Planning a wedding is usually a one-time thing. Without the experience of planning one before, how are you to know all the ins and outs of planning the day’s timeline? You just aren’t. Yet, the flow of the day is just as important as flowers, lighting, and your venue choice. If you are running late or early, food can get cold and guests will be left waiting with nothing to do.

So as you plan your wedding day timeline, avoid these top 10 mistakes!


You don’t have a schedule for your bridesmaids’ hair and make-up the morning of the wedding, leaving everyone scrambling and ultimately running behind schedule.

How to fix it: Work with your hair and make-up artists to create time slots for each bridesmaid and yourself. Then, let your bridesmaids know what time to be ready in the morning and whether they should come with wet or dry hair.


You don’t plan enough time to put your dress wedding dress on.

How to fix it: Plan to put your wedding dress on one hour before you need to leave for the ceremony. This will give you time to touch up hair and make-up, enjoy being in your dress, savour time with your bridesmaids and parents, and take a few photos.

Getting dressed

{The Talent: Ryan Ray Photography}


You don’t leave time for your band to set-up and sound check.

How to fix it: A band will usually need about an hour to set-up and sound check in the area they will be playing. If this is the room you are having dinner in, arrange for them to do this before guests enter the room.


You don’t plan your photo timings with your photographer before the wedding.

How to fix it: Leaving a photographer to take you off for photos (usually during your drinks reception) can lead to very long, over run sessions. Set clear time limits on photos before the wedding and ensure your photographer plans to get to your venue early to scout locations and formulate a plan. Similarly, you need to know how long your photographer expects to have to create their magic. So, communication is key!


You don’t tell family members ahead of time who, when, and where they will be needed for family portraits. 

How to fix it: Ensure that you have a full list of the names of family members that will be needed for family portraits. Share this list with your photographer and with your family and ensure your family know when and where to meet for portraits (e.g., outside the church, right after the ceremony)– before the wedding day.

Wedding Mistakes to Avoid_0056

{The Talent: Jose Villa}


You don’t factor in time for an all-guest group photo. 

How to fix it: A group photo can take a surprisingly long time. Plan to take it at a time when guests are already on the move as a group. For example, stop everyone in a “bottleneck” as they are making their way into dinner.


 You don’t plan enough time for a receiving line.

How to fix it: If you decide to having a receiving line, allow 20 minutes plus 10 minutes per 50 guests. So, for 100 guests allow, 40 minutes.


You don’t factor speeches into your dinner timings.

How to fix it: Ask your speakers how long their speeches will be well in advance and factor this into your schedule. Give this to your caterers so they know when your dinner courses need to be ready (and hot!) to be served.


You don’t leave time for your suppliers to clean up at the end of the evening.  

How to fix it: Before you even begin planning, make sure to check what time everything needs cleared out of your venue. Otherwise, you may be left paying overtime charges.


You hire transportation for yourself or guests that get lost or stuck in traffic.

 How to fix it: First, make sure to check for any possible road closures taking place on your wedding day that could affect traffic (e.g, marathons, cycling events, etc.). Second, a week before your wedding ask for the mobile number of the actual drivers who will be driving your guests. Get in contact and ensure they know directions.

Wedding Mistakes to Avoid_0057

{The Talent: Jose Villa}