One of the most important things when it comes to planning your wedding is planning the actual wedding day (a.k.a. wedding day timeline). This is, after all, how everything you have been planning for months will come together. More often than not, this is left to do for the very end, and while it can only take you a couple of hours to do once you finally seat down to do it, not knowing how things go can leave you hanging on the tragic day zone.

Here is a list of things that you need to account for when planning your wedding day that are often forgotten and develop into timeline tragedies:

1. Wedding party having to pee at inconvenient times:

When you mix a group of about 5-10 people and provide them with fluids all day to keep them hydrated and entertained, people have to pee frequently. It happens very often, we are going to take a group picture, and we have to wait because we can’t find someone, and where is that person, you guessed it: went to pee.

If you are in a place with multiple toilet stalls, sending everyone to pee can be done 5 minutes before you have to jump in the car, but if you are in a hotel room, with one toilet, it can take at least 30 minutes. And I am not even talking about the time everyone is going to spend in the mirror putting on more lipstick or fixing stray hairs.

How to avoid the tragedy?

Add toilet time to your schedule. Make a note for whoever is running the schedule to remember the wedding party to “go pee-pee” when they have about 5-10 min left before having to leave. If I where you, I would add this every time people are about to move from one location to another, especially if the second one will be outdoors. Sounds childish, but I have found that a semi-drunk wedding party does not behave too differently than my 2yr old toddler.

This does not mean you have to add more time to your day, as this can be done simultaneously while other events are happening, and yes people can go to the restroom anytime they need, not just during the assigned time. But by putting it on your schedule and making sure people are reminded ensures that you won’t have to stop at a gas station for emergency peeing before you reach your venue or keep waiting for your party midway group photos.

2. Only including the traveling time when driving between locations:

Picture this, it is time to leave. You grab your things, your water, and tell everyone it is time to leave. You begin looking for your veil, wait where is your veil? Everyone beings looking frantically for the veil. Then Anna steps out of the restroom and tells you she put it back in the closet to keep it from wrinkling. Just like this, several things have to be done and recollected before you can actually get in the car and leave. Your change of clothes, everyone else’s flowers, the flower girl, extra tape for your dress, etc. Searching for all these things and making sure they are actually getting to the place they need to be, takes time.

How to avoid the tragedy?

Allocate 15 minutes of time every time you need to get in a car and make a list beforehand of stuff that needs to go with you.

3. Hair and makeup taking longer:

While in most cases is not even the HMUA fault, the one thing that 99% of the time runs late, is hair and makeup. Being it one of the first things of the day, hair and makeup running late mean everything else being rushed after.

How to avoid the tragedy?

Do yourself a favor and add a least 30 minutes of HMU time and don’t tell anyone. So if you need to be ready by 1 pm, tell your HMUA and your bride squad that everyone needs to be ready by 12:30 pm. 😉

4. Not planning brakes for yourself:

Wedding day events never go as planned. Things get delayed. People take the wrong turn and get lost. The cellular signal can fail. Things happen, and while you cannot account for every possible thing that might go wrong on your day, you need to ensure you have time to enjoy all these wedding day mishaps.

How to avoid the tragedy:

Instead of rushing and packing your timeline to the second, allocate time to sit and relax (and have a drink). This way you will enjoy your day even more. Stuff will still happen, but the time you allocate to yourself will serve as buffer time when things get delayed, and even better, if you end up having to wait for things, you make sure that at least you are waiting with a drink on your hand. I always advise my couples to plan a 30-minute break before the ceremony and at another shorter one before the reception. 

There you have it. That is my list of things that are often overlooked when planning a wedding timeline that leads to timeline tragedies on your wedding day. However, your photographer should already know this, and when you sit together to plan your timeline he or she will be able to help you decide which other parts of the day need buffer time. Remember: every wedding day is unique.