WEDDING DAY TIMELINES
Many times early on in the wedding planning process, brides and grooms have no idea what their wedding day timeline will look like. I offer all day coverage in all of my collections, but many photographers and other types of vendors offer hourly coverage. In order to create great photos, a stress free timeline and great light are the two main factors. My goal is to grab the portraits you desire while also allowing you plenty of time to party with your family and friends!
To create a great timeline, you should always start with sunset and work backwards from there. If you opt to do a first look, your ceremony should be 1 hour before sunset. If you do not want to see each other prior to the ceremony, then your ceremony should be 2 hours before sunset.
SAMPLE TIMELINE WITH FIRST LOOK
- 3:30pm Photographer arrival
- 4:10pm Bridesmaids get dressed
- 4:35pm Bride gets dressed
- 4:55pm First Look w/Dad
- 5:10pm First Look w/Groom
- 5:35pm Bridal party photos
- 6:00pm Bride gets tucked away
- 6:00pm Photographers photograph Ceremony Decor
- 6:20pm Bridal party lines up for Ceremony
- 6:30pm Ceremony
- 7:00pm End of Ceremony
- 7:05pm Immediate and Extended family photos
- 7:25pm Photos commence
- 7:35pm Grand Entrance
- 7:35pm-10:55pm Reception Activities
- 11:00pm Grand Exit
SAMPLE TIMELINE WITH NO FIRST LOOK
- 2:00pm Photographer arrival
- 2:40pm Bridesmaids get dressed
- 3:00pm Bride gets dressed
- 3:15pm First look w/Dad
- 3:25pm Bridal party photos (girls first then guys)
- 4:15pm Bride gets tucked away
- 4:30pm Photographers photograph Ceremony Decor
- 4:50pm Bridal party lines up for Ceremony
- 5:00pm Ceremony
- 5:30pm End of Ceremony
- 5:35pm Immediate and Extended family photos
- 5:50pm Bridal Party Photos (all together)
- 6:10pm Bride and Groom photos
- 6:35pm Photos commence
- 6:45pm Grand Entrance
- 6:45pm-10:30pm Reception Activities
- 10:30pm Grand Exit
The light on your wedding day might be something that's not on your radar right now, but I can guarantee that is going to affect more than just your photos. In general, you need to think about where the light is coming from during the ceremony, especially if it is outside. You don’t want it to be blasting light straight into your eyes as you try to exchange vows.
My advice is to find a nice shady spot for your ceremony, this will allow for even lighting on you and your bridal party. If that's not possible, try to have the sun behind the officiant.
I also believe you should push as close to sunset as possible, especially during the summer. Having a wedding ceremony at 3pm in August will generally mean sweaty guests, a lot of squinting eyes, and daylight dance party. Don’t be afraid to start later into the day.
I hope that helps! I'm happy to build you a sample timeline based on your specific venues and circumstances, even if you hire another photographer! Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out my contact form.