Planning out a timeline can be HARD and maybe you have no idea where to begin. Everyone that you ask is probably throwing different ideas and suggestions your way and navigating that can feel overwhelming.

Here are some tips from a photographer's perspective to planning a relaxing, fun, memorable wedding day.

1. Keep lighting and time of day in mind.
If you're getting married in June, you can pretty much count on there being light in the sky until 9 p.m. But does your first look fall right around noon, when the sun is the highest in the sky and casts harsh shadows? Or if you're getting married in January, maybe you want to consider ending your ceremony before 4 p.m. so you don't loose light for portraits with your love.
2. Take travel time into account.
Whether "travel" means the 30 second walk from your ceremony to reception or a drive across the entire city of Seattle (I've done it), it's important to account for this time and to always leave some wiggle room. Which brings me to my next tip.
3. Budget extra time for EVERYTHING.
There are some things you just won't be able to control on your wedding day. Maybe someone was running late. Maybe we couldn't find the corsages. we couldn't find Grandpa when it was time for family photos. Maybe Grandma has a hard time walking and it takes her awhile to get into position. You don't want to assume that things will go wrong, but having a rigid schedule makes everyone stressed. Budgeting extra time allows you to sit back, relax and enjoy. And if you have 15 more minutes to do nothing before the next thing starts, take that time to soak in the day with your love.
4. Consult the experts.
Obviously, wedding planners and day-of coordinators if you have one are a GREAT resource. They can help you plan out your day and show you what it could look like. But I encourage you to absolutely consult your photographer as well. While coordinators may be the experts on planning for how long you should budget for your receiving line or how long getting 150 people through a buffet actually takes, photographers are the ones who know how long you should schedule photos for. Getting 25 people in one photo to focus, get into a group, look good and smile at the same time is even harder than it sounds. Consult your photographer about how long they would feel comfortable having for photos. Or read my guide below!
So how long should you budget for wedding photography at every point? Some of these elements may seem long on paper, but the day is going to fly by, and it's important to allow adequate time to capture your precious memories. Also, I guarantee I'll make our photo sessions a blast, so it won't feel like a long time at all.
Ideal Time Allotment - 30 minutes
These photos include your rings, your dress, shoes, invitations, and other details that you so carefully thought out for your special day. It takes some time to get these shots perfectly laid out, but it's so worth it in the end to get all the details captured that you spent so much time planning out for your day. These details can be so intimate and special - for example, in the first photo you see here, the bride's dad handmade the box that their rings are in. It's so special to have something like that captured to remember forever
Ideal Time Allotment - 45 minutes
These photos are such a fun, casual and yet intimate way to capture the moments leading up to marrying the love of your life. Some of my personal favorites include final touches on makeup, moms and bridesmaids buttoning up the bride's dress, putting on shoes, jewelry, etc, and groomsmen goofing around. These look like whatever you want them to though, and can really capture candid, sweet moments with you and all your friends in a laid back setting.
It's especially important to allow for a lot of time for these shots if you only have one photographer, as they'll have to bounce back and forth between the bridesmaids and groomsmen. Totally doable, but one photographer can't be in two locations at the same time!