Creating a Wedding Timeline

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It may seem super early to you, but perhaps your vendors are asking what time to arrive, you need to decide how many hours of photography to book in your contract, your family members are already booking travel arrangements… it’s never too early to start creating a wedding timeline for your special day!

As you begin to think about creating a wedding timeline, let’s start with the amount of time that is usually needed to photograph each event throughout the day. Be sure to add in travel and parking time if you have to walk or drive from location to location!

Here are the minimum times I recommend for photographing each part of your day:

  • Detail images: 1 hour
  • Bridesmaid Robes: 15 minutes
  • Hair and Makeup: 15 minutes
  • Dress Zip Up: 30 minutes
  • First Look: 30 minutes
  • Sunset Portraits: 30 minutes
  • Ceremony Details: 15 minutes
  • Bride Hides: 45 minutes (pre-ceremony)
  • Ceremony: 30-60 minutes
  • Family Formals: 30 minutes
  • Wedding Party: 30 minutes
  • Reception Highlights (Entrance, Dances, Cake Cutting): 1-2 Hours

As you can see, it’s easy to fill an 8 hour photography timeline with much of the reception still to go. Many couples choose to dance the night away after their photographer leaves, opting to photograph the toasts and dances with just a few open dance floor songs. It has become increasingly popular to do mock exit with your wedding party or close friends! <3

As you plan, here are few more questions to think through:

  1. How long does it take you to get into your dress?
  2. How early should you be done with hair and makeup?
  3. Are you doing a first look?
  4. Are you exchanging gifts or letters?
  5. Do you want bridesmaid robe pictures?
  6. How long will your ceremony last?
  7. Do you have a super large wedding party?
  8. Do you want a sunset session as a couple?
  9. Do you want your photographer to stay the entire reception?

Here is sample of a popular wedding timeline:

1:00- Bridal Details
2:00- Staged Hair and Makeup
2:15- Bridesmaids Robes and Champagne
2:30- The Dress Zip Up
3:00- First Look and Portraits
3:30- Bridal Party Pictures
4:00- Ceremony Details (Bride Hides)
4:30- Guests Arriving
5:00- Ceremony Begins
5:30- Family Formals
6:00- Reception
~30-45 min before Sunset -Portraits
8:45- Exit (Can be Staged)

I would absolutely love to connect to help more as you plan! 🙂

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