when it come to the amount of time you schedule for photos. Like 3 hours would be amazing! But it’s a wedding not an all day photo shoot so I work with you to make sure you spend as much time and possible with your friends and family and also get great photos.


Take Care.






aaron armstrong(non-registered)
So many inspiring and very interesting tips here I want to do. Very true, planning very well is the secret of successful weddings.
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