There’s some key things you need to know before you can starting planning your wedding day timeline. First you need to know what time restrictions are in place for your church and/or venue. This means knowing when you can get into your venues and if there’s an end time in place for when you have to leave by. Don’t forget about travel time to and from your venues as well. Also decide if you’re going to be doing a First Look since this will affect your timeline too. So now here are the reasons why a wedding timeline is vital for every wedding!
Be Stress Free
Wedding day timelines are great for ensuring your wedding goes smoothly so you don’t have to worry about anything! Also, a wedding timeline will help you to personalize your wedding priorities to what you and your fiancé value most. The parts of the day that mean the most to you gets top priority and more time. For example, if bride and groom portraits are most important to you, plan for these portraits to happen during the best light, an hour or two before sunset. Or if you want portraits at a specific location that has lots of meaning to you but is far away, build in lots of time for travel so it doesn’t get missed. Make sure everyone is on the same page by sharing your timeline with your bridal party, family and other important people. This helps everyone to know where they need to be and when, especially during family photo time.
Allow Your Vendors to Do Their Best Work
You chose your vendors for specific reasons, most likely because you love their work since they are experts at what they do. This means you should trust them to know what they need, in order for them to give your their best on your wedding day. So include them in building your wedding day timeline to make sure they have the time they need to do their job. Once your wedding timeline has been created be sure to share it with all of your vendors. In a typical wedding there are many vendors and moving parts so it’s super important to give your vendors the timeline so they know when to be ready to make sure your day is flawless.
Have a Natural Flow to Your Wedding
It makes sense to photograph the bridal party after hair and makeup is done and everyone is dressed, as this is when everyone is fresh-faced and looking at their best! The reception is another time where flow can be very important. If you want a great party on the dance floor, try not to stop the dancing with other things. Do your cake cutting and bouquet toss beforehand and then start the dance party. This way your guests won’t loose the desire to dance, it’ll just be one big party!
Basic Timeframes for Wedding Photography
To help create your wedding day timeline, I’ve listed the basic ideal photography timeframes that ensure all details are captured during your wedding day!
Details (Rings, Dress, Shoes)
45 minutes. It’s highly recommended to have your details together and ready beforehand so time isn’t wasted getting them together once your photographer arrives. For the bride, these details include the rings, dress, shoes, jewelry, veil, garter, bouquet, stationary, perfume, etc. For the groom, these details include shoes, cuff-links, watch, socks, tie, etc.
Getting Ready Photos
45 minutes. For the bride and bridesmaids this time is for getting into the dress, shoes, veil, and jewelry. For the groom and groomsmen this time is for getting into the vest, cufflinks, and jacket. Typically the main photographer will capture the women getting ready, while the second photographer will capture the men getting ready.
Bride Individual Portraits
15 minutes. If these portraits are to be taken in the getting ready room then make sure it has at least one large window which will provide great light to capture these important portraits.
Bride with Bridesmaids
15 minutes. This time is for group photos of the bridesmaids and bride as well as photos of the bride with each bridesmaid individually.
Bride with Immediate Family
15 minutes. This time is for photos of the bride with her immediate family.
Groom Individual Portraits and Groom with Groomsmen
15 minutes. If these portraits are to be taken in the getting ready room, again make sure it has at least one large window which will provide great light to capture these important portraits. This time is for portraits of the groom individually, as a group with his groomsmen as well as photos of the groom with each groomsmen individually.
Groom with Immediate Family
15 minutes. This time is for photos of the groom with his immediate family.
30 minutes. The ceremony details should be photographed before guests take their seats, so be sure to give time for these detail photos well before guests are expected to arrive.
Extended Family Portraits
15-30 minutes. These portraits typically happen right after the ceremony. Make sure to have a friend or family member gather everyone from your family portrait list to make sure these portraits go smoothly and stay on time. Family group photos take around 3 minutes per group so be sure to give the right amount of time for all of the family group photos.
Full Bridal Party Portraits
15 minutes. This time is for group photos of the bridal party all together.
Husband & Wife Portraits
30-60 minutes. This time is for you to enjoy being newlyweds, take it all in, and capture photos of the just the two of you!
30 minutes. The reception details, like the ceremony details, should be photographed before guests take their seats, so be sure to give time for these detail photos before the reception starts. Typically the main photographer will photograph the reception details while the second photographer photographs your guests during the cocktail hour.
I hope this helps you to create the best wedding day timeline for your wedding! If you need help to create or customize your wedding timeline be sure to reach out to your wedding planner or photographer!