How to plan your wedding day schedule

We know you are going to want to make the most of your wedding day but it can seem daunting so just how do you prepare your wedding day schedule?
There are so many contributing factors and I will try to cover as many as I can, based on my experience as a wedding photographer.

Morning Preparation

Hair and Makeup

Planning your Wedding Day Schedule

Hair and Makeup is the biggest contributing factor to a bride being late and this is not the fault of hair and makeup artists but rather all the hub hub going on around the bride, her friends and family, all chatting away excitedly and then consequently losing track of time.
I have seen soooo many times, bridesmaids who have intended on doing their own hair to save money, ending up getting flustered, asking the brides hairstylist to help, which in turn makes everyone late and already the wedding day schedule is going somewhat ‘off piste’.
My advice is to either plan on having the hairstylist work on everyone, allowing the hairstylist to provide an accurate timeline for you, or if you are trying to save money, then allow extra time and budget for your hairstylist to help your bridesmaids.
As a side note, also plan what to wear for the bridal prep, as you don’t want the hairstyles ruined when you all get changed into your formal wedding attire. This is normally not a problem for adults but is for the younger ones. It’s a point often overlooked and I have seen many a top having to be cut off.
As regards makeup, if you can hire a second artist then I totally recommend it as the makeup artist can, if need be, work on the same person the hair is being worked on.

For your wedding day schedule, you need to work out how long hair and makeup is going to take for each person and then add a ‘fudge factor’ to provide more time – no problem being ready earlier. If you can, schedule the timings in a calendar and send a calendar invite to all concerned.


Planning your Wedding Day Schedule

Your wedding photographer will want to take some pictures of your bouquets so you need to ensure the bouquets are there ready and waiting for when your photographer arrives.
You will also need to schedule time for taking the bouquets out of the water and wrapping the stems in kitchen paper to help dry them off and prevent water stains down the front of your dresses. I would suggest you do this at least 20 minutes before you are going to need them.

For your wedding day schedule, add a reminder in one of your bridesmaid’s calendar to take the flowers out of the water 20 minutes before the pictures are going to be taken.

Perfume, Shoes, Dresses, Necklace etc.

Planning your Wedding Day Schedule

Your wedding photographer will want to take pictures of your dress, shoes, makeup, necklace, bracelet, basically what you are wearing on your day. My advice is on the morning before you start getting ready, organise all these items and put them in a location your photographer can access, then you are not disturbed collecting the items your photographer requires.

For your wedding day schedule, set a reminder to do this the day before, this is one less thing you have to think about on the morning of your wedding day.

Presents for the Bridesmaids

Planning your Wedding Day Schedule

If you have presents for your bridesmaids then you will probably want a photograph of them receiving their presents. Ensure you do this when your photographer is available and everyone is happy to be photographed.


Planning your Wedding Day Schedule

When you purchase your dress, your wedding dress supplier, as an expert fitter, will have you in that dress in a blink of an eye. On your wedding day and a few Proseccos later, it is going to be a different story. I have seen buttons going in the wrong holes and complete meltdowns with lace-up dresses. My advice is when you are in the dress shop, have someone video the technique and if the wedding dress is a button-up or lace-up, leave at least 20 minutes to do this.

For your wedding day schedule, this should be at least 40 minutes before your first look with Dad – you still need to put on shoes, necklace, earrings, perfume, deodorant, have a general faff.

The First Look

Planning your Wedding Day Schedule

This is normally an emotional time for you and everyone involved and you will all probably need some time to re-compose, this is an incredible moment and should not be rushed

Pre-ceremony Pictures.

Planning your Wedding Day Schedule

Everyone is ready, let’s take some pictures.
By this time, we are normally running about 10 minutes late and sometimes later than that so be prepared to postpone these pictures until after you are married. You should allow 10 minutes to have pictures with your parents and your bridesmaids. If you are getting ready at home and want pictures in the garden, make sure the grass is NOT cut within 3 days of your wedding day, otherwise you could get some green stains on the bottom of your dress.

For your wedding day schedule, this is just 10 minutes.

Locking the House Up

If you are getting ready from home, we do not want anyone stressing about whether they locked the door, shut the windows, turned off the straighteners etc., so allow extra time and allocate someone to do all the checks and someone else to do the same checks again. This will ensure that everyone is focusing on your marriage and not worrying about the house.

For your wedding day schedule, allocate this to two trusted people during the pictures or 10 minutes before you are scheduled to leave

Wedding Car

Planning your Wedding Day Schedule

Your wedding car will turn up early, don’t let this stress you out, they will wait! You will want a picture of you getting in the car. This is now a stressful time for the photographer, especially if a city centre route is involved. Your wedding car can take the Taxi and Bus lanes, however, your wedding photographer cannot. Your wedding photographer also has to park their car which in Norwich can take some time. There is no point arriving when your photographer is still stuck in traffic or parking. In our case, if you have taken our gold or platinum package then Karl, my partner in crime, will already be there with the boys and will be waiting for you to arrive. If, however, there is only one wedding photographer then you need to ensure you have allowed plenty of time between leaving your home and arriving at the venue. You can go on a nice drive with your Dad and I can just sit in traffic.

For your wedding day schedule, ask your wedding photographer how long it will take him to drive to your wedding ceremony and park, and of course from your ceremony to where you will be having your wedding breakfast. You will then be able to work back as to when you will be getting the car for the wedding ceremony and what time you will be arriving at the reception venue.

Groom Preparation.

Planning your Wedding Day Schedule

If you have a second photographer then this is very simple, the groomsmen will be in their boxer shorts eating bacon sandwiches up until about 10 minutes before they need to leave. They will be on time and will arrive via the watering hole, boy Karl has an easy job!
If you are getting ready and married at the same location and only have one photographer then you need to allocate time for your wedding photographer to go capture the boys and your guests.

For your wedding day schedule, allocate 20 minutes for your photographer to capture the boys.

The Wedding Ceremony

Meeting the Registrar

Your registrar will want to see you at least 15 minutes before you get married and your husband to be there at least 30 minutes before. If you are getting married at a registry office later in the day then be prepared for a small delay. Make sure you have some water with you in the car as you will be getting nervous and will want a drink whilst you are waiting.

Wedding Ceremony

Planning your Wedding Day Schedule

The ceremony is generally 30 minutes. After the ceremony, all your wedding guests will want to congratulate you, so allow 15 minutes before the group photos.

For your wedding day schedule, factor in a delay for the ceremony, 30 minutes for the ceremony itself and then another 15 minutes for congrats

Group Photos

Planning your Wedding Day Schedule

We recommend no more than 10 group pictures, although of course, you can have as many as you like but you will get tired of smiling so break it up as much as you can. A group photo will on average take 5 minutes per picture, although a toastmaster can speed this up. This is a great time to have some entertainment, magician, canapés, garden games etc.

For your wedding day schedule, figure out what photographs you must have at the ceremony and the wedding breakfast.

The Wedding Breakfast

Wedding Breakfast & Speeches

Planning your Wedding Day Schedule

It’s the golden rule not to make chef late, so make sure up until this point you have allowed plenty of time for drinking and chatting in your schedule which can absorb any delays that have been incurred earlier in the day. If you are having entertainment such as singing or comedy waiters, then let your photographer know so they are there to take the pictures. Taking into account the time of year, the weather and your personal wishes, you will need to decide what is important to you. Would you like photos of the two of you with a sunset, by the lake, or on the staircase for example?  All of this will need to be carefully factored into your schedule. There is no point wanting to have a sunset picture in the middle of your wedding breakfast!

For your wedding day schedule, decide on the key moments you want to capture and plan your wedding breakfast to get your must have wedding photos.

Cutting the Cake

Planning your Wedding Day Schedule

It is nice to cut the cake and then go straight into your first dance so make sure your Band, DJ, Venue and wedding Photographer knows when this is. Again, you don’t want to miss that sunset if it’s one of your planned key moments.

Planning your Wedding Day Schedule

Planning your Wedding Day Schedule Planning your Wedding Day Schedule

Karl and Jim hope that this post will help you plan your wedding and make your special day a relaxing, as well as an exciting one. After all, when you are relaxed you will enjoy your day much more. Your wedding planner, photographer and venue will help you plan ahead and on your wedding day your maid of honour and wedding photographer will do their best to keep the day on track.

Wedding Car – Silverline Limousines

Wedding Venue – Bessingham Manor

Photographer – Just Big Smiles

Dress Brides4Less

Makeup Kirstiesmakup

Grooms Outfit Moss Bros

Flowers  Elizabeths

Cake Marks and Spencers

Band The Mesh Band

Tipi Events under canvas

If you are planning your wedding and are looking for a couple of Norwich Wedding Photographers who offer a complimentary engagement shoot and includes wedding insurance in their Platinum Package, then please do get in touch, Karl and Jim would love to hear about what you have planned for your wedding day.

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