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The Friday Five

5 Tips for Starting your Wedding Day Timeline

Did you tune in to last week’s ‘The Friday Five‘ series, about planning for 5 key moments in the wedding day timeline?

Well today we’re chatting about how to start the process of creating your own timeline – ’cause we all know it’s no easy feat.

On this week’s instalment, we’re back to the discussion of timelines! Specifically 5 tips for starting your wedding day timeline, and how to begin when you are creating this timeline on your own!

1. START WITH WHAT YOU KNOW.

Does your venue want to start serving dinner at a particular time?; Do one of your vendors need to be done by a certain hour (eg. officiants who ordain multiple weddings per weekend); what time is sunset? Write these down first, and begin building your timeline around these certainties.

2. BUDGET YOUR TIME.

Decide how much time is needed for each event, including travel!! When it comes to photography, a typical 8 hour wedding day is broken down into: 2h for bride+groom prep; 1.5h for portraits; 30min for ceremony; 1h cocktail hour; 2h dinner+speeches; 1h dancing. For a more detailed breakdown of this timing, read last week’s The Friday Five on how much time to set aside for 5 Key moments in the wedding day timeline.

3. SUNSET.

Sunset is one of the first things I’ll check when planning a wedding day timeline. For the most part, I prefer to take photos in natural light and this light will dictate how much time we have for outdoor portraits. I like to check up on this handy website to judge the timing of sunset on your wedding day, and plan for all outdoor photography to end around 30min before the sun is due to set.

4. LISTEN TO YOUR VENDORS.

If you’re working with experienced vendors, they’ve probably seen their fair share of wedding day timelines. We know how wedding days roll, how long events (usually) take, and what things to watch out for and plan around.

5. ADD BUFFER TIME!!

If you haven’t heard this before, let me be the one to break the bad news: even the most perfectly designed timeline will likely run behind at some point in the day…

…It’s natural, and not the end of the world. I always recommend adding in buffer time to your wedding day timeline in the eventuality that things slip off track. If we’re on time, bonus; you’ll have more time to relax and we won’t have to skip directly from one event to the next.


Planning your wedding day timeline is not easy! Each wedding day is different, and the schedule your bff used for her ‘first-look wedding day’ might not fit with your ‘traditional wedding day timeline’. Don’t stress it; I hope these 5 tips have been helpful for starting your wedding day timeline! And for more help, take The QUIZ to help create a wedding day Timeline Template in under 15 minutes!!:

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