The Top 8 Wedding Day-Of Timeline Don'ts

Planning Tips
Wedding Timeline Donts

Photo: Getty Images

When it comes to your wedding, timing really is everything. A well thought-out schedule ensures the day runs smoothly, cutting down on chaos and confusion, lessening the likelihood of costly mistakes and creating an all around better experience for both you and your guests. Whether you're saying, "I do" in front of 200 people or 20, do yourself a solid and steer clear of these wedding day-of timeline don'ts.

1. Scheduling too many speeches in a row.
Unless you want to bore your guests to death, it's best to not only limit the length of each speech (shoot for three minutes or less), but to try and scatter them throughout the dinner/reception as well. Two back-to-back is fine. More than that though, and you'll start losing folks.

2. Giving your guests a false start time.
Simply put, it's a bad idea, particularly when you're having an outdoor wedding and it's hot out. Guests know to show up on time. In fact, many often arrive a half an hour early to play it safe. Keeping your friends and family waiting forever is a total mood killer, not to mention just super annoying.

3. Underestimating how long hair and makeup will take.
You may think it's crazy to get the hair and makeup ball rolling at the crack of dawn, but if you plan on doing a first look and snapping a bunch of photos beforehand, this is pretty normal. Our suggestion? Pad your schedule with an extra hour. So if you need to be ready at 4pm, tell your hair and makeup team you'd like to be done by 3pm.

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4. Not allotting enough time for photos.
Remember that "Wedding Photos to Get" Pinterest inspiration board you sent to your photographer that took at least a few minutes to scroll to the bottom? Yeah, that one. Well, if you're hoping to capture even a fraction of those pics, planning ahead is of utmost importance. Talk to your photographer to get a generous time estimate, and keep in mind that a large bridal party can be really tough to round up.

5. Scheduling special moments late in the evening.
Your photographer is only paid to be at your wedding for a set number of hours (typically around eight, including getting ready time) so it's best to tackle those can't miss moments, like your first dance and cake cutting, early in the evening. It's not unusual for a ceremony to go over or dinner to run late. If you cut things too close, you may wind up having to pay your photographer to work overtime, which isn't cool.

6. Getting ready a good drive away.
If at all possible, the bridal party should get gorgeous onsite that way a small delay doesn't turn into a timing nightmare. After all, you never know with traffic, and you'd hate to be late to your own wedding, wouldn't you? With that said, you should also try to make sure everyone who is in the wedding either gets ready with you or arrives on site with plenty of time to spare. It's better to be safe than sorry.

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7. Not factoring in alone time.
As much as you love your friends and family, this day is ultimately about you and your new husband. Unfortunately, unless you do a first look or pencil 15 minutes of post-ceremony alone time into your schedule, you won't really have a moment to just reflect on the day together, something many couples really treasure (particularly when one or both partners are introverts).

8. Making the schedule too tight.
Always assume that everything will take a little bit longer than you think it will, and have a day-of timeline that accurately reflects that. Your wedding vendors and coordinator should be able to assist you with this. A cram-packed schedule sets the scene for serious stress.

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