I was not the bride who dreamed about my wedding. While I was obviously so excited to get married, I didn’t love all the planning. I just wanted a simple day that felt smooth and easy and unrushed. And I wanted a SMALL wedding (like immediate family only) so I could spend time with everyone there. I didn’t like reading wedding articles or books or magazines or anything, mostly because the weddings were NOTHING like what I wanted! But I didn’t know what I didn’t know and when vendors asked me how many hours I needed or asked what time they needed to arrive, I was totally guessing. It wasn’t until I chatted with my photographer that I started to have a real plan of what needed to happen.
I distinctly remember sitting in my apartment kitchen and talking through my wedding day with Hooman Bahrani, the photographer behind Vesic Photography, whom we hired for our engagement photos and wedding day. We went hour by hour, outlining how long things would take and things I might want to factor in (e.g. going for a morning run to relax, a first look, time for just Tommy and me throughout the evening, etc.) I think I took for granted just how lucky I was to have a photographer like him who would take the time to go through all of that with me. And truly, my day was exactly what I wanted. (The only thing I would change is hiring a wedding planner since she truly wasn’t necessary given that Hooman helped me plan my day and everything else was so simple that I was able to coordinate it all.)
We invited only our parents and siblings and a couple of close friends. We had 25 people in attendance. I didn’t have bridesmaids. Tommy didn’t have groomsmen. My dog was my flower girl. We didn’t do a bouquet toss or a grand exit. I started my day with a run and we ended the night with a dance with just the two of us. It was perfection (see our wedding video here) and I would live that day all over again a million times. And Hooman 100% gets credit for how smooth the day went and I’ll forever be grateful for his expertise in creating the timeline for our wedding day.
It goes far beyond a template but instead generates a timeline that is personalized to YOUR WEDDING, down to the minute! There are more details below so keep reading! I’m going to hand the reins over my assistant, Hannah, to talk about her experience planning a wedding and also testing out Hooman’s new timeline. Why Hannah? Because she JUST got married and she had a wedding that was the exact opposite of mine (bridesmaids, hundreds of guests and a large party with a band). Our two experiences prove that Wedding Day Timeline is a MUST for your wedding, no matter how big or how small it is.
Use this link and code AFSF15 for 15% off your Wedding Day Timeline package.
I got married in October 2021 to my high school sweetheart in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. We moved to Southport, NC right after we got married, which is right outside of Wilmington on the coast. We LOVE the beach and the warm weather and feel so lucky to live here!
Mason and I got engaged on Christmas Eve of 2020 (here are our engagement photos and outfit ideas if you’re engaged) and married in the fall of 2021, giving us about 10 months to plan. I grew up dreaming of my wedding. I had a massive Pinterest board, scrapbooks, and even worked for a wedding planner during college because I thought I’d go that route post-grad.
To be fair, we were in the height of a ~rough~ season (thank you, 2020), but even without the external circumstances, wedding planning was a bigger task than I anticipated.
The day was absolutely perfect (in every way, see the video here), but the stress leading up to it was pretty serious. You hear a lot about pre-wedded bliss, and there is a lot of that, but there’s also a lot (a LOT) to do before you’re walking back down the aisle as newleyweds. Especially if you’re planning it without a professional wedding planner like moi.
About two months ago, Teri’s favorite photographer (who shot her engagement and wedding photos, maternity photos and now shoots her family photos), launched a wedding planning tool and I got the chance to try it. It’s called Wedding Day Timeline, and WOW. I cannot tell you how much I WISH I would have had this tool while wedding planning, so I’ll try. The stress it would’ve saved me is worth almost anything.
Today I’m going to share how it works, why you need it as a bride, and how it can even help you save money! Here’s an actual photo of me and Mason two days before the wedding where we were discussing our wedding weekend timeline…BOY would this tool have helped. Alas. You’ll at least have the option to use it for your wedding! And hey, maybe my experience planning a wedding without it and then trying the tool shortly thereafter will convince you of the beauty of it and save you stress and money! :). I hope it does!
Use this link and code AFSF15 for 15% off your Wedding Day Timeline package.
Before I get into why this tool is so great, let me explain what it is. Wedding Day Timeline is an online wedding planning tool that creates a wedding day timeline schedule FOR you. It factors in EVERYTHING to create the perfect timeline for you where nothing will be rushed, late or less than ideal due to poor planning (yes, even wedding planners mess up… is your planner factoring in the amount of daylight??). This tool incorporates things like the exact time of the sunset, the distance from your getting ready location to the wedding ceremony with traffic, your ceremony, the transition to your cocktail hour and location changes (if applicable), and then every detail of your wedding reception. It uses exact coordinates of all locations, the time it takes to drive there, the location of the sun, and the time that you ACTUALLY need at each location. It even includes buffer time for these items, so that your day runs to plan.
Sounds a little intense, right? Right. And if you don’t use Wedding Day Timeline, you’ll be doing that yourself. And unless you’re a habitual bride, you simply don’t have enough experience to plan for everything and even if you can afford a wedding planner, they often leave the timeline to the very last moment… when it’s too late to change the things you need to plan for when booking vendors. The photographer who created the tool has shot hundreds on hundreds of weddings and has seen too often brides who are stressed out, go over budget and worry about making everyone else happy. They blame other circumstances for why they can’t enjoy their day but so many issues can be avoided with a realistic and professional timeline.
Let’s be clear, that timeline is for the hours before we even began the ceremony. This gives you an idea of just how much thought and detail goes into the day of your wedding.
Wedding Day Timeline was created by Hooman Bahrani of Vesic Photography. He’s a professional wedding photographer who’s worked hundreds of weddings himself. He knows first hand (more than even I do!) how much goes into the wedding day, and how detailed the timeline needs to be. He created this software to work for brides at even the very earliest stages of planning.
Let’s take a look at how the same timeline looks on The Wedding Planning Timeline (I added a fake date for an example). Did you breathe a sigh of relief too?
Let’s get a little more detailed about how the program works.
Once you sign up and pay $95 (a drop in the bucket when you look at the total expense of a wedding), you’ll see a personal dashboard. You start by sharing the basics of your wedding day. The date, the locations of the ceremony, reception, and getting ready location if you where it’ll be.
I love that you don’t need to know the details at this point. Hooman recommends that brides start using this wedding timeline template tool. immediately after getting engaged. The philosophy is that walking into a vendor interview with a professional timeline empowers brides to make the best choice for vendors who are able to execute the wedding day experience THEY want, without feeling pressured or bullied into compromising that experience to accommodate a vendor. As soon as you’ve booked the date and picked a venue, you have enough to get started.
Without any real details, Wedding Day Timeline software creates a basic timeline with wedding photographers’ knowledge in mind. Hooman knows exactly how long it takes for bridesmaids photos, a first look, family portraits, a first dance, toasts, cake cutting, garter toss, etc. So the timeline will populate with all of those things in mind, even if you don’t know how the day is going to look for you yet.
Not only that, but it will also create google maps for each wedding day location, so that once you share the timeline with your wedding party, all of their questions will be answered right there.
Now you can personalize your timeline with custom events (I went on a run with my dad that morning, so I’d add that!), and you can edit using drag and drop features so that you never forget a thing. You can edit as many times as you like, giving you full control.
Now that you know how Wedding Day Timeline works, let’s talk about why it’s such a great tool for brides (and why I wish I had it last year!)
Easy is the LAST word I would’ve used to describe the last two months of wedding planning, ha! And while yes, we were dealing with uncertainty surrounding covid affecting our numbers, the last two months are crunch time, no matter how prepared you are.
Wedding Day Timeline does all of the thinking FOR you. Instead of spending hours thinking through how things need to happen (and communicating it with everyone involved), Wedding Day Timeline generates the timeline for you and allows you to share it with your family, maid of honor, the groom, the entire bridal party, and wedding vendors so you’re all on the same page.
Get this, Wedding Day Timeline AUTOMATICALLY sends an updated timeline the week of the wedding to everyone that you’ve included in your wedding party and your vendors. You can let it do its thing if you’re unlike me, or if you’re like me (a serious type-A control freak) you can manually send it to everyone with strict instructions to accompany it, hehe.
And I know what you’re thinking, “But what if things change and you need to make adjustments?”. You have unlimited timeline revisions, so no matter what life throws at you (and I hope it’s nothing!), you’ll have control of your wedding timeline.
Time is not a renewable resource, and when you’re planning a wedding, chances are you’re also working full-time. You probably have other things going like moving, planning a honeymoon, and oh, I don’t know, spending time with your fiancé! And your most valuable resource is your time. Wedding Day Timeline does all of the grunt work for you, thinking through each detail that you may not even know about. It allows you to be in control of the day, and you’ll know exactly how things are going to run the day-of, without sacrificing precious hours with the love of your life.
This is a benefit that every single person will appreciate, even if you’re not a control-freak or planner like I am. Knowing what your wedding day is going to look like months prior to the day of allows you to book vendors for the exact times you need them. If you’re in the midst of planning right now, you know that most vendors charge based on time, but you may not have any idea of how long you’ll really need them. And to make sure you’re not cutting corners, you’ll likely pay more than you need to for time that actually you don’t need or you’ll underbook hours and then end up paying overtime fees. Think about hair and makeup or even your wedding photographers and videographers. It can add up quickly.
Do you really need 10 hours of wedding day coverage for your photography, or do you just think you do because that’s their mid-tier package and you don’t want to skimp? After looking at the timeline that Wedding Day Timeline generates for you, you’ll know EXACTLY how much photography coverage you need for the big day. Then you can book with confidence, knowing that you’re not spending more money than you need to.
It’s also worth noting that using this program to keep track of timelines, vendors, and communications may also cut out the cost of a wedding planner. You may still want a coordination for the day of, but this program does most of the pre-planning for you!
I hopped on a Zoom with Hooman while he was finalizing this program, and I was BLOWN away by how much detail it included. I couldn’t stop affirming just how helpful this tool would’ve been for my wedding planning months. If I had known about it back in January when I started wedding planning, I truly think a large chunk of my stress would’ve been taken care of.
If you’re a bride who’s starting to plan her wedding, buy this program and thank me later. And if you’re not thinking about your timeline yet, I promise you will be soon. Do yourself a favor and use this before you’re stressing over details. Give yourself the gift of bliss leading up to your wedding.
Teri has a discount code for her readers (lucky you!) to save 15% off Wedding Day Timeline, and it would make a GREAT gift for newly engaged gals.
Use this link and code AFSF15 for 15% off!