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When I got married 12 years ago, the only thing I really remember needing to decide was what time to have the ceremony and what time to eat. Simple, right? But over this last decade of wedding photography I have learned that there are SO many decisions and questions that go into making a timeline. Should we do a first look, how much time do we really need for portraits, what time should hair and makeup be done?! Those are just a few of the questions I get from brides for every wedding. But even if you’re just in the beginning parts of planning, having an idea of your perfect wedding day timeline is so amazingly helpful!!

Want even MORE fabulous advice from awesome vendors? Come to the 27th Annual Bridal Fantasy show on October 6th! Chat with area vendors and plan the best day of your life! Go HERE to learn more and buy tickets!

So, how do we start?

Every wedding timeline starts with the ceremony. That’s the most important part of the day, uh, you’re getting married so, obviously it’s important. From the ceremony time, work backwards all the way to the time you need to wake up and keep it simple. Some of the items you will need to add as you hire different vendors. For example when you hire your hair/makeup artist you will need to chat with them about how many stylists will be taking care of your wedding party and how long each will need.

As you start to build a more solid timeline with different vendors you’ll see your wedding day start to take place. If pictures are planned to begin at 2:00 PM you’ll want to make sure the florist delivers flowers an hour early. Another thing to be sure to do is to have wiggle room with that schedule. Planning to the minute or even 5 minute mark is asking for trouble when things run late. Take into account any travel between locations and add time to those blocks for a buffer.

Here is a sample timeline so you have an idea of what to look for. Keep in mind that each event and every vendor is different and there are so many factors to consider! One of my favorite parts of working with my clients is sitting down for drinks, snacks or coffee and going over all the necessary details to build that perfect timeline.

Sample Timeline

7:00 AM: Wake up! Grab a mimosa and some breakfast!!
7:30 AM: Hair and Makeup (Bride, 8 Bridesmaids, 2 mothers, 4 stylists)
10:00 AM: Florals delivered from florist
11:00 AM: Photographer arrives for getting ready and details
11:45 AM: Bride into dress, Bridal portraits in room
12:00 PM: Groom solo portraits, getting ready, boutonniere pinning
12:10 PM: Bride first look with Bridesmaids in lobby
12:20 PM: Bride first look with Dad behind hotel
12:30 PM: First look with Bride and Groom, straight into portraits
1:30 PM: Wedding Party Portraits
2:30 PM: Family Portraits
3:00 PM: Reception Details, Break for wedding party, buffer time for photo timeline
4:00 PM: Ceremony
4:30 PM: Ceremony ends, bride and groom return to usher out guests, wedding party goes to bar next door
5:00 PM: Social hour for guests, bridal party downtime at bar
5:45 PM: Doors open to reception hall
6:00 PM: Bridal party is announced
6:15 PM: Dinner begins, couple sneaks over to cut cake after they finish eating
7:00 PM: Toasts
7:30 PM: Shoe Game/Musical Chairs/Other games
8:00 PM: First Dances
8:25 PM: Open Dance Floor
8:45 PM: Dollar Dance
9:00 PM: Photographer’s day ends
9:30 PM: Bouquet Toss
9:45 PM: Garter Toss
12:00 AM: Dance Ends, the day is done, YOU’RE MARRIED!!!!

There is SO much that goes into planning the perfect timeline for your dream wedding day. You’re in luck, there’s a fabulous event coming up this weekend at the Delta Hotel by Marriott in Fargo that will have all of the best vendors from the area ready to talk everything weddings with you! Purchase a VIP ticket and you’ll get to have exclusive time with the vendors. The show features some AMAZING grand prizes and a few fun surprises along the way!

Head on over to the link to HERE to purchase your tickets!! Be sure to stop by and say hi, enter the giveaway at the booth and of course grab a little treat!

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