wedding day timeline tips from oh lovely dayWe’ve talked what to do when you’re first engaged, how to find your wedding venue, cutting your guest list, and lots more wedding planning tips.  But what about those of you who are about to get married and have already finished the planning?  You need help planning your wedding day schedule.  So today I’m helping you make a wedding day timeline.

Getting makeup and hair done by the Flawless Faces team | Jennifer Roper

When deciding on your wedding day timeline, there are a few questions you need to answer first:

1.  How many will need included in the hair & makeup schedule?  You will need at least an hour per person on average, and two hours for the bride (ask your own stylist for how long they need per person).

2.  How close is the location where you’re getting ready to the location of your ceremony?

3.  What time does your ceremony start?

4.  Are you doing a first look and portraits prior to the ceremony?

5.  What time does your reception have to end?  If there isn’t a set end time, how long do you want to pay for the space, DJ, bar, etc.

Once you’ve got those questions answered, you can ask your hair & makeup artists how long they’ll need for each girl.  Ask your photographer how much time you’ll need for photos prior to the ceremony.  Figure out how long it takes to get to the ceremony venue.  Add up your time and it will help you see what time you need to start your day.

jonathan and chandra portrait by jennifer roper

Some extra tips for wedding day scheduling:

6.  Give yourself some “you” time that morning.  I decided to stay in my hotel suite alone, took a sleeping pill, got a great night’s sleep, woke up on my own, had a shower, and a cup of coffee, all before my mom showed up with breakfast and my bridesmaids came over to get ready for the day.

7.  Schedule “cushion” time.  Things will take longer than you think.  Be sure to give yourself a little extra time for each activity.

8.  If you don’t have a wedding planner or day-of coordinator (and you really should if at all possible, trust me!) appoint someone to be your timeline keeper.  It has to be someone’s job besides yours to keep things on track on your wedding day.

9.  Write it down!  You need to create a printed wedding day timeline to give to your planner/timekeeper, each member of your bridal party, and your vendors.

10.  Schedule quiet time for yourself and your groom somewhere in your day.  Schedule time to eat.  Schedule time to do anything else you want to make sure to do (hit the photobooth, photos at sunset, etc.)

sunset portraits by Jennifer Roper

There are tons of timeline schedule templates that you can find online, but I really think it is easiest to just type one up yourself that is tailored to your start/end times and includes all of your activities.  That way you don’t forget anything because it isn’t on your template.  Follow these tips and you’ll have a flawless and relaxing wedding day.

{photos from my wedding by jennifer roper.  jennifer roper is a handpicked member of our Lovely Vendor guide.  If you would like to be considered for our Lovely Vendor guide, apply here}