The secret to a stress-free wedding day? Having a great timeline.

When it comes to your wedding, timing is everything! That’s why creating a wedding day timeline is absolutely vital—even running a few minutes late can throw the whole day off-track

There are a number of reasons everyone from your caterer to your photographer may request your wedding timeline. Timelines are essential to stress-free, or at least smooth flowing wedding days. That’s because everyone you’ve hired, the friends you’ve asked to join your bridal party, and extended family members all need clear guidelines on when are where they need to be. Otherwise, well, things can get kind of crazy, quickly.

Make a list of all of the events (getting ready, photo sessions, cocktail hour, first dance) that need to happen before and after the ceremony and then determine how long each of these will take. You can then start to plot your wedding day agenda accordingly.

Here is a sample timeline of our  8 hour wedding photography coverage.

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Your wedding day timeline should be given to all of your vendors, as well as any VIPs (family members, wedding party, etc.) the week of the wedding. That way, everyone knows where they are supposed to be and when. On the day of your wedding, your wedding planner or event manager should be the “keeper of the timeline,” making sure things are running smoothly, but also enlist a family or wedding party member to keep an eye on the clock and enforce the schedule.