Our Top Tips for a Stress-Free Wedding Day Timeline | Seattle Wedding Photographer

Happy Thursday friends!! Today I’m sharing a few of the tips we have found to be SO important to making sure that your wedding day is stress-free, easy, relaxed, and enjoyable. Before I started shooting weddings, I heard horror stories- about couples who didn’t eat all day, who ran out of time for photos, who didn’t get to enjoy being with their guests because they were stuck taking pictures. And I promised I wouldn’t let that happen in my business. Now let’s be real- pictures take up a LONG time on your wedding day. There’s not really a way around that- there’s just a lot of pictures to be taken! But there are ways to make it less stressful, to get the most bang for your buck, and to make sure that you don’t have to worry about getting plenty of high-quality pictures. Here’s a few of my favorite tips!:


  1. Do a first look: I know it’s not traditional and a lot of people have a hard time with this! But there’s a reason first looks are becoming the standard in the industry, and your photos and timeline are the reason why. If you see each other before the ceremony, it allows us to do every single photo before the ceremony. All of them (except sometimes family portraits). That means once you’re married, you can literally run back down the aisle, and be ready to spend time with the people you love most. And that’s what this day is about- celebrating with the ones you love. The most you might possibly have to do is spend 20 minutes taking family formals- and that just gives your guests a chance to find their seats and enjoy a cocktail at the reception! Trust me on this: it’s worth it. And it’s the SINGLE biggest suggestion I can make to all of my couples to make sure that they’re able to have a relaxed timeline! This deserves its own post it’s so important (but that’s for later).

  2. Give yourself an extra hour (at least): Sometimes people think I’m crazy and say, “You want to start WHEN?!” But Chris and I are huge believers in better safe than sorry (especially on a wedding day!). We don’t want you to have to worry about running late or losing out on photos. We want to make sure you have MORE time than you need! Because if we have too much time, what’s the worst that happens? You get more photos or you get a bit of time to sit down and actually eat with your bridal party before the ceremony! Although usually when we plan for that extra hour, it ends up being JUST enough time- because let’s be honest, something usually runs late! Hair and makeup runs long, someone gets lost on their way to the venue, or something like that! And when that happens, we don’t want our couples to stress. We want to shrug our shoulders and say, “Hey, it’s okay. You know why? We planned for this. We still have time.”

  3. Take 15 minutes after the ceremony to be alone: Your wedding day is spent surrounded by the people you love. And it should be. But I’m a huge believer in making sure our couples get at least 15 minutes to just be alone and soak it in. They just got MARRIED! We want our couples to spend a few minutes together- away from the distraction, away from the noise, and just soak in these precious first moments. We believe it’s so important- not for our sake, but for theirs. That’s why we always send our couples away for a few minutes to just be together!

  4. Schedule time for sunset shots: Usually we do all portraits before the ceremony, and that’s great! That means we’re all done and you can enjoy the festivities! But while we can make all light situations work and get beautiful portraits, the best light is during “golden hour”- the hour just before sunset. We want our couples to get the most for their money- and to us, that means LOTS of portraits!!! We always like to schedule 20-30 minutes to pull the bride and groom away from the reception during this time to get those gorgeous, glowing sunset shots! Not only do you get more photos with some gorgeous light, but it’s also a nice chance to step away from all the noise and just soak in a few more relaxing moments together! Of course this is ALWAYS up to our couples, but we recommend it HIGHLY!!! It’s SO worth it!!!

I have SO many more suggestions we could give to make sure your day runs smoothly and stays nice and relaxed, but these are just a few of my favorites! Your wedding day is such a joyful day and that’s why we love to make sure that it stays as stress-free as possible!

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