des moines, iowa and beyond

workflow & systems strategist

Sweet Beginnings: 4 Timeline Building Tips

For Brides, Sweet Beginnings

As planners, we all love logistics and being prepared. I realize that is not necessarily a strength for some brides and that not everyone is able to have a planner on your vendor team. Whether you have one or not, a timeline for your wedding day is absolutely KEY to keeping the day moving and organized.


If you are not able to work with a planner to execute your wedding day, your photographer will help you compile a timeline for the portion of the day that they are present. However, that will not be all inclusive for the day. There are many other moving pieces of your day that someone will need to ensure happen. These include vendor deliveries and pick up, set up and tear down times, transportation logistics and so much more.

Before we get into the details and the fun freebie at the end, here are a few tips for building your wedding day timeline.

  1. Begin thinking of how the day will go early on. Do not wait until the month of your wedding to determine the order of events or wonder if you will have enough time for everything you want to fit in. This applies whether you have a planner or not and can affect many things.
  2. Know your priorities and accommodate them. If you want sunset photos, make sure you take that into account when planning dinner time and dancing. If stopping somewhere between your ceremony and reception matters or your first look, all of those things need to be built in.
  3. Always account for wiggle room. It is the nature of any event that having a back to back schedule will not necessarily be on time to the second. There is a host of things that could shift moments of the day by five to ten minutes. If you do not account for flexibility in your timeline, you will likely end up very stressed.
  4. Allow time for untouched photos! Build in time for your photographer and videographer to capture your ceremony and reception spaces BEFORE any guests enter. I promise you, you will be so grateful you did and your vendor team will thank you!! My friend Kat of Dear Sweetheart Events wrote a great post about this very topic that you should check out!

To make things a bit more simple, I am sharing a sample timeline and worksheet with you today! Download your freebie here! While my timelines are much more detailed when I run an event, this will help you cover what you need to have a smoother day. Your vendor team and family will thank you for thinking ahead. You will be so grateful that you did.

Happy planning, lovelies!

xoxo, Jenn


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