Creating a stress-free wedding timeline seems to be an impossible task for a lot of Brides. There are so many moving pieces and it’s your first large scale event that you are planning in your entire life.

With so many unknowns I’m sure it can get very stressful. That’s why I’ve decided to write this article to let you know by making a few small tweaks you can enjoy the biggest day of your life STRESS-FREE.

Imagine having time to mingle with guests that traveled far away to see you on your wedding day. Imagine you actually have time to be able to eat before the reception entrance. Also imagine if you are able to get all the photos done on top of being fully enjoyed your wedding with your loved ones.  

Here is the blueprint to create a stress-free wedding timeline.

1) Make sure your makeup artist finish on time

Once you have decided when the makeup and hair are going to be done, it’s time to make sure you and the markup artists are going to stick with it. In fact, letting your makeup artist when the deadline is one of the most important pieces of information you’ll need to decide well before your wedding day. 

The reason is that finishing your makeup and hair on time will set the tone for your whole wedding day. If your makeup and hair are not on time that means the photographers can’t start on time, wedding party and family formal photos will need to be pushed back, and worse, you may be short on time to get ready for the ceremony.

Therefore, make sure you and your makeup artist know exactly how long it’ll take to complete your makeup/hair. If your makeup artist is also doing your bridesmaid’s makeup/hair make sure you leave enough cushion time as well. Also, do a trial makeup session with your makeup artist so both of you know exactly what to do on the wedding day.

2) Have all your detail items ready in a box

Having all your detail items ready in a box such as wedding rings, earrings, necklaces, invitation, gifts will help you organize a lot better on your wedding day. Not only will you get a much cleaner bridal suite, but doing this will also save you time when your photographer arrives. 

Why does this matter? Usually, your photographer will start off taking the detail photos as soon as he/she arrives. You’d want to just quickly hand off the detail items so you can get back to do your makeup. If you have already packed everything then it is going to save a lot of time and stress on your wedding day.

Also, for your wedding dress, make sure it’s out of the bag and ready on a hanger. If you need a nice hanger to hang your dress just ask your photographer he/she should have it.

3) Have an emergency toolkit bag ready

While you certainly hope there won’t be any problem on your wedding day, you’ll still want to be extra prepared in case of unforeseen circumstances. Having an emergency toolkit bag is something you must have on your wedding day! Don’t carry it yourself but instead have a trusted friend or your maid of honor to do that for you. 

What should be in the bag? Sewing needles, safety pins, small pair of scissors, hem tap, thread in a color that matches your wedding dress, your bridesmaid dresses as well as the groom’s clothing.

4) Bridesmaids should get dress before you

You may think as the bride you should be the one getting ready first. In contrast, you want everyone to be ready before you so that once you are ready everyone is good to go. That includes all your bridesmaids, flowergirl and even the ring bearer etc.

Doing so have at least two advantages. First, that means everyone is ready for photographs as soon as you are ready. Once you are on your wedding dress it’ll be the time to start taking your individual portraits, bride and bridesmaid photos etc. Second, if there is anyone that needs more time to get ready then they’ll have enough time to do so. 

5) Do First Look

Doing the first look lower the stress of your wedding day timeline by MILES. Yes not just a little but MILES. That is because once you get to see the groom you both can begin doing the family formal photos, wedding party photos, as well as the bride and groom portraits before the ceremony.

Don’t you want to mingle with your friends that came so far away to see you? Don’t you want to eat before the reception entrance? Aren’t you afraid of a scenario where you are so rushed with family formals that you missed a photo with grandma!

If you are worried about losing emotions because of seeing the groom before ceremony, don’t be! Doing the First Look in during a private moment where no one is watching you both. And seeing each other again during the ceremony is in front of the public where hundreds of eyes are watching you. These are two totally different scenarios.

If your traditional and culture allow I highly recommend doing a First Look. This is a proven experience!

6) Limit your locations on your wedding day

The less places you have to travel the less complicated the logistics are going to be. One of the main advantages is that you get more photo opportunities. If your photographer is going to spend 30-60 minutes travelling on your wedding day you may as well have him/her take more photos instead. So, If your wedding venue has a bridal suite, a ceremony and reception all in one place, then take advantage of this venue and do everything at the same place.  

7) Do Engagement Session with your photographer

Having an engagement session with your photographer is a must before your wedding day. Doing so allows you to work with your photographer before the big day so you’ll know what to expect. The more you know what to expect the more natural you get in front of the camera. Your photographer won’t be a random person anymore and that’s the secret of having awesome photos on your wedding day.  

8) Have a trusted friend to help during family formal photos

During family formal photos, your photographer most likely is not going to be able to identify all the people in your family shot list. He/she knows the names but not necessary the faces. That’s why it’s smart to have a trusted friend that knows the family well to help in this situation. 

Also, make sure to let your officiant announces that “immediate family to stay behind for photos” after the ceremony. Otherwise once the ceremony is over everyone will start scattering around catching up with friends. Trust me it’s hard to gather people back once they left the area.

9) Hire a Wedding Planner

Having a wedding planner is one of the best investments of your time. It’s important to distinguish between a wedding planner and wedding coordinator. A wedding planner works with you before the wedding and often do the research and go venue hunting with you. On the other hand, a wedding coordinator usually is from the wedding venue and she is only responsible for making sure everything is running on the day of your wedding.

If you want to make the best decision and work with someone that knows weddings inside out then I’d suggest you spend the money to hire a good wedding planner. That way you can save a lot of time and stress of ‘not knowing what you don’t know’. On the other hand if you want to plan part of the wedding yourself and have the flexibility to plan/organize your own wedding then wedding coordinator is almost always available when you book the venue.

10) Have a PLAN B that you are actually good with

Last but not least, if your wedding is outdoors you must have a PLAN B. There is no excuse not to have one and the venue should give you this option (make sure to ask).  We never want PLAN B to happen but it’s always good to know there is a backup plan.

Even though it’s easy to say there is a PLAN B, make sure you do like PLAN B before booking the venue. If you love the outdoor setting and PLAN B is just at having a tent at an open field with no view under the rain. Then maybe it’s better to keep looking around until you find a good PLAN B option.

I hope you find this article valuable and help you create a stress-free wedding timeline. Do not hesitate to ask me questions because this is one of the biggest days of your lives and I want you to enjoy this special day!