The Ultimate Wedding Day Timeline

Creating your wedding day timeline can be tricky because you will have a bunch of things to do in quite a limited time. This means that you need good coordination and great time-management skills. Couples don’t particularly look forward to this planning part because it takes a great effort to plan everything in detail and ensure that everyone and everything fits into this schedule.

However, you can make this whole process less overwhelming if you start planning on time. Approaching the task gradually will ensure you plan everything accordingly and don’t miss out on anything. The timeline of your celebration is crucial for the success of your photographs. You won’t be able to soak in every moment of it, so you’ll prefer to have the photos to do so. In other words, creating a well-working timeline is necessary to have a perfect day. 

To make things easier for you, I’ve made a list of recommendations along with tips you can consider for your big day’s timeline. And apart from having a seamless experience, planning your day accordingly will also ensure you get some stunning-looking photos!

Creating an Ideal Timeline for Your Wedding 

Before listing things on your agenda, you have to decide how long you want your wedding day to last. Generally, if you go for every activity, starting from getting ready to reception, you will need around 8 to 10 hours. The thing you have to understand is that there is no ideal wedding day timeline template you can use. You can get suggestions and ideas, but the final decision is entirely up to you.

I will give you an example of a wedding day timeline on which you can base your planning. This way, you can tweak it to fit your needs and meet your requirements for a magical day. 

2:00 pm – Getting Ready  

The getting ready part is one of the most thrilling ones. After all, this is where all the excitement builds up. This is also the moment when all the bridal details can be photographed to serve as a lovely memento from the big day. The getting ready location is a place where the bride takes amazing photos with her bridesmaids and where the first moments of the celebrations are captured. It is a very exciting moment for every bride since it is a time when her lovely appearance is framed forever. 

Tip: Ensure that every detail you want captured is easily accessible and unwrapped. This refers to rings, invitations, jewelry, and similar details. Also, keep in mind that the bride should have her makeup and hair done on time to avoid delays in the wedding day timeline. 

3:30 pm – Portraits of The Groom and Groomsmen 

The getting ready part with the groom is usually shorter and involves him and the groomsmen putting on ties and coats. It is a time when groomsmen can have those funny photographs that depict the thrill of getting ready for the big moment. 

4:00 pm – First Look 

Some couples decide not to do a first-look photo session to shorten the time of the celebration. However, I always encourage my clients to do this part for two main reasons. First, the first look is a magical moment between the bride and the groom that evokes so many genuine emotions. Second, it prolongs your time for photographing the whole wedding party between the ceremony and reception. Opting for a first-look photo shoot will make you more relaxed for all the shots you have to take with your parents, relatives, and other close friends.  

Tip: You can choose the location of your first look session on the day, so you don’t have to rush anything. 

4:15 – 6:00 pm – Whole Party Portraits 

This might be the most exhausting part of your wedding day timeline, but also an incredibly fun one. Generally, it takes less than two hours to take photographs of the bride with her bridesmaids, the groom and groomsmen, a full party session, as well as bride and groom portraits. You should prepare for a lot of posing in front of the camera. 

6:00 pm – Capturing Ceremony Decor 

After the portraits, the bride and the groom have some time to rest and retouch, and I use this time to capture the ceremony decor. Couples put a lot of effort into making their ceremony dreamy, so making memories of their hard work on the decorations is a must. 

6:30 pm – Wedding Ceremony   

The wedding ceremony is the most romantic time of the celebration. It is the best opportunity to create wonderful and emotional memories. It is also a time when I get to capture the most sincere and candid moments of the union. 

Tip: Ensure to take time doing the kissing part. To get the perfect picture, you will need to prolong this moment. Moreover, remember to face the camera when exchanging rings to create more memorable and unique framed memories. 

7:00 pm – Sunset Portraits 

Do not miss out on a chance to get dreamy sunset portraits. The golden hour is the best time to make some really creative shots, especially if you have spectacular scenery at your disposal. 

7:30 pm – Cocktail Hour 

During cocktail hour, I tend to take some time photographing the guests. It is the best way to get some more relaxed shots. Also, I use this opportunity to take photos of the bridal decor present at the reception.

8:00 – 10:00 pm – Reception 

During the reception, there are several moments that need to be captured – the grand entrance, first dance, bouquet toss, cake cutting, dinner, as well as a lot of dancing. The wedding day timeline template is quite flexible at this point because different couples include distinguished things in their celebration. 

This is a perfect example of what your wedding day timeline can look like. Depending on the parts you will include in your union, the durability of the whole day can last longer or shorter than the list above. Once you decide what you want to have on your big day, you can start creating your schedule. But, remember to leave some time for unexpected delays, which are unsurprising for such big events. 

If you want some ideas for the first look photo session, do not forget to check my next blog. Also, don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need more information and book my services.