Creating a Wedding Day Timeline isn’t nearly as difficult or challenging as people think it might be.
We Make Amazing Wedding Photos for You
Whether you’re having a large wedding or a small wedding – a lot of the same stuff will happen. You get dressed, you have a ceremony, you have a party – and the entire time you have a photographer following you around and even directing you sometimes for your amazing wedding photos.
If this is your first wedding (insert some kind of joke here) – then you might not know how a regular wedding day goes down. Well that’s why we’re here! To help you out with that! Below is a regular, traditional, awesome wedding day schedule and timeline. This example is partly from your photographer’s point of view and covers an 8 hour timespan. During your planning, START with this wedding day timeline and then MAKE IT YOUR OWN. Seriously – jack this thing up. Twist it around, turn it inside out – it doesn’t matter – it’s YOUR WEDDING RIGHT?
Just don’t touch the allotments for photography… just kidding… no really… don’t touch them.
SAMPLE WEDDING DAY TIMELINE (8 hours of coverage)
1:00 PM YOUR PHOTOGRAPHERS ARRIVE & BEGIN MAKING AMAZING PHOTOS
Your wedding photographers will photograph details such as the dress, shoes, jewelry, bouquet, and of course cover all of your preparation process such as getting your hair & makeup completed, and having a great and relaxing time with your bridesmaids as they get ready as well.
2:00 BRIDE GETS DRESSED
Now is the time to finish getting ready. Don’t worry, your photographer doesn’t have to photograph EVERY part of putting on the dress. What we like to tell brides is “We’ll be right around the corner. Go ahead and put your dress on, but the moment you feel comfortable and covered enough – but not finished – let us know and we’ll come in and start photographing.” What is comfortable is different for everyone, some people are VERY comfortable and others want to be more covered. We leave it up to the bride to decide.
3:00 GROOM MAKES FINAL PREPARATIONS
It’s at this point that we’ll move over to the groom’s side of things. Since we generally don’t need or want photos of the groom and his groomsmen literally putting their pants on, we’ll arrive when they’re nearly finished getting dressed and just start photographing everything – quickly. Same as the brides side, we’ll capture all of the details and then also group photos of all of the groomsmen.
3:30 FIRST LOOK (and then bride & groom portraits)
You won’t have to worry about planning this at all. We’ll find the location, set the groom up in position, and then bring the bride in to surprise him. We kick everyone out of the area so it’s a private moment between the two of you and your photographers
4:00 WEDDING PARTY PHOTOS
After your first look and portrait session, we’ll bring in your wedding party to complete all of the wedding party photos with the two of you.
4:30 HIDE THE BRIDE & GROOM
Of course – the groom doesn’t always stay hidden and often times will walk around greeting guests – but generally this is the time for the entire wedding party to relax, get a drink, or cool off/warm up if the weather’s being crazy. Your photographers will take this time to finish photographing the ceremony site and ceremony details. They may also sneak in and photograph the reception space if it’s ready as well.
This is where you get married!
5:30 FORMAL FAMILY PHOTOS & COCKTAIL HOUR BEGINS
We RUN the family formal session like we’re on a crazy mission to get them finished in record time. We do this EVERY TIME too. Literally. I don’t care if you have 100 people or 10 people for the family photos – we will GET. THEM.DONE. and then you can still get to the last part of your cocktail hour. We want you to be able to spend as much time with your guests – this is about you and not us stealing you away just for our amazing photos (well, it’s not ONLY about that)
6:00 PHOTOGRAPHERS PHOTOGRAPH RECEPTION SPACE (before guests enter!)
6:30 RECEPTION BEGINS!
6:45 GRAND ENTRANCE ANNOUNCEMENTS & First Dance
7:00 DINNER IS SERVED
7:30 SPEECHES & TOASTS
7:45 SPECIAL DANCES (Father/Daughter, Mother/Son, etc.)
8:00 OPEN DANCING
8:15 CAKE CUTTING
8:30 BOUQUET TOSS
9:00 PHOTOGRAPHERS CONCLUDE THEIR COVERAGE
Of course this is just a sample wedding day timeline – but it should give you a good idea of how your wedding day can be scheduled – and you can see how all of that time just literally disappears. Sure – when your photographer tells you that their base package starts at 8 hours of coverage you think to yourself 8 hours is plenty of time! But when you actually write it all down from start to finish – 8 hours of photography coverage can seem like just enoughor not enough to cover everything.
Sample Wedding Day Timeline
Something to note – your reception can happen ANY WAY YOU WANT. Sure there needs to be some sort of ‘dinner’ portion for your guests – but other than that – the order is UP TO YOU. You can do all of the things DURING DINNER if you’d like (special dances, toasts, etc.) or you can space them out as the reception moves along. You can skip them. You can have a 30 minute hora dance spectacular if you’d like (totally had that happen – and it was AMAZING.)
Questions? Ask us. Need more help? Check out our good friends at A Practical Wedding.
So when you’re making and creating your wedding day timeline – just think about how awesome and beautiful and easily your day will flow!