Tips for Creating Wedding Day Timelines

Planners, I want to share with you some tips for creating wedding day timelines and how we go about creating ours.

We do have a timeline planning questionnaire that we send to our Wedding Management clients to capture most of the information mentioned below.   And for our Full Service clients we gather this information along the way during the planning process. 

Tips for Creating Wedding Day Timelines

  • Make sure you choose the right photographer, like Sven Studios. Check the photography contract to find out how many hours are included.
  • Get a headcount and names of everyone having their hair and makeup done by the stylists provided.
  • Once you know how many hours the photographer is there for on the wedding day check with the couple to find out if they want the photographer to stay until the very end of the reception OR if they are okay with a staged exit.
    • In most cases we do have to add on additional coverage with photographers when couples want them to stay until the very end.
  • Contact the photographer to find out what time they want to start photos.
  • Ask the photographer if they prefer to create the photography timeline.  Most photographers want to give planners their photo timeline for you to plug into the full wedding day timeline.
    • Or at least have them tell you how long they need per “group” and if they prefer to go in a certain order.
    • Do they want to start with the first look, followed by bride and bridesmaids or do they like to start with the groom and groomsmen first.
  • Check the cinematographer contract as well to find out how many hours are included in their package.  You may need to add additional coverage/hours with them as well depending on the couple’s desires.  
  • We usually have the photographer and cinematographer arrive at the tail end of hair and makeup.  That way they can capture the bride having her hair or makeup finished.
    • There’s no need to waste the photography hours with tons of photos of the bride and bridesmaids getting ready.  As long as they have a few photos of hair and makeup that’s really all they need.
  • Once you know what time the photographer will arrive you will then be able to figure out what time hair and makeup needs to begin.
  • Contact the hair stylists and makeup artists to find out how long they need per person.
  • Once you have a list of everyone having hair and makeup and know how long the stylists need per person you can create a hair and makeup schedule.
    • I always add the hair and makeup schedule to the full wedding day schedule that way everyone knows what time they are going since it makes things run smoother.  It prevents guessing on who’s going next.
    • Some hair stylists and makeup artists prefer to create their own hair and makeup schedule.  Just check with them first.
  • It’s such a nice unexpected gesture to send the wedding party and family a copy of the wedding timeline before rehearsal.  I always text everyone in the wedding a copy of their wedding timeline about a month before the wedding.  That way they are not having to contact the couple to find out what time they need to arrive and where.

I hope these tips help you in creating your next wedding timeline. 

xo, Terrica


I put my heart and soul into my client’s planning experience.

over two hundred fifteen weddings since 2010

learn about our planning services

Free Download

education for fellow wedding planners

How to Start Your Own Wedding Planning Business

How to Start a Wedding Planning Business

download the free GUIDE

our full service wedding planning process


additional resources for wedding planners

Design questionnaire template


Client budget and vendor questionnaire


visit the full shop