The Wedding Timeline: 20 questions to help you plan the perfect day

I believe one of the most important ways that I can serve my couples is to help them create a stress-free timeline as we approach the wedding day. Each couple has a unique set of needs, and no two wedding day timelines look the same. With that said, there are a few questions that you can ask yourself as you begin thinking about your timeline to help you determine how much time you should set aside for each aspect of the day. 


1. How long will hair and makeup take for the number of people getting ready?

2. Are you traveling between locations throughout the day?

3. Are you doing a first look?

4. How important are romantic portraits to you? Would you like to spend a longer period of time on this portion of the day?

5. Would you like to travel off-site for portraits?

6. How many family formals would you like to take? 

7. What time can you get into your ceremony space? 

8. What time do you need to be out of it?

9. How long do you expect your ceremony to last?

10. What time is sunset?

11. How far apart are your ceremony and reception locations?

12. What time can you get into your reception space?

13. What time do you need to be out of it?

14. Will you have a cocktail hour?

15. How long will it last?

16. Do you want to attend cocktail hour?

17. How many people are giving toasts?

18. Are you doing a first dance or parent dances?

19. Will you toss your bouquet and the garter?

20. Do you want to make an exit or stay until everyone leaves? 


As you think through these questions, the absolute BEST advice I can give is is to add in more time than you think you’ll need throughout the day! Every single wedding day has something unexpected pop up, and when you’re working with a tight timeline, a simple 20 minute delay can throw off the entire day. For example, I’ve seen a simple misplaced (or forgotten) item take 40 minutes to be resolved, and suddenly you have 15 minutes to squeeze in an hour’s worth of portraits. If you pad your schedule a bit, these little delays will not be nearly as stressful and will allow you to deal with the issue without compromising other portions of the day.

Happy wedding planning!!