As a wedding photographer doing many different weddings generally around the same time, there is one thing I love getting most from my brides. The wedding day timeline.
"Why have a timeline?" you may ask. "Don't I have enough to worry about and plan and pay and do leading up to the BIGGEST DAY EVER??"
Well, let me tell you something. This wedding day timeline will blow your mind. It'll get (almost) everyone off your back and be a good reference point for Forgetful Fred so he's there on time for the rehearsal dinner the day before, or the family portraits on the day of. The timeline frees up time and minimizes stress for YOU, keeps things in order, etc etc... and what bride and groom wouldn't be all about that?
The timeline can be as detailed or as relaxed as you want it to be. It can be from writing hour by hour who/when/where/what the bride's or groom's side is up to, to just making it a general itinerary of the day so that everybody- and I mean EVERYBODY- even remotely involved in the wedding is on the same train to Happily Ever After town. Bridal Guide and Brides.com both have EXCELLENT articles about general time frames for each part of the day.
When I made my own timeline for my wedding day last year, I made sure to send it to everybody. Here's what I mean by everybody: family. bridal party. MC. venue. photographer. videographer. florist. You get the gist.
The timeline is a really strong stress reliever, as it allows you to wake up and feel confident and relaxed, not only in your wedding vendors, but in the general flow of the day. The wedding day is fast paced and can be overwhelming at times, so having something concrete to refer back to will help keep you grounded and cool. And don't worry if you don't stick strictly with the timing of everything- it happens! But at least you'll know- as well as everyone else- where you're headed to. And that's the best feeling of all!