Planning Your Wedding Timeline

I believe planning your wedding day timeline ahead of the big day is key to having everything run smoothly and stress-free. As a photographer, assisting clients with planning the wedding timeline is sometimes part of the job, particularly for those without wedding planners. Unlike other vendors, we are there throughout the day, and we are under pressure to capture certain crucial moments. Having the day run smoothly is as important to us as it should be to our clients. After all, it is your wedding, and the last thing it should be is stressful! I decided to write this wedding timeline guide to help you plan ahead of time.

Lay out the key moments

* Your Ceremony Starts at:

* Your Reception Starts at:

* Your Exit is at:

Things to note:




Lighting - Morning or Evening Wedding

First Look

Talk To Your Vendors

The first look can be deeply romantic and make for some amazing pictures, ideally you'll want to do this pre-ceremony once you're ready and while guests are finding their seating for the ceremony. If you aren't doing a first look, you can allot that time for something else.

It's important to communicate clearly with all vendors. Make note of when florals are delivered, when the makeup/hair stylists arrive, when the DJ arrives, caterer, cake, etc. If you're traveling between locations make sure to include traveling times considering traffic.

This sample timeline is meant to give you an idea of the average time of events, and details that I've observed throughout the years. You should always consider natural lighting when making your timeline. This timeline is set as an 8-hour evening wedding Summer/Fall.

Planning Your Wedding Timeline


11:00AM Bridal party arrives and begins getting ready

1:00PM Bride hair & makeup

1:30pm Groomsmen arrive and begin getting ready

2:00PM Photographer arrives photographs details and candids

2:30PM Bride puts on dress/final touches

3:00PM Bridal portraits

3:30PM Wedding party portraits

4:00PM First Look

4:30PM Wedding party pre-ceremony candid

5:00PM Family formal portraits

5:45PM Ceremony

6:15PM Cocktail Hour/Golden Hour bride and

groom portraits/Guest candids

6:45PM Grand Entrance/Toasts/Dinner

8:00:PM Cake Cutting/Bouquet

8:15PM First Dance/Parents Dance

8:30PM Open Dance Floor/Candids

11:00PM Grand Exit

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