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How to Make a Day-of Wedding Timeline

With a bouquet of flowers, the big white dress, emotional dances, and a few “I Dos,” it is time to get ready for your big day – your wedding day! You have been planning this day on your own for months and it probably feels weird that your date is already here. There are no more events to plan, photographers to meet, or venues to see. It’s just you, your wedding dress, and a ceremony to celebrate love. 

It’s worth noting that timelines are a guideline, not something to be followed to the minute because let’s face it – that probably won’t happen. Instead, keep in mind the general flow of activities and do your best to stay on schedule but if not, don’t worry. It’ll all turn out the way it should in the end.

So what do you do the day of your wedding? Here is a free, helpful day-of wedding agenda to make sure your celebration goes as smooth as possible – even without a wedding planner. 

getting ready robes

Sophisticated Grace Photography

  1. The basics. 

    Your wedding timeline can only begin once you craft a simple to-do list to make sure you have got the final touches – and to keep your sanity. Do you have a morning wedding? Is it in the afternoon? Make sure you keep track of the time to plan ahead for your hair and makeup, and still give everyone ample time to arrive at the ceremony. This way, you will not stress (too much). 
  1. Get your ducks (wedding party) in a row! 

    Although the bride is pretty important to the wedding, it is not a celebration without everyone else either! Make sure you have a wedding timeline for your bridesmaids, groomsmen, mother-in-law, father-in-law, and anyone else who needs to be accounted for so everyone is on the same page. Make sure they know when to be ready, at what time and where. It will just make the day easier on everyone to also have a day-of planner
  1. Leave your phone alone.

    You have got a photographer, everyone has their own schedule, and nothing interesting is happening on Instagram. Let your friends take your pictures while you get ready and leave the professional pictures to the expert. Instead of being glued to your screen, live in the moment. It is what you are honestly going to remember, not what foodie post you saw that day. 
  1. Don't forget about pampering time! 

    Your dress is awaiting, shoes are being photographed, and the accessories are ready to go. All that is missing is you! Sit back, relax, and enjoy this time to get your hair and makeup done. Take the 1-2 hours in your day-of planner to allow yourself to be treated and spoiled. Once you are done, take a deep breath and look in the mirror. This is your moment – give yourself the time to take it all in. Don't forget about cute getting ready photos of you and your bridesmaids!

bridal makeup

Sophisticated Grace Photography

  1. Put on the veil last. 

    You don’t put the cherry before the ice cream, right? While the whole day is about appreciating the events at hand, putting on the veil might make you and everyone else shed a few tears. Don’t bother holding it back! 
  1. Do not forget to eat, drink water, and use the restroom. 

    It sounds simple but your day-of wedding agenda cannot forget the most important part of the day, which is making sure you are hydrated and well-fed. Do you want to have your stomach growling or realizing that you need to use the bathroom when you should be saying your vows?
  1. Enlist a helper (or two). 

    Use a trusted friend or family member to be in charge of the vendors and make sure they are paid on time. This is your day and you have prepared months in advance for it. Someone else can have a duty or two for a bit on your day-of wedding agenda

Bridesmaid duties

Russell Heeter 

  1. Freshen up. 

    Use the same trusted friend or family member to bring you mints right before you walk down the aisle. It seems like such a small detail, but trust us. It will calm down your nerves and nice breath is a must – you are about to kiss someone anyway. 
  1. Don't forget to pack your change of shoes! 

    No one wants to be caught barefoot and you can only handle your heels for so long, especially when the music starts playing and the dancing begins. So come ready with an extra pair of flats or even wedding sneakers if you want to still be stylish, yet comfortable. 

 wedding shoes

Russell Heeter

  1. Say, "cheese"! 

    Take the final pictures of you and your bridal party getting ready to start heading out to the ceremony. You might start having some butterflies in your stomach! Next up are pictures at the ceremony and before you know it, you will be taking pictures after the ceremony. 
  1. Have a backup Plan. 

    Guess what? Life happens! Whether it rains, the car breaks down or someone is running late, there is bound to be something. Make sure you have something ready for when Mother Nature strikes. Have an indoor location prepared and your best friend’s camera ready to go for the little things in life that we cannot control on your day-of planner. The sun will still rise the next day and your wedding will be incredibly special, even with its speed bumps.

wedding day

Hannah Kate Photography 

While no two weddings are the same, usually all have the same components. Overall, keep in mind to give out everyone’s schedule so you’re all on the same page, take in the moment that you put on your wedding dress and, get excited for a long, but memorable day ahead of you! This day only happens once and you’ve planned months in advance – you better savor every moment that you can. 

To avoid any last minute catastrophes, preparation is key to make sure your wedding timeline goes according to schedule. Good vendors will help ease any stress you may have and reliable photographers will assure that all the perfect moments are captured on film. If anything goes wrong, do not let it impact your day too much. All that is left is that you enjoy yourself, practice your vows, and live in the moments that will make your day spectacular. 


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    Leave a comment

    Kallie Sisson
    July 05, 2018 09:01

    Great advice! I love the mint idea! Im definitely stealing that one. I know i’m gonna be a nervous wreck right before walking down the aisle!!

    June 28, 2018 10:14

    This very useful advice and I cant wait to use some of it on my big day!

    Elizabeth Powell
    June 20, 2018 14:43

    Great advice! I’m already thinking of yummy breakfast and lunch items my bridal party and I can enjoy. Thanks!

    Miranda Scarpello
    June 20, 2018 14:43

    I am definitely going to be going back to this post and making sure I remember this for my wedding day! There are multiple things on here that I didn’t even think about until I read it. Thank you!

    Taylor chatman
    June 10, 2018 23:17

    I’m making a timeline for the big day is soooo important! Each day I am constantly rough drafting and going over details to assure nothing’s missed.

    June 10, 2018 23:17

    I am planning on eating breakfast with my girls and then starting our day. So I will make sure I eat. :)

    June 08, 2018 08:41

    The day-of timeline has been stressing me out! I hope I don’t feel like I’m herding cats in the day of. :( Thanks for the advice!

    Candace Darling
    June 06, 2018 10:21

    I have already somewhat put together my day of timeline, but seeing this helps a lot.

    June 05, 2018 09:55

    Great advice!! Ill definitely be referring to this as I get closer to my big day.

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