Wedding Planning Tips and Inspiration

Sample Wedding Day Timeline and 4 Wedding Planning Tips

Planning a wedding is not a small task! It takes months of planning and preparation and can be stressful if you let it. The goal of this post is to help you plan out a perfect wedding day timeline and get you that much closer to marrying your best friend!

Tip No. 1

Plan your timeline around when the sun sets

There is nothing worse than running out of daylight on your wedding day and not getting the photos that you had hoped for! Start your wedding planning with calculating when the sun sets and work backwards. I use the “Sunrise Sunset Calculator” app to determine when the sun is going to set on a given day.

For example: In Virginia on October 20th, the sun sets at 6:30pm. I would recommend taking getting ready photos around 2pm, first look at 3pm, ceremony at 4pm, and so on. Make sure you leave plenty of time for photos with pretty, natural light before the sun sets.

Remember that the sun sets earlier in the Fall/Winter months!

Build in at least 15 minutes into your timeline for bride and groom photos at sunset! Your photographer can come find you when it is time to take photos like this!

Tip No. 2

Allow for extra time

Hair and Makeup may run over, or you may have trouble with the zipper on your dress. A 10-20 minute cushion built into your timeline here and there is always a good idea! Extra time ensures you are not stressed or running behind on your wedding day!

Tip No. 3

Don’t leave anything out

Make sure to account for all of the things you’d like to include on your wedding day like a first look with your bridesmaids, first dances, cake cutting, and an end of the night send off. Having a solid timeline that includes everything is super important for a fun and stress free wedding day.

Tip No. 4

Hire a planner/coordinator

The last thing you will want to worry about on your wedding day is when the cake needs to be cut or whether the tables are set correctly. You also won’t want your parents or friends to have to worry about these things. A wedding planner/coordinator is in charge of making sure your day goes smoothly and ensures you have a wonderful and stress free wedding day.

Just some of the things your planner can handle:

-Coordinating with other vendors like D.J., florist, caterer so that you don’t have to

-Keeping your timeline on track

-Table set up

-Reception set up

-Fix/manage any mishaps that may happen

Sample Timeline:

*This timeline includes a First Look with sunset around 8pm, but can easily be adjusted to work with your wedding day!

About the Author:

Carly is a wedding photographer based out of Northern Virginia.

She is most known for her bubbly personality and love of Starbuck’s iced coffee

Keep reading! Check out more from the blog…

What Your Wedding Photographer Wants You To Know

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I'm a fine art wedding photographer
serving couples in Virginia, Washington D.C. and beyond.


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