Lets face it, planning a wedding timeline can be tough! My first advice for coordinating your day and ensuring all goes right, is hire a wedding planner! A wedding planner can make things smooth and seamless, and let you relax and take the day in! Secondly, create and follow a timeline. Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry we make this process easy, by sending you a timeline worksheet weeks before your wedding, so we can plan the timeline together in advance and make sure everything goes smoothly.
Here’s a general idea of what your wedding day photo schedule should look like; but keep in mind this may vary, because every wedding is different.
For the Bride: A trial run of hair and makeup always helps to estimate how much time you will need to look your best. To be sure you have enough time to enjoy and relax, add another 30-40 minutes to this for a safety net for any issues that could come up, and if nothing comes up, then you’re golden and you can just sit and relax! You’ll also want to include about 20-25 minutes for getting your dress on. Some wedding dresses are tricky and take a bit of practice and time to get zippered, laced, or buttoned properly. Average time: 1.5-2 hrs.
For the Groom: Most weddings involve some sort of group activity early on, like golfing, playing cards, etc. Afterwards, we will get some details of the grooms finishing touches, shoes, jacket, cufflinks. These little pieces will help tell your story, documenting groom prep is essential. We will finish up with a few portraits of the guys together, fun & formal! Grooms and party usually take a little less time than the bride and bridesmaids, but obviously this can vary. Average time: 30-1 hr
The next phase of your outline can really change here. Consider if you want first look photos with couples portraits, bridal party, and/or family. Or if you want to have all the photos after the ceremony. These variables could really change your timeline. Average time: 1-2hrs. (you want to finish the first look at least an hour before the ceremony, so you don’t run into any guests and have time to relax& freshen up before the ceremony)
Ceremony & Reception:
There is a trend of ceremony services getting shorter and shorter. Thats not to say that they are less important, couples have just been focusing more on the aspects that are truly meaningful to them. Your officiant will give you more information on how long the ceremony will take. Plan for 15-30 additional minutes to allow your guests to exit the ceremony, and 30-45 minutes if you’re planning on having a receiving line. Ceremony Average time: 15 mins-1hr.
Cocktail hour: Depending on what you did before the ceremony (first look/ no first look) can change your timeline here: couple portraits/family & bridal party photos Average time: 1hr.
Guests move to dinner: This time will include Introductions, Toasts/Speeches, and the first dance. Average time: 30mins.
If possible, you will want to sneak away for a few minutes during dinner to do sunset photos. These photos give you a beautiful and romantic look, plus a few minutes of alone time. Average time: 15 mins.
Planning is key to less stress on your big day, so be sure to use your timeline to it’s full potential to capture all the special moments of your day!