Boy have I been sitting on this one. It seems like every time I feel like I have this nailed, I change my mind and deconstruct the entire article. That’s the beauty in this shit though, we can change our minds and evolve. When it comes to WEDDING TIMELINE STRATEGIES and just the general aspect of working a wedding one needs to be like water and adapt to any situation that presents itself ( insert cute changing of the mind metaphor here ). You ever just stick to your guns so hard that afterwards you think ” hmmm I should have done xyz differently “? Adapt to the situations, that’s all I’m saying. By having a kick ass timeline that’s tailored to how you WANT the day to flow is super super key to having time to…well have a good time. So let’s jump in to this opinion of mine and see if I can get you to bend the ways you think about how WEDDING TIMELINES should be structured.


First and foremost, this is YOUR wedding. Never forget that. You have total power over every aspect of how you want this dope ass day to go down. The problem is the stigma we all have that someone somewhere is telling us we MUST follow a certain tradition in how the groundwork is laid out to pull off a wedding day. It’s like so many damn wedding have taken place we just boxed ourselves in to the thought of ” this is how it MUST be done “. Quick side note – I am all for traditional weddings and would never try to talk you out of it, my main point is…well…let’s keep reading so my side note doesn’t become too damn long.

In my opinion ( although rare, we are totally still allowed to have those these days ) the wedding day should be about celebrating who you are ( OHHHH SO CONTROVERSIAL! ). Some add little touches here and there of things that touched their souls and others have lavish blow out weddings with upside down cakes and 7000 ft long trains. Both of these are totally ok, but if they don’t reflect who you are really then after the dust settles you’ll have a sense of disappointment or regret. Guests don’t want to see your representative at your wedding, they want to see you. I mean that’s why they’re your friends right? So if building your wedding day is contradictory to who you are then why try to cram a square into a circle?


In the last few years there has been a growing movement to have elopements, either up on the pointy peaks of god knows whatever mountain top or deep in the forrest where Bigfoot is the only witness. These couples sacrifice celebrating with family and friends for a more intimate moment together and that’s awesome. Sometimes it’s budget reasons. Whatever the reason may be, they are doing it the way THEY want to. On the opposite side of the spectrum you have the average structured wedding day : 1. Prep 2. Portraits 3. Ceremony 4. Family pictures 5. Cocktail hr 6. Dinner 7. Dances 8. Cake Cutting 9. Bouquet Toss 10. Garter Toss 11. Party time. As humans we generally lean towards the – what is the simplest most effective route – type of thinking. For example you pay a bunch of vendors to set everything up, create a timeline and you just show up. Simple and effective no doubt. But 90% of the time whenever I do my consultations and go over timelines or the visions couples have for their wedding day it’s totally contradictory to this handed down structure? It’s amazing really. Never forget you have TOTAL control over what you want included in your wedding day. Don’t want throw flowers? Take it out. Could care less about cutting a cake? Happy Birthday to the ground. If you take these things out it only free’s up more time for other stuff…you know like partying with everyone. Do you need 30 people in your wedding party ? ( which I believe were considered ” handlers ” back in the old days…I could be wrong about that ). I don’t want to go off on tangents but there’s a TON of ways you can create more time in the limited amount of time you have at a venue and more time to party and more importantly enjoy the moments with your family and friends.

So let’s break it down below.

  1. Your wedding day is yours alone. Don’t be fooled into scheduling things you don’t feel are important. It doesn’t matter if it’s important to your parents, it’s your wedding day not theirs. It seems harsh but really think about it.
  2. You don’t have to simply stand there during your ceremony – One couple chose to be mic’d up and instead addressed everyone in attendance with stories about how each one inspired them as well as funny stories too. This was their vows. It was awesome. The officiant was simply there to make it legal. You can add any twist to it you see fit or keep it basic.
  3. Do the Modern First Look – Don’t even think twice, break the mold and buy yourself more time with everyone to party together. It not only allows us to finish sooner but also allows us to get through family pictures earlier so you can enjoy cocktail hour.
  4. Ditch the wedding party?? – No, but think about keeping it to one or two people on each side. If you have friends who will get butt ass hurt about not being a part of the wedding party…what does that say about the way they value our decisions? Keep it small so you can have more time to party with them later.
  5. Cakes / Bouquets / Garters – If you aren’t into that don’t do it. It’s super simple and no one will care.

All I’m trying to say is that when you put together your timeline, tailor it to include aspects of your wedding that make it genuinely yours, or don’t. From my own experience my regret is that I didn’t have time to enjoy the company of guests and instead did a bunch of shit that meant and still means nothing to me ( or my wife ) compared to the fun I could have actually had.

The MYTH VS FACT is this. You absolutely do need structure on your wedding day, the myth is that it needs to be forged from the fires of antiquity and force you to comply with outdated rituals that you’re probably not into or even understand fully. Don’t be afraid to change shit up.

While you’re here feel free to check out some of the other incredible weddings I’ve been a part of as well as advice you’ll need when debating that First Look!

May + Mike | FCC Los Angeles Wedding

First Looks. Traditional VS Modern and why you should always choose the latter.

Leslie + Vlad | El Encanto Santa Barbara Wedding

Ryan + Trent | El Matador Malibu Engagement

Emily + Joseph | Hacienda Heights Country Club Wedding

Gail + Brian | Figueroa Mountain Wedding

I want to tell YOUR story and be you’re PASADENA WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER! Chat with me today to see if your date is still available!




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