You’re wedding is right around the corner and it’s time to start working out the logistics of your big day! It’s time to make the TIMELINE! I love helping couples make good wedding day timelines, because I know with a good timeline and a little planning we can make your day run smoothly and help you achieve beautiful dreamy wedding photographs you can cherish. So, let’s get started!
Sample Wedding Day Timeline
First, I’ll say this is just a sample timeline to give you an idea of how I would plan out a wedding day. You may need to shift these times around due to the time of year you are getting married or if you need to add additional time to any of these parts of the day. Here is the sample wedding day timeline I send all my couples and how I approach an 8 hour wedding day in terms of photography.
Bridal Details 2:30 – 3:15 pm
Every bride loves having those beautiful shots of her details! Detail shots are important because they tell so much of YOUR story. Here is when I can capture your ring, your grandmother’s broach, the letters you’ve written to your groom, the gifts you plan to give your parents, your dress, your shoes, and the list goes on! I normally like to schedule myself ~ 45 minutes for details so I can be sure to capture all your details with care.
Getting Ready / Bridal Prep 3:15 – 3:45 pm
Now it’s time to ‘get ready’! Here we’ll capture photos of you getting into your dress and putting on your jewelry, you and your mom sharing a moment, and you with your bridesmaids. At this time we can sneak in a few extra bridal portraits too!
First Look 4:00 pm
This is probably my favorite part of the wedding day! This is a private time you get to have between you and your groom. And have no fear, I’ll find you the perfect place for your First Look to take place so no other wedding guests will see you. This is a chance for you both to see each other and interact before the ceremony takes place and you see all your guests!
Bride & Groom Portraits 4:15 – 4:45 pm
After you have your First Look together we can take some time to get some romantic portraits of the two of you while your initial excitement is still present! No worries, I’ll find beautiful locations for these shots too! As we are doing these portraits, the bridal party can start making their way over for Bridal Party Portraits!
Bridal Party Portraits 4:50 – 5:20 pm
Now it’s time for the whole gang to get together! Here we’ll get photos of all the groomsmen and bridesmaids! Doing the Bridal Party Portraits before the ceremony saves us lots of time later on so you can get to hanging out with your friends and family quicker.
Bride in Hiding / Reception Details 5:30 – 6:00 pm
This is the part of the day where the whole Bridal Party goes into hiding while all the guests start arriving for your ceremony! At this time I’ll head over to your ceremony and reception space to capture all the beautiful details you’ve put together before all your guests arrive.
Ceremony 6:00 – 6:30 pm
Now, it’s time to get MARRIED! Most ceremonies are 30 minutes long or less. If your ceremony is longer than 30 minutes we’ll just make adjustments to the timeline. Cherish this time. Cherish this part of the day because this is what it’s all about. This is why you are throwing a wedding party. Your ceremony will pass by so quickly, so soak it all in and don’t rush it.
Family Portraits 6:40 – 7:10 pm
Family Portraits usually take place directly after the ceremony. This is best time of day to do these portraits because everyone will be accounted for an present by this time in the day. They will have all just attended your ceremony after all. It will take about 30 minutes for Family Portraits. I’ll send you a questionnaire before your wedding day so I can have a list of all the family arrangements you’d like photographs of. This way you don’t have to remember everything and I’ll have the list printed out and ready to go!
A few Sunset Portraits 7:15 – 7:30 pm
This is the BEST time of day for portraits (at least in the Spring/Summer) because it is so beautiful, glowy, and golden outside! Taking some portraits at this time will help us get those beautiful dreamy photos you’ve been wanting, so don’t skip out here!
Reception Begins! 7:30pm
Now it’s time to line up, do your bridal party introductions and start the party! Now it’s time to mingle, have your first dance, toss that bouquet, eat some cake, and enjoy your day with your friends and family.
The Exit 10:00 pm
Woo hoo! We’ve made it! Here you might want to do a sparkler exit or something fun to end the night!
I hope this sample timeline gives you an idea of how to plan your wedding day well while keeping photography in mind. I want you to have beautiful wedding day photographs you can always cherish. By sticking to a timeline like this one, you can achieve just that.
Have any questions about making your wedding day timeline?
Leave them below and I’d be happy to answer them! Stay tuned for more wedding tips coming soon.