Who sets the timeline for weddings?

Who sets the timeline for weddings? The wedding timeline is very crucial for your special day. If you've hired a wedding planner they will set the schedule for your wedding. But one thing we love to help with is scheduling for the ceremony, formals and a possible first look. It's great to have a planner help with all the details for your day. But you should get your wedding photographer involved with the timeline too. This way they can recommend the best time for portraits to avoid too much sun or heavy traffic if it's a public place like the beach. We can work with any time schedule but prefer checking it to make sure we have enough time to transition from one event to the next.

The thing you want to avoid is not having any schedule for your wedding. I know sometimes it can feel like you're making your day too structured but a timeline doesn't have to be concrete. We've seen this from bride's who don't have a planner and the end result can be disastrous.


One time, we had a wedding where the bride didn't put anyone in charge of cocktail hour, she didn't listen to the DJ to come up with a timeline and the beginning portion of their reception was unorganized. We all rushed to the reception because the bride and groom said we had to go. We only had three minutes of formal time with them. When we arrived people were just mingling but no food or drinks were being served. This went on for 45 minutes to one hour. Then we got involved and said you guys need to make a plan. So one of the groom's brothers worked with us and we created a timeline right on the spot. We communicated to the DJ and other vendors what the schedule would look like. Nothing was planned for their reception was planned. They wanted first dances, introductions, garter toss, bouquet toss, toasts and nothing had been discussed with the DJ. The DJ didn't have names for any of the wedding party. So you can only imagine how things turned out.

We also realized our couple arrived almost one hour before they we're appose to. So it confused the kitchen because they thought they were behind and started prepping dinner and did not bring cocktails out. The bride had to find an outside location to hide at during this time so she could wait to be announced. They got only a couple formals together because they cut 30 minutes of their formals time out. We should have had 45 minutes but we ended up with only 15 minutes. The few photos they had were beautiful but I'm sure they would have loved more.

During dinner the kitchen staff brought the cold cocktails back out because they were getting ready to throw them out. I guess the bride  requested for them to bring them back out even though guests were eating dinner. So 70% of the food ended up going in the trash because it was no longer fresh.

I think the bride hired professionals expecting them to make the calls. But most vendors there didn't have a clue. We kept asking them isn't this appose to be happening and their like I don't know. The timeline isn't just for you it's for the professional's too. Because with all the staff there you'd expect them to bring some food out but they panicked instead. We need to have some idea of your day so we can stay calm and do what we do best which is take photos. Even though we're always happy to help. Sometimes we can't fix every problem.

We hope you'll consider a timeline to save yourself from a headache down the road.