For Brides

Tips for Keeping Your Wedding Timeline on Time!

June 26, 2023

Published on

we're the Sherrs

Hi there! Welcome to our blog, a journal about our lives, travels, photographs and films. Stay a while and say hello!

Learn more




The sw wedding guide

Made for newly engaged couples to help you navigate the planning process!


After planning a wedding myself and photographing weddings since I graduated high school, one thing is for sure: weddings usually don’t go exactly as planned. But as time has passed and I’ve gotten more and more familiar with the groove of weddings, I’ve noticed things that make a HUGE difference in keeping timelines on track. So I am sharing with you my top tips for keeping your wedding timeline on time!

Wedding invitation suite with groom and bride's wedding rings and florals at Casa Romantica in San Clemente, California.

01. Pad the front of your timeline!

The beginning of your wedding day sets the tone for the rest of the day, so you want to make sure the time that runs up until your ceremony is padding with lots of extra time so that the rest of your day isn’t affected. Definitely consult your wedding photographer before setting concrete times (other than your ceremony & reception), as they will be able to tell you how long they’ll need to capture different moments. One of the best tips in this area is to schedule your hair and makeup team to be complete (you, your crew, and your mamas) 30 minutes before your photography and videography team arrives. Since this is the very first thing you’ll do that day, anticipating it running later than expected will not only be a saving grace for your beauty team, but it’ll relieve you of stress!

02. Steam dresses/robes and tie ties/bowties the night before!

One of the biggest time savers for both the bride and groom on a wedding day is doing what you can in advance. There’s nothing worse than realizing it’s time to put your dresses on and one of your girls hasn’t steamed their dress or a groomsman YouTubing how to tie a tie that morning. Save yourself SO much stress and get it prepped the night before so that you can simply relax on your big day!

03. Account for EVERYTHING!

Maybe you’ll think this is a little excessive, but accounting for every single thing can end up being a saving grace. If you’re doing a first look, schedule in time to set it up and walk to the spot. It may seem odd, but that could be a full ten minutes lost if you’re getting married at a full venue and didn’t account for that time. Each moment should feel special, not rushed, and accounting for those little 5-10 minute gaps can be the difference between soaking up a minute with your love or rushing to the next thing.

04. Give more time than you need (or think you need)!

Sure, on a normal every day, things may take you a certain amount of time or maybe your friends wedding went a certain way. But your wedding day is yours and it deserves extra time from moment to moment. A good rule of thumb is to add 5 minutes to whatever you think something will take. It’s always better to have a little bit of extra time than not enough!

05. Communicate with your Family!

Maybe it’s surprising, but family photos are one of the most common parts of the day that run over time. It’s one of those things where you think your brother would know to stay for family portraits, but the day sweeps people away and sometimes family ends up at the bar without thinking! When you make your family photo list, make sure you take the time to tell each person on that list that they are a part of family portraits and what time they need to be where. If it’s after the ceremony, ask them to stay. If it’s before, then ask them to be ready 15 minutes before it’s time to start family photos. And then after you’ve told them once, give them a little reminder one or two days before the wedding!

06. Check in with your Vendors!

While there are certain times that are generally good for weddings, each vendor will be a little different with how they do things, so checking with each one individually and asking if there is any place where they might need extra time can be SUPER helpful in keeping your timeline on track. You chose them for their talent, so allow them to do their best by checking in before finalizing times!

07. Do your reception events back to back (And set time limits on speeches)!

It is your wedding, so you can run your reception however you’d like, but if you’re hoping for things to run on time as much as possible, we recommend putting events back to back. For example, doing speeches at the end of dinner, then parent dances, followed by cake cutting, and then the garter/bouquet toss allows for all the fun little events to be done so that everyone can go out on the dance floor and enjoy the rest of the evening. We’ve found that opening the dance floor and then doing events afterwards breaks up the excitement, and people are less likely to keep dancing when they’re interrupted!

We also recommend keeping speeches at five minutes! Make sure to communicate that with each person giving a toast, saying a prayer, etc. It’ll help keep things on track!

All in all, your wedding will be perfect no matter how you choose to run your timeline! These are simply our tips that have helped our couples’ timelines! Enjoy your special day and have so much fun!

Need more advice? Snag our FREE Wedding Planning Guide!

Leave a Reply

reader faves


browse by category



for Brides



welome to our blog

We're Bree and Hayes! We're so happy you're here! We hope you'll stay a while and say hello!

Learn more



The Clover club Wedding guide

Dolor mixtape food truck Austin, assumenda Odd Future Carles ani Echo Park cillum.