4 Things That Can Wreck Your Wedding Day Timeline | Wedding Wednesday

for brides

4 Things That Can Wreck Your Wedding Day Timeline


It’s that time of the week again! Time for another Wedding Wednesday post where I share tips for bride and grooms. Today we are going to talk about those unexpected things on your wedding day that can completely wreck your timeline.

I think you can all agree that a wedding day timeline is vital for each and every wedding. If you don’t, you should go read this post right now. A wedding timeline is so important for everyone involved. But, no matter how good your timeline is, unexpected things can still happen that will threaten to ruin the day. I’m going to share the five most common ones and then share what to do to fix it and how to avoid it in the first place.

  1. The Weather. You’ve planned for months for your outdoor wedding, or even just outdoor photos, and now the wedding day is here and it’s pouring! WHAT DO YOU DO NOW? First of all, don’t panic. While you cannot change the weather, you can still have a lovely wedding day. Talk to your vendors. If you don’t have a coordinator, appoint someone to talk to the venue coordinator and ask for suggestions. Talk to your photographer about other locations for portraits. Your vendors are there to help you, so reach out to them and ask them to help you with a backup plan. Trust them to be professionals and to take care of you. HOW TO PREVENT THIS BEFORE THE WEDDING? While there is no way to know what the weather will do on your wedding day, you can have a back up plan in place. If you wedding is outdoors, know what your best option is for moving it indoors last minute. Also, hire professionals. If your photographer gets stuck shooting all of your portraits inside, you need to know that they are going to know what to do and how to create gorgeous photographs in less than ideal situations! Hire professionals and then trust them to do their job.
  2. Hair and Makeup Running Late. This happens at almost every wedding I shoot. We ladies are constantly underestimating the time it takes to get our hair and makeup done. I’ve seen a bride show up thirty minutes late to the CEREMONY because she was still getting ready. Since hair and makeup is usually happening at the beginning of the day, running late can truly throw off the whole day. WHAT DO YOU DO NOW? If you notice that things are running behind early on, talk to your HMUA! Ask her to finish the bride next and then go back to the bridesmaids or mothers who still need to finish. Typically, the events immediately following hair and makeup are photography related. Talk to the photographer and trust that he/she is going to help get things back on track. Most of the time, if the bride is ready than those photos can begin until the rest of the ladies are done. HOW TO PREVENT THIS? When setting your timeline with your photographer, set a hard time for hair and makeup to finish. THEN, tell your HMUA you want everyone done an hour before! This will give you some wiggle room if things run late or the bride needs things tweaked. Hire professional hair and makeup artists that know how to schedule multiple ladies and that know how wedding days go. I always forward the timeline to the HMUA prior to the wedding day so that they know how the schedule is going to go.
  3. Family Running Late. We all have “those” people in our family or circle of friends that are notoriously late. You get to the location for wedding party pictures and the best man is nowhere to be seen. Or, you are all set for family pictures and Aunt Sally is MIA. WHAT DO YOU DO NOW? First of all, communicate to your vendors. Make sure your photographer knows exactly what’s happening so that he/she can make a plan. If part of the wedding party is late, she can start with the bride and groom. If the groom is late, she can start with bride and bridesmaids photos. Also appoint someone to contact the missing person and get an accurate ETA. Sometimes pictures may have to continue without the person. In that case, let your photographer know if it is important to catch that person in a picture during another time of the day. A lot of times, missing grandparents can get a quick photo with the bride and groom at the reception. HOW TO PREVENT THIS? If you have people like this in your life, you are probably already accustomed to telling them a fake time, right? We’ve all done that, and if you haven’t than you are probably the person that is always late. 🙂 The best way to avoid this situation is to give them an earlier start time. I would tell the wedding party 15-20 minutes earlier than necessary. You can do the same for family members. The other thing you can do is put someone in charge of getting them to the location on time. Make sure one of the responsible groomsmen is in charge of picking up and driving the one that’s always late to the location. If Great Aunt Mary is the offender, have Cousin Jim arrive early to pick her up and drive her to the venue.
  4. Travel Mishaps. These are unpredictable and can be anything from city traffic to a flat tire. So, you leave your photo location thinking it takes 15 minutes to get to your ceremony location. One thing you didn’t consider was Chicago traffic and now you are stuck in a traffic jam. WHAT DO YOU DO NOW? Let people know! If you are going to be late getting to the ceremony or reception, contact someone that is already there so they can let people know things are running behind. In the case where the bride arrived thirty minutes late to the ceremony, nobody told the poor groom for twenty minutes! I can’t imagine the things going through that poor guy’s head. Make sure that someone knows that you are going to be late. Then, trust your vendors to help you get back on track. HOW TO PREVENT THIS? You can’t prevent car trouble or traffic delays. The best way to prevent it causing havoc is to pad your timeline! If it normally takes 5 minutes to get to a location, plan 15-20. If it takes 30 minutes, plan 45. Always leave some time for unexpected delays.

These are just the main things that I’ve seen derail a wedding day timeline. Hopefully, this will help you plan ahead to avoid chaos. But, in the event that one of these things still happens, trust that you’ve hired professionals that will help you! And, then, RELAX. At the end of the day, you are going to be married. Try not to let the little things ruin your day.

For more helpful tips for couples, visit the “for brides” section below or click here.

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  1. Marquette says:

    These are great tips and fixes for these common timeline problems! What an awesome resource!

  2. Misty says:

    Hair and Makeup is always the number one thing that throws off my timelines..haha! And the weather is right up there 🙂

  3. These are SO true!! Thank you so much for sharing all these little nuggets – they’re things I didn’t even think about while creating my wedding day timeline.

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