Creating a timeline can be a little scary; however, here are some tips to help you get through it. Note that all weddings, while they have common elements, are unique, so there isn’t a standard recipe. **Cheat code – we provide a free timeline template when you subscribe to our newsletter to at least help get you started!**
Tip #1 Add in Some Cushion
Things won’t go perfectly as planned. They never do, and that’s ok. You might have to repeat that to yourself throughout this process. In project management (for those of you who didn’t know, I’m also a certified project manager), you have to acknowledge that there are things that happen that you didn’t plan for because you didn’t know they were even a possibility. SO in the PM world, we try to mitigate risk. One of the easiest ways to reduce risk is to add some buffer to your timeline. 10-15 mins here and there will help tremendously.
Tip #2 Map your Destinations
Use a GPS to map your drive times. Also, please keep in mind bus and limo services may not always use the fastest route but the easiest route for them to navigate.
Tip #3 Check-in with your Vendors
Start crafting your timeline once you know some initial times. You will have to make some adjustments when you get new or updated information. Your final timeline should be ready about a week before your wedding. As a general rule of thumb, you will need 30-45 mins for hair and 30-45 for makeup for bridesmaids and 45-60 mins (Sometimes longer. That’s why you should check in with them.) for hair and then the same amount of time for makeup.
Tip #4 Plan a First Look
I have a whole post about the pros and cons of a first look here.
Tip #5 Don’t Go Overboard with Shoot Locations
This is especially true if you have a large bridal party because it’s like herding cats. Loading and loading the bus at several spots takes time or finding parking if everyone is driving themselves. I suggest one photo location for formal family portraits, typically at the ceremony location, so that your family can do all of the other running around they need to do before the reception. Then a couple of different places if the ceremony OR reception location isn’t suitable for large group photos.