Well, we are officially at the start of the last leg of wedding season. Fall weddings are starting to blossom all over, and it’s never too late to get organized. You may be getting multiple timelines from multiple vendors, maybe you didn’t hire an event coordinator and need a little extra help getting organized. This is more than likely your first wedding, and this is what we do for a living. So I’m here to tell you about all the magic that is in a wedding day timeline.

While you may have everything taking place in one location, you still have to figure out when you need to be where, and who needs to be there with you. Figuring out where you want your family photos taken, where you want bridal party photos, where you want your couples photos done and what time. Are you doing a first look? Are you having a cocktail hour? All of these things will change your timeline drastically.

More likely than not, you’ll be moving to a different location at least once during the day. Even if you’re getting married in Downtown Wilmington and you just plan to walk around the area for your couples portraits, you still need to account for travel time. We usually ask for at least 30 minutes alone with the couple, and that doesn’t include how long it takes to get there. Especially if you have to drive to a new place, consider what traffic conditions could be like during that time of day.

Sometimes, the most crazy and confusing part of the day can be your formal family photos. This is not because of the photos themselves, but because of organizing a large number of people all at once. On my timelines, I always ask for a detailed shot list of every individual family portrait that is to be taken. I type up the list in the most efficient order (grandparents and children done first so they don’t have to wait around) and give it back to my couples so they can share it with the appropriate family members. It really helps cut down on the chaos, and having an exact time and place for family photos typically means we won’t lose a random family member to cocktail hour before they’re supposed to be dismissed.

Last but not least, having an organized timeline can seriously make your day 10 times easier. Personally, I carry around my list the entire day, keeping us as much on track as possible, while of course leaving some wiggle room for any little delays that can, and will, happen. I’ve never once had a bride holding onto a schedule on her wedding day, making sure we were following it perfectly. That’s what we’re here for, to take the worry off your mind. Even the tiny details like what time you’ll be introduced into the reception and what time the toasts and first dances will start, those help us be prepared and know exactly where and when we need to be ready for these events, so you don’t have to be looking around, holding your first dance back, wondering where your photographer is.

To sum up, I think the moral of the story is to always be prepared. Or wait, maybe that’s the Boy Scouts’ slogan, but it can apply here too. Getting these small details over to your photographer/DJ/and event planner will really make your day happen smoothly and efficiently. And we’re always here to help you along the way!