is an Atlanta Wedding Photographer who values folks' stories, and is passionate about capturing Genuine, Emotional, and Timeless photographs on their wedding day and beyond. Rocheal captures weddings around Atlanta, Georgia, as well as destination weddings around the world.






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Wedding Day Timeline Hacks

How To Create A Pro Wedding Day Timeline
(that actually works)

This can be a somewhat intimidating task!! The Wedding Day Timeline is a wedding chore on your To-Do List that a lot of people worry about. (Especially if they don’t have a planner and a coordinator.) 

Wedding Day Timeline Tip #1

When you think of your wedding and your wedding day memories, what’s important to you?

Let me break it down:

Your wedding day is one day that will happen one time. It’s part of the foundation that sets ground for your marriage.

Your wedding day memories are IMPORTANT. You should have a vision leading up to your wedding, and on the day of your wedding, you should be relaxed. 

Your wedding day will NOT be perfect. Get ready to feel stressed.

A great timeline makes the day a LOT smoother.

Bottom line: Utilize and trust the professionals you hired. Your photographer and your planner are excellent people to work with on this. Express to them what is important to you, and let them work around your vision.

Here are some ideas of what might excite you the most:

  • Candid photos of the gals getting ready
  • Candid photos of the guys getting ready
  • Styled photos of things I love at the venue (my dress, shoes, bouquet, etc.)
  • Styled photos of my invitation, Save the Date, rings, shoes, perfume, etc.
  • Our First Look
  • Posed portraits of my groom and I
  • Candid portraits of my groom and I
  • Posed portraits of the wedding party
  • Candid portraits of the wedding party
  • Epic shots of our exit (bubbles, sparklers, etc.)

Wedding Day Timeline Tip #2

Add cushion time

Let me break it down:

Most wedding days get off schedule in one way or another. 15-20 minutes is expected. Usually it’s insignificant, and the professionals have already allotted cushion time. Sometimes it’s significant and plans have to change a little.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Are your ceremony and venue locations on the same site? (Give your photographer time to transport gear!)
  • Are the guys and girls getting ready on the same site? (Your photographer cannot be in two places at once.)
  • Are you having a first look with your groom?
  • Are you having a first look with someone special, such as your dad?

Bottom line: Add cushion time where you think things might fall behind.

Here are some ideas for buffer time:

  • Hair and makeup frequently runs behind. (Plan at least 90 minutes for the bride’s hair & makeup. Don’t forget about the bridesmaids!.)
  • Commute from the salon to the venue
  • Getting into your dress (Are there wrinkles no one saw that need steaming at the last minute? What if the zipper gets stuck?)
  • Meals! (Breakfast and lunch take time to get and to eat)
  • Family Portraits (Your photographer should have this nailed down to a science. Talk to them!)
  • Reception dinner: How and when will your guests be served? (Sometimes the line is SUPER long if it’s not managed well. Aim to feed people no later than 30 minutes after they arrive at the reception.)
  • Your exit (How long do you have your venue and your photographer for? It takes time for guests to leave the reception hall and line up outside. It takes time to light sparklers. Make sure to start your exit earlier than the moment you’re supposed to leave the venue.)

Wedding Day Timeline Tip #3

Have a timeline keeper

Let me break it down:

After you finalize the timeline with your photographer and your planner, send the finalized timeline to your timeline keeper. This should be no later than a week before your wedding, and you should copy all your vendors so everyone is on the same page. 

Remember: It’s better to include a vendor who doesn’t need it than it is to not include someone who does.

If you don’t have a day-of coordinator, check out this blog.

Was this helpful? Need any more advice? Have questions?

I want to help, and I’d love to hear from you! Drop me a line via email, or comment right on this page.



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