October 22, 2019

5 Threats to Destroy Your Wedding Timeline

FILED IN: For Brides

Weddings are so unique in the fact that they literally involve dozens of people helping you pull things together. From your team of professional vendors to your families & bridal party it’s a lot of people. While that’s a great thing, it also means your day isn’t 100% in your control. Some things are left to the people you choose to include in your day.

Over 100 weddings later we’ve seen lots of things go wrong, and lots of things destroy a beautifully planned timeline. We do everything in our power but just like you, we can’t control everyone or everything. Today, we thought we’d break it down to the top 5 things/parts of the day we’ve seen throw a wrench in timelines.

No. 1 Hair & Makeup

Hands down, this one throws off more of our timelines than anything else. We’ve heard brides say they were told to go last or that they only needed an hour for both. Don’t listen!! Always plan way more time than you think you need for your hair & makeup.

Also, please go first!! Especially if you have multiple bridesmaids & your mom also getting ready. Allowing yourself & your mom to go first means that the people who need to be ready at X time for getting ready photos are ready on time. We would rather you get touch-ups right before than still be waiting on all your makeup to be done if something were to go awry.

Hair & makeup artists don’t ever mean to throw off a timeline. Know that! Normally it’s the fact it’s hard to wrangle an active bridal party and get everyone to be where they need to on time. Talking to your bridesmaids beforehand and letting them know how important it is to listen to your vendors will be a huge help!!

No. 2 Your Spouse/S.O. Not Being On Board

Sadly, we see a lot of times where one of the people getting married just isn’t into staying on time. They either disappear, get caught up doing something they should be letting someone else do, or they just don’t want to participate. That can put a huge damper on things and destroy your timeline.

No one wants their groom to show up an hour late, or for him to just say he’s done with photos 5 minutes in. The best way to alleviate this is to be proactive. Talk about it before your wedding day. Express how important it is to you to follow your timeline, get photos, etc. Figure out what you can do to help incentivize them to get with the program. Maybe a break here or there would be ideal, or maybe having their favorite snacks on stand-by.

If they’re stressing over the timeline not being “free” enough, add more time to your timeline. It can be as restrictive or free-flowing as you let it be. Be aware though, it does cost to have vendors stay a long time, but it’s worth it in the end if you get your dream day and photos!

Birmingham, Alabama Wedding Photographers Katie & Alec - Classic Hamilton Place at Pursell Farms Wedding 6

No. 3 Family Not Listening/Showing Up On Time

You may see a trend here… people have a way of throwing off your timeline. Family is no exception. We recommend keeping family photos to only your immediate families & grandparents. We do this because those are your most important people, and the less people involved, the less likely things are to go wrong. If you want extended family photos make a list and have those done during your reception to save time & stress.

Also, tell the people in your family photos where to be and when. Heck, tell them to get there 10 minutes earlier than they need to. This will help stop people from being late or claiming they didn’t know where they needed to be.

No. 4 Too Many People Involved

Just like with the family list, quantity doesn’t beat quality. When choosing who you want in formal photos, your bridal party, or family groupings choose wisely. Don’t feel pressured to involve 5 of your middle school friends you haven’t talked to in years. The more people you add to the mix, the more chaotic it can be and the more likely it is to destroy your timeline. Also, don’t feel like everyone has to be in your getting ready room.

Choose people you love, trust & who are willing to serve you. Those are the people who will show up early & help keep things moving. These are the people who care more about you than their own agenda or timeline.

If you can’t narrow down the bridal party or want a huge family list because your family is huge, add time for it. If it’s important to you, then it’s worth the investment with your vendors to make sure there is time for it. Add in 30 more minutes for family photos, take your time with them & know you won’t have to rush.

Allie & Christian's Bridgestreet Gallery & Loft Wedding | Wedding Photographers in Birmingham, Alabama Katie & Alec Photography 77

No. 5 Smoking Breaks & Excessive Drinking

When it comes to your wedding day, please make time for smoke breaks if you’ll need them. Smoking takes a lot longer than most people think, and if you, your bridal party or family are all big smokers that can be like herding cats. Trying to find one uncle on a smoke break only to have him come in and have lost a cousin because they’re taking one is miserable. It can literally destroy your timeline in a matter of minutes. Plan ahead, tell everyone to smoke beforehand & schedule in a break if it is that important.

For drinking, please have your bridal party hang back on that. Nothing is harder than trying to wrangle a drunk bridal party because they’re normally so slow and a *little* defiant. Save the heavy drinking for the reception when all your formal photos are already over. Its not worth letting it destroy your timeline or photos!


We hope these tips & tricks help you prevent timeline disasters &  help your wedding day run smoothly. They’re all learned from experience & we’d love to save you any extra stress or heartache we can. Of course, if you have any questions ask away! Your wedding day timeline is totally up to you. You have the freedom to make it what you want it, but your decisions truly will impact the flow of your day and what photos you can get. Think through what is most important to you. We’re here to help all our KA couples with their timelines if you have questions!



Katie & Alec


Did you love learning how to save your timeline & not watch people destroy it? If so, we have a whole series of tips for brides you’ll love! Check it out here!


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