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I'm Dolly — a Nashville based family photographer AND a systems + workflow educator (and Podcast Host) for creatives who want to be more streamlined and organized with Systems, Workflows & SOPS to better impact the backend of their businesses. I'm here to help you look awesome (for your photos) & feel great about workflows!
Building a wedding timeline is not for the faint of heart, but if constructed well it can help make your wedding day run smoothly. Discuss your wedding timeline with your wedding planner at least 30 days prior to your wedding so
that you can share the final timeline with all of your wedding vendors. Having a wedding timeline gives you
and your spouse a realistic picture of what to expect for your wedding day. Remember to allow yourself some grace
and some “buffer time” in your timeline because sometimes life happens (for example your hair and makeup team may
go over, or it may take longer to drive from your ceremony location to the reception). So just plan for any unknowns and expect some things to run a little behind just in case!
If you need help with planning out your timeline, check out my top secrets in rocking your wedding timeline HERE
Be communicative with your wedding vendors and let them know the details of your wedding day (reread part one again
because I cannot stress enough how important a good timeline is). Vendors appreciate clear communication from
the bride/groom (or the wedding planner) because expectations will be met, they will know where & when to
set up for the wedding, and they will know their correct point of contact at the wedding. This may seem obvious but be sure to reread your emails before you hit “send”. A hurried, unedited email may come
across as stressed, upset, and unprofessional. Clear, kind, and thoughtful communication goes a long way.
If it is possible, invest in a good wedding planner. Wedding planners are a tremendous lifesaver to you, the bride because they will be the ones coordinating your day so you don’t have to sweat about the details on your actual wedding day. Really
good wedding planners go above and beyond to ensure that all vendors are on the same page of the communication
with wedding timeline, and they even go the extra mile to ensure that everyone has each other’s contact information
so that no one is calling you (the bride) on the day of the wedding with weird questions like, “where should
I put the cake?”, or, “how many tables do the caterers get again?” The only thing that you, the bride, should be
thinking about is how excited you are to get to marry the love of your life!
Okay so I know technically this has nothing to do with your actual wedding day but hear me out! One of the BEST pieces of advice that was given to my husband and me as we were planning our own wedding was Honeymoon related. No, I am not about to get super crass with you over a blog post (that’s not my style) the advice was this: consider leaving for your Honeymoon at least 2 days AFTER the wedding, that way you have plenty of rest for the trip, AND you have allowed yourself to be fully present for your wedding. Meaning, you won’t feel so rushed from one event to the next on your actual wedding day. Many couples book their travel 6-7 hours AFTER the end of their wedding. Let’s say their wedding ends at 10 pm and their flight leaves at 5 am the next day. That means they have to be at the airport at least 2 hours ahead of schedule, which means they are waking up between the ungodly hours of 2-3 AM. It’s just not worth it to be even more frazzled and exhausted going into your honeymoon. Give yourself (and your spouse) a day of rest after your Wedding. Really, seriously, REST.
Then go on that dream vacation you both have been planning for months together. Like I said earlier, this was the BEST advice someone gave me and my husband and I had a BLAST at our wedding because we had no pressure to be at an airport at the end of our Wedding. Again, this is just something to consider so you can enjoy your Wedding without rushing to the next event.
Have a dream venue you have always envisioned getting married at? Be certain to book your venue immediately after you get engaged to determine the location of your ceremony + reception (because most venues are booked up at least 9-12 months in advance). When researching venues keep in mind that every venue has its own set of rules and regulations for wedding parties. Some venues may not allow you to bring in your chosen caterer, your photographer, a DJ, and other key vendors. They may have a preferred list of vendors they only work with that may (or may not) suit your personality, so be
certain to communicate early on with the venue before you sign a contract. Also note: getting married on a Sunday-Thursday will help you save money versus getting married on a Friday or Saturday at most venues.
Soak up every moment (even the stressful moments) because you may laugh about those specific “stressful” moments in the future. Remember, it is just ONE day. ONE DAY. The most important thing to focus on is your Marriage and how to cultivate a healthy and happy relationship with your spouse because you hopefully have MANY
years to get to cherish together. Yes, I know I am a Wedding Vendor and as a Wedding Photographer, my job is to help capture milestone moments from weddings and special events. But, I also am a huge supporter of marriage and all things love. I believe the best love stories are the ones lived together through all the highs and lows of life-and your Wedding is literally Chapter ONE of many chapters you get to experience with your love! So enjoy your day and don’t forget to hit the dance floor too!
For a FREE PDF of how to plan a stress-free wedding please download it here: DDP_ Tips To Help Plan A Stress-Free Wedding (1)
As always, thank you so much for keeping up with my wedding photography adventures! I love serving you all through photography and I especially love working with couples who are joyful and excited about getting married! If you are newly engaged and are looking to work with an elopement or intimate wedding photographer who would best capture and illustrate your love story with radiant and joyful portraits, please feel free to reach out to me! To join my elopement and intimate wedding newsletter (and to receive a free gift) click HERE!