Are you in the early stages of planning your wedding and wondering how to put together your wedding day timeline?
Planning a wedding timeline can seem confusing at first, but don’t worry I’m here to help!
To get started all you need to know is the start and end time of your ceremony, the start time of your cocktail hour/reception, and all the locations you will need to travel between on your wedding day so you can estimate travel time. Once you have that, we’re good to go!
I go over things in more detail in the video above however from a photography perspective here are some things to keep in mind when considering how much time to allocate for each of the formalities we’ll be photographing throughout the day:
- Getting Ready: 1-1.5 hours for grooms, 1.5-2 hours for brides. This includes time for individual bride/groom portraits
- First Look: 5-10 minutes
- Family Formals: 1-3 minutes per group photo.
- Bridal Party Photos (Group + Individual with Bride/Groom): 30 minutes
- Romantics (Bride + Groom Session): 45-60+ minutes
Now realistically when it comes to the portrait session with the bridal party as well as the romantics, it is very common we end up having less time than what the timeline says we will have and rather than rushing through it I prefer to have extra wiggle room to play with. For example if we finish the bridal party photos in 20 minutes instead of 30, that’s great! Your friends will have some more time to relax. Things will also be influenced by whether or not we have a second photographer on your wedding day as this allows us to work on certain things simultaneously whereas one photographer cannot photograph two groups at the same time.
Planning your reception timeline is completely up to you as it depends on your preference of when you would like to do a first dance (right after entrances or a bit later), whether or not you would like to do parent dances, a bouquet and/or garter toss, perhaps some cultural/traditional events, how many speeches will be spoken, etc. I recommend working with your venue’s day-of coordinator to iron out the reception timeline details, however as a wedding photographer I do need to know when each of these events will be happening throughout the night.
Knowing when speeches are starting for example is important so we can adjust our lighting around the room depending on where the speakers will be standing and simply be prepared for this moment. We also don’t want to be taking restroom breaks when we know speeches will be starting in a few minutes. The same goes for other events like cake cutting.
Planning properly will allow us to make the most of our time and make sure we have the necessary time to create the types of images you are expecting.
I would love to help you with your own wedding day timeline! Use the form on the contact page to get in touch!
In the video above we go over questions like:
- How much time to allocate for key parts of the wedding day like getting ready, the ceremony, family photos, receiving line, portraits and more.
- How long do wedding family photos take?
- Should you do a receiving line on your wedding day?
- How much time will wedding photos take?
- How much time do I need for wedding photography?
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