Over the course of the past wedding seasons, I've learned a few tips for creating a timeline that is virtually flawless and will ensure a smooth day:
* Mapquest the distances from location to location. Then, take factors such as how busy of a street you'll be travelling on into consideration and plan accordingly for drive time. You may take pictures in a location that is only 5 minutes walking distance from your ceremony location, but when you add in traffic, time it takes to get you (and your dress) in the car, etc, you can easily rack up 20 minutes.
* End your pre-ceremony pictures at least 30 minutes prior to the ceremony start; an hour is even better. This will give you the necessary time for touch ups and just for some breathing room before the big moment arrives.
* Plan for early guests. In today's society, it's normal to expect someone to arrive about 10 minutes early to an appointment. In Wedding-World, please expect at least one person to show up 30 minutes early. So make sure all set up is ready by this time- I like to see everything done and ready to go 1 hour prior to the ceremony start.
* Pad, Pad, Pad. This is one instance where a little extra padding does good. You may be appalled at the idea of it taking an hour to get into your dress...but is it everyday that you put on a 30 pound, tiered, ball of fabric?
The moral of the story is this: Only in a perfect world would everything go, well, perfectly. So the more padding of time you incorporate into your timeline the better your chances of getting right back on track without even missing a beat when something does end up taking longer than expected on the wedding day.
Any other tips you found to be super helpful on your Big Day?