September 1, 2022

6 Tips to Structure Your Timeline Perfectly!

Bryce Hall

Ordering Your Timeline with Ease

We get it. There’s tonnes of events you want to include on your wedding day. You’re stressing yourself out trying to work out how they fit together and whether or not you’ll have enough time to do everything! Using this post I’m going to run you through a few short hacks to arrange your timeline like a pro! From the cutting of the cake to the important essentials such as getting ready. Unless of course, you’re planning on showing up to your wedding in your underwear! I’ll make sure you crush that run sheet with confidence!

Before you start to work out all the finer timings frantically for your day. Take a moment to list all the aspects of your wedding you’d like to include on a piece of paper. From here, you can then begin to start planning your day, from back to front. Notice how I said from BACK to FRONT. Start with the last part of your day you’d like to involve everyone in and then work backwards from there. This way you can make sure that you have enough time to do all the things you’d like to and not run out of time!

In order to follow my own advice, my next tips are going to be listed in reversed order! This way you can follow along with me!

Organising a Reception that Suits Your Needs

Choosing the perfect timing for your formalities is crucial to the style of wedding you’d like to have. Would you like to have a laid back wedding with a relaxing dinner? No worries, just extend your formalities across the night, potentially breaking speeches up by meal breaks and other events. This will allow for a relaxing evening where there’s no hurry or no worries! 

Maybe you would prefer to have a raging PARTY?? Prepare to get excited for the D-floor and bust out your best moves, it’s party time people!! The best way in committing to this option is placing all your main formalities at the start of your wedding. This means that you’ll be able to get onto that dance floor sooner and for longer! Start your speeches sooner and allocate only one chunk of the night towards this to save time.

No matter the type of wedding reception you’d like to hold, make sure that it’s true to you! You want to ensure that you cover all the bases you’d like for your wedding. Remember not to just do something because you saw it last month at someone else’s event. This is YOUR day and you can choose to have it play out however your heart desires. 

Making the Most of ‘Golden Hour’

Most photographers generally love to take your wedding portraits within ‘golden hour’ on your wedding day. Golden hour is the time generally known as the final hour before sunset. This is often the time of the day with the most desirable lighting and helps you to capture those WOW stunning photos! These are the snaps you’ll often hang around your home forever or include in a beautiful wedding album.

When you’re deciding on times for your photos, it’s a good idea to check the sunset time for your wedding date. You can also ask your photographer for advice on what the best possible time would be too! This is mainly so that you can get the best possible time period to capture those lasting memories. Another point to consider during this time is that depending on the time of year the sun sets at a different time. For example, in summer in Australia the sun can set at 8pm or later.

This is a rather late time to wait around for some photos. It’s smart to leave a gap in your reception structure. This way you can go outdoors and grab some photos then! It will be far too hot and too bright in the middle of summer to get ideal photos around 4pm. This is more of the ideal time to grab snaps in mid winter!

Perfecting Family Photos 

Family photos are one of the most important parts of your day. Just think, when was the last time all of your loved ones were together in one room? Probably not recently, so let’s make sure to capture it!

Hold your family photos directly after your ceremony and have your celebrant announce it before everyone runs off!! This is perfect for large families especially, or if you would like to get a large group photo with all of your guests who attended your wedding. There is nothing worse than having to wait around because someone has run off elsewhere, leaving your guests impatient to move on with the day, so let’s get moving with these shots and make them happen quickly. Your photographer will help direct you to ensure that this segment of your afternoon runs quickly, smoothly and that no one gets left out!

While it’s super important to grab these shots, we also recommend keeping this segment of your day brief to ensure the natural flow of the day. We’d recommend 20-30 minutes for this segment of your day, depending on the size of your family. Keep the list of photos you’d like as brief as possible, there will be more time later on in the evening to get even more extended family photos + group photos with friends too so don’t worry!

Choosing the Ideal Ceremony Time

Picking a ceremony time is crucial to the structure of your day, as this is the main event of the day that will generally run on time no matter what. Normally at most weddings there is leniency to move and shift different elements of your day if need be to suit the conditions of the day but your ceremony is often set in stone, so pick a good time!

For summer ceremonies, we recommend a later start. This is as the days are longer and much much hotter. So having this later is a big bonus to your comfort, especially if you are holding an outdoor wedding. Nothing is worse then standing in the heat in the middle of the day and sweating through your whole ceremony. Trust me, I’ve been to some very hot weddings where it’s seriously uncomfortable to be outside at that time of day. 

Anything between 3:30-5:30 is perfect for this time of year, but again. Check the sunset times and make sure that you count your time backwards for the best possible time!

In winter, the days are shorter and the opposite. It gets cold and it gets cold fast at night! Depending on the time of winter, we’d recommend a 1:30-3:00pm ceremony. To make sure that you don’t run out of daylight by placing your ceremony time far too late in the day

While it is a vibe watching the sun set during your ceremony, it’s much better to leave that unreal light for the beautifully styled portraits by your photographer, as they will make for much more fond memories.

Organising Prep Times

Nothing is worse than being in a rush to be somewhere, especially on your wedding day! While it’s traditional for the bride/groom to be fashionably late to walk down the aisle at a wedding. It’s important to make sure you’re not too late, keep your guests on their feet excited, but don’t bore them who have travelled all this way to be part of your day!

Make sure that your hair and makeup is timed perfectly by ensuring that your hair and makeup crew arrive earlier than they need to get your hair and makeup done, because I can always guarantee you, prep will go over time and it’ll leave you stressing you’ll be late. Trust me, do yourself a favour and get up that little bit earlier with an organised morning routine to ensure your day runs smoothly and you’re left feeling cool, calm and collected when you walk down that aisle. 

When organising the times that both parties will be getting dressed, take into account how many photographers or videographers you have hired for the day. If you’ve opted to have second shooters on your day, feel free to get ready at the same time. This is because both sides of prep can easily be covered by the whole team. However if you’ve only got one photographer handy, it might be good to allow the partner who intends to be at the ceremony first the time to get ready at least 1 hour before the other partner intends to get ready. This will allow for a stress free experience for both of you!

Bonus Tip: Hire a Wedding Planner

If you’re still stuck plotting all the important parts of your day and everything is feeling a little too much to handle. Hire yourself a wedding planner / coordinator. Seriously, these legends will absolutely ensure that your day is running smoothly and perfectly! Let a professional who has been to hundreds of weddings take on your stress so that you can enjoy a comfortable, more relaxing day. We highly recommend Claire from Little Tuesday Event if you’re unsure where to start! Claire is an events master and will make sure your day runs on time all the time! You’ll crush your wedding day goals with ease.

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  1. Jai Long says:

    So many good tips and things to think about when planning a wedding day. Thank you for putting this together!!!

  2. Aimee says:

    I love that you’ve recommended ceremony times for summer vs winter so that your timeline works beautifully towards golden hour. It’s so worth it!!

  3. Emma says:

    This is such an informative post! Love all these tips 🙂

  4. Emma says:

    This is such an informative post! Love all these tips, thanks for the post 🙂