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Timing Is Everything: Crafting the Perfect Timeline for Your Wedding Day

Worry is the worst.

And although sometimes there's a place for it, the beautiful wedding venue you took months finding is not it. Put your worries to rest on your big day with thoughtful and precise planning now so you can focus on the one thing (person) who really matters when it comes time to say "I do." Here are three quick tips (and an example to boot) to get you started.

Autumn + Amanda | Denver, Colorado

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It makes it easy-peasy on you. Sitting down for a couple of hours and talking it over with your person before the wedding day will make it easier on the both of you. Envision your day piece-by-piece and walk through each step before you walk down the aisle. This will allow you to sort out any kinks or disagreements in advance.

Two months before the wedding day, I send each client a few samples from other wedding timelines to digest then go over it with them two weeks out. I ask questions like: Do you want a first look? Who do you want in the photos? Where do you plan on taking your portraits? Your photographer should help you comb through the details for smooth sailing down the road.

Derek + Amanda | Columbus, Ohio

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It helps the day run smoothly. No one has to come up to you hassling you about what happens next. (Insert gasps here.) Yes, this is totally feasible with thoughtful prior planning. A copy of the timeline should be sent to the wedding coordinator (if you have one), the DJ, your parent-in-laws (thats a big one) and your photographer. I even sometimes have people print them off and put them in the goodie bags they give their bridesmaids! It just helps keep everyone on the same page while focusing on the little moments that matter. (For more on this, read 10 Little Moments Every Wedding Photographer Adores)

Holly + Tara | Lake Lure, North Carolina.

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It helps insure that you get the photos you want. If you don't tell your photographer prior to your wedding day that you want a photo of "Uncle Bob" who's flying in from Hungary, then the chances are high that it's not going to happen. Your photographer should float around the room at the reception so everyone can be photographed at least once. But if for some reason that doesn't happen and you've crafted a bulletproof timeline, your photographer will know what to capture.

{b o n u s}

Start at the time the ceremony begins and work your way backwards! For example:

5:00pm - Wedding ceremony

4:30pm - Wedding party takes their mark

4:00pm - First look photos

3:30pm - Groomsmen photos

3:00pm - Groomsmen get ready

2:30pm - Bridesmaids Photos

2:00pm - Bridesmaids get into attire

1:30pm - Finishing touches

1:00pm - Break time! Lunch delivered to rooms

12:30pm - Hair and Make-up

12:00pm- Photographer arrives

11:30am - Hit the showers

11:00am - Bridal party brunch

10:00am - Gather everything for the honeymoon

9:30am - Wake up! It's your wedding day!

The wedding timeline doesn't have to be perfect but it should be a general guideline as to how the day plays out. Always stay flexible and open minded and never lose sight of why everyone has come together. While you're here, check out this little number on a recent wedding I captured that left me pretty teary.

All photos are taken by Emma Parker Photography.

For more information please contact Emma at

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