Ideas and Tips for Wedding Day Timing and Planning

These ideas are presented as your ultimate planning guide- they have been written based on over two decades of being part of peoples’ wedding day celebrations from start to finish. Use these suggestions to avoid the “if only…” dilemma.

  • Be clear with your hair and makeup people, outline your expectations of them so there is absolutely no misunderstanding on the day. 

We cannot emphasize this enough. Often independent makeup artists and hairstylists work to the “time the wedding is due to start” and not the time the photos are due to start. Result? No photos – or very few photos at home before the wedding! Ensure your hair and makeup artist prepare the bride first- yes the look will still be fresh- you’re sitting indoors- so what could possibly happen to it? At least that way if your bridesmaids’ makeup runs a bit behind schedule, at least the bride is ready for photographs. For best results, look under the “Other Services” menu above, and read the page on “Bridal Makeup”. We have our own Bridal Makeup and Hair Stylist, and we offer a complete service at a discount rate in conjunction with our photography. A trained and accomplished wedding makeup specialist, she will accompany you on the post-ceremony shoot to attend to your hair, remove your veil for you if you are having shots without your veil, and just be there to lend a hand if your bridesmaids get a bit busy with all the celebrating.


  • It’s OK to be late for your ceremony- be as late as you like but make sure your providers know this before your wedding day so they can build this lateness into their schedule. 

If you run later than your providers (photographer, driver, celebrant, reception venue) expect you to be, there is a chance for serious disaster. We have witnessed the following:


  1. Wedding Car left the brides home without the bride- because the driver had another wedding to go to, and the first bride’s lateness meant he wouldn’t get to his next job on time.
  2. Celebrant LEFT the wedding before the wedding even happened- she refused to keep her second wedding for the same afternoon waiting- you can imagine what happened there!
  3. Reception venue (booking two weddings on premises for same afternoon) had to give priority to second wedding who WERE on time, and the result was that the first wedding was held over until the next wedding had finished in the grounds. The first wedding was “asked to leave” – yes – guests and all – and come back later!

  • Ensure that you allow time to breathe on your Wedding Day- don’t write a schedule so tight that there’s no room for the “human element”.

We know that things can get a little frantic on the wedding day. Incidents and instances get blown out of proportion, You, the bride, are suddenly consulted on every breath that everyone is about to take. Understand that all this takes time away from you- and possibly gets in the way of your enjoyment of the day, not to mention that it also poses a real threat to jeopardizing your wedding photography time.
I once had a bride hand me an eight page running sheet, which was already half a page behind time, before she had put her dress on… I’ve kept it at the studio as an example of one of those “amazing things” you hear about, but never actually get to see!

  • There’s something else you need to plan- and we don’t just mean “your wedding”!

This is a tip you won’t get in the magazines- nor will you find it on other websites first- it was born here.


Plan for the week before your wedding! 


What do we mean? 


You’d be amazed, after organizing, planning and fussing over details for months on end, just how frantic people get before the wedding. Suddenly, there are many things which need doing, and the bride is out of time.


Dear reader – use technology to your advantage here. Don’t drive somewhere, when an email, telephone call or fax will do the same job in less time, with less effort, leaving you more settled, and less stressed.


Have couriers do your pickups and deliveries – and if your dress maker tells you she’s busy and won’t have your dress finished until 3 days before the wedding, find a different dressmaker! Get those last minute items delivered to you early- so you can send them on to the reception. Telephone calls can replace those time intensive meetings. The week before your wedding should be one of pampering, anticipation and relaxation. If it seems like a desperate race for the finish line, then poor organization is the reason. Plan for an easy time of the last week, right from the beginning! Disaster is avoidable, yet we see things go wrong almost every weekend, which were easily avoidable.


Don’t let it happen to you.