Top Tips For How to Schedule Your Wedding

Planning a wedding should be a fun experience. Choosing a venue, your suppliers, what you’re going to wear, what food you’re going to eat. All enjoyable experiences in themselves. But there’s one part a lot of people find less fun – the logistics of timings and getting around from place to place. It can suck a lot of the good feelings out of your day!

I’ve already shared some advice on how to have a stress-free wedding morning, which covers planning and timing for that section of the day. So, here are my top tips for how to schedule your wedding from the ceremony and beyond! 

Hopefully, being aware of timings will make it easier to make decisions about your day and be better prepared. Preparation reduces stress, after all!

bride and groom in a helicopter

Consider Travel Times

It’s a part of the day many people forget about. But it can take up a significant amount of time, depending on where your prep, ceremony and reception locations all are. Getting from place to place is probably the number one reason weddings run behind. Especially if you get stuck in traffic or, worse, you have a vehicle breakdown on the way!

So, do consider the location of your ceremony and reception and how long it’s going to take to get to each place. Also, research different routes to allow for any issues and how much time this might add to your journey.

Ways to reduce the time spent travelling might include: 

  • Booking a hotel near your ceremony where you can get ready
  • Choosing a venue where the ceremony and reception are held in one place

Also, remember your photographer will need to leave before you so they can be at the ceremony before you arrive. This means you’ll need to be ready at least 30 minutes before you’re due to leave to allow time for some photographs!

fun family shot

Family/Group Photos

I’ve lost count of how many people have told me about weddings they’ve attended where group photos took hours and caused a lot of stress on the day. No wedding day should leave people with those memories!

When it comes to group photos, they are the most tedious part of any wedding. Getting formal group shots of certain family and friends does involve a lot of standing around and waiting for your name to be called! There’s also the fear that it stops you from mingling with your guests and enjoying your special day.

My top tip here is to work with your wedding photographer and get this part of the day organised. Most photographers can suggest a set shot list or recommend you choose a set number of groups you’d like on the day.

A general rule of thumb is that it takes around 5 minutes to set up one group shot. By that definition, 6 groups can take around half an hour to work through. So if you don’t want to be standing around for hours on end, a smaller number of group shots is always advisable!

I always aim to work through this part of the day as quickly as possible. That way, you can get back to chatting with friends and family and enjoying the rest of your day. I’ll ask you to nominate a couple of people who can help me work through the list. I recommend a family member from each side who knows everyone and can run and grab wandering aunts and uncles at the right time! Try and choose confident and loud people for this job. Oh, and make sure you ask them if they’re happy to do it before the wedding. No one likes to have work sprung on them without warning when they’re supposed to be relaxing with a drink in hand, do they?

Receiving Lines

A receiving line is a tradition where you, the couple, and your parents line before dinner to greet every guest as they enter the room.

It is a lovely way to ensure you say hello to every guest because there’ll always be someone you didn’t get around to chatting with by the end of the day. However, in my experience, receiving lines always take longer than anticipated as each guest stops to hug you and has a chat with you. 

The more guests you have, the longer this part of your day will take!

I would suggest weighing up the pros and cons of having a receiving line. If you’re not keen on standing around for that long, there’s another option for you. Why not, between each course, pop around a few of the tables and speak to your guests that way? It’s a less formal way of doing things but will help to make your guests feel welcome and part of your day.

Things Fall Into Place

As the evening progresses, you’ll find that things fall into place and time is much less of an issue after dinner! Some venues are quite rigid with ensuring your cake gets cut and your first dance happens at a reasonable time. Others not so much! The only thing I’d say is, make sure you get these done early enough if you want them captured by your photographer. Unless your photographer has already said they’re happy to stay all evening, of course!

Got your timings in order and want a photographer who’s not going to keep you from your guests for half the day? We should chat! Get in touch and tell me all about your big day!