How DO you make a wedding day timeline? It’s honestly super simple, and super easy. What’s funny about making a wedding day timeline is that you actually start from the middle. Well – you start from your ceremony time and work backwards from there. And then you work forwards from there. I know – sounds crazy right? But it’s so trueeeee.

Because your ceremony time is the actual most important time in the schedule. Everything in the day before that time, is leading up to that point, and everything after cannot start until the ceremony happens. Sooooo. What time is your ceremony?

Let’s say you have a 5pm ceremony. Great. Working backwards – you generally want to be at the ceremony venue at least 1 hour before the ceremony (if you’re not already there, getting ready, etc.)

Wedding day timeline

And then if you’re having a first look – you’ll want to do that no later than 1.5 hours before your ceremony, that puts us at 3:30 pm for your first look. Everything before your first look is all just “getting ready” time. That means getting your hair and makeup done, getting dressed, making sure you arrive at the ceremony venue (again – if you’re not already there). AND it also includes getting everyone else dressed and ready to go. If you have bridesmaids/groomsmen/persons – then you’ll want to make sure they have the schedule as well. Unlike your guests – they’re A PART of the wedding and so they need to be finished and prepared as well.

Now if that means that you need to start getting ready at 10am, or 9am for a 5pm ceremony – that’s just what it’s going to take and you should plan accordingly. If that means that no matter what’s going on – YOU need to be in hair and makeup by 1pm – then THAT’S WHAT MUST HAPPEN.

So. What about the schedule after the ceremony? That’s super easy as well.

After your ceremony, you have about one hour for family portraits, and your wedding party portraits, and then maybe your couples portrait if you didn’t do that beforehand during the first look. Well – an hour/ hour and a half is great – depending on how slow your photographer is at doing all of those family formal portraits (we’re pretty damn fast FYI 😉

Then it’s all reception time and you just figure out what exactly you want to do during your reception. Having dinner? Allot the right amount of time for food to be served and eat – and if that’s going to be too long – you can also interrupt dinner by simply having some of the ‘wedding events’ take place while people are eating and drinking. Like speeches, and toasts, and the first dance, and parent dances. Or you can do those all at the very beginning. It’s really how you think you’ll want the night to flow. Some people do EVERYTHING all at the very beginning – so that then everyone is free to just PARTY HARD – and not be interrupted by things like boring speeches or heartfelt words of love. And sometimes you want the evening to progress at a more measured pace.

But really in the end – you can do whatever you want to do and have it go however you’d like it to go. Having a planned schedule or at the very least a simple outline helps A LOT.

And hey – if you’d like to talk, just fill out the form below – or text us at 518-945-0724 

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How to pick a wedding photographer. Atlanta Wedding Photographers LeahAndMark.