You're engaged! Congratulations!!! I am so excited for you! Now you get to put together the best day ever to celebrate your love and commitment to the best person ever... Your fiance!
Now, once you've chosen the day for your upcoming pre-nuptials you will need to select your wedding venue and photographer. These two items will make up the largest chunk of your wedding budget, and they will make the biggest impact on your experience and memories of the day, so it's best to make your selection as early as possible so you have a wider selection to choose from, and more time to pay for them. However, one of the first things both venders (and everyone else) are going to want to know is... What does your Wedding Schedule look like? Or in Wedding Lingo: What is your Wedding Timeline?
Each couple's wedding schedule is going to look a little different based on a couple of key choices each one makes. Here are the important decisions that will help you determine your wedding schedule:
Are you planning on doing a First Look? (See each other for the first time before the ceremony?)
Is your wedding Ceremony and Reception going to happen at the same place? (If not, how much time will you need to travel in between locations?)
Do you want 'Getting Ready' Photos? If so, where will those be Taken? (Getting Ready Photos may include the Bridal Details - Dress, Shoes, Jewelry, as well as photos of the wedding parties as they finish getting ready for the day)
Once you know the answer to those questions it will be easier to work with your photographer and Wedding Planner to put your schedule together because the questions of when/what will be mostly answered. :) Now, of course the are other events that make up a Wedding Day, but if this is the first Wedding you have ever attended it can be hard to know how long each one will take. To help you out I have put together a Wedding Schedule Menu. Go ahead, check it out!
An important thing to keep in mind as you put together your timeline is that the more people involved on your wedding day (in your wedding party, in your family photos, etc) the more time you will need to spend on photographing them. Bigger groups just need more direction than smaller ones.
Another thing that can effect the timing of the day (in a good way) is if you choose to add on a second photographer to your Wedding Photography package. Having two photographers can help you save $ by cutting down on the amount of time you need a photographer as some of the events listed above can happen simultaneously (the getting ready images + wedding detail shots are a good example of this, as well as the Ceremony + Reception images).
Also, make sure you account for travel time. Nothing puts a schedule more off-track then not planning for the time it will take to get from one location to another.
All of this is to say, that while the above menu isn't a hard and fast rule, it is a great starting point for deciding what will be a part of your Wedding Day Schedule.
Your other Wedding Day Vendors will also have some input on how to make this day work best for you. Some vendors in particular you will want to speak with before making any final decisions are:
Your Hair/Make-Up Professional (They can give you an approximate time frame of how long it will take to get you all ready, so once you know when you want your Wedding Photography to begin you can work backwards to see what time you should schedule your Hair/Make-Up Professional to start.)
Your Wedding Officiant (If you will be attending a Catholic Mass as part of your Wedding Ceremony you will need to speak with the priest/bishop to see what times they have available, and how long a service takes.)
Your DJ (A professional DJ can tell you exactly how long each event will take in a reception. They have the expertise to make events go quicker if you need them too, or go they can go the full-nine yards. They can also provide alternative events if you don't want all the same traditional bouquet tossing/garter-throwing to happen at your reception.)
If you would like even more info about each of the events mentioned in the Wedding Day 'Menu' above then you will be interested in downloading my FREE Wedding Day Guide below
It has more info about each of the events you may want covered, as well as a great q&a in the back to help you keep all the important information in one place!
Have more questions about putting your timeline together? Or interested in learning more, feel free to reach out to me via email or my Contact Page.