There are a lot of moving parts in a wedding day. That is part of the reason why planning one can be so challenging. Your wedding day timeline is taking a lot of those moving parts and positioning them into a format to ensure your day goes smoothly. Your wedding day timeline lets you know where you/your bridal party/your family should be at what time, what is happening when, what needs done by when, and more. It is an incredibly useful thing to provide ALL of your vendors with. It helps them stay on top of how they are serving you on your wedding day. As your photographer, your wedding day timeline is essential to ensuring that I am able to do my best work. It lets me know what time I need to be where and what I should be capturing in that time. Your ceremony time, reception time, drive time between locations, size of family, number of guests, special moments to your day and more affect your timeline. Are you overwhelmed yet? When I was a bride, I know I was! Here are my best tips and things to keep in mind when planning your wedding day timeline!
This is the first thing you need to consider as it impacts your ceremony start time and when majority of your pictures will take place. If you are planning to do a first look, it doesn’t matter how much time is between your ceremony and reception. If you are not planning to do a first look, we will need to make sure there is enough time between your ceremony and reception to complete majority of your pictures. There is no right or wrong way to do this! It is important for you and your fiancé to determine what you both want and we can plan from there. Here is an estimate of how long we will need for different batches of photos to help you make this decision.
Allowing this amount of time for each batch of photos will ensure that we are not needing to rush or squeeze photos in at an inopportune time.
Whether you are celebrating your wedding at the church you grew up going to, an all inclusive venue or on your family property, you have picked the PERFECT spot for you and your fiancé. When creating your wedding day timeline, we will need to keep all travel times in mind. This includes the amount of time it takes for us to drive from the salon to your ceremony venue, the distance between your ceremony venue and reception venue and the proximity of any important photo stops from your ceremony and reception venue. You also want to be sure that your guests have plenty of time to travel from your ceremony to your cocktail hour or reception.
You may be a little confused as to why this matters. Especially if you have made the choice to get married inside, you probably aren’t too worried about the season. We do need to think about the time of year for the sake of sunset times/light. If you are getting married in December, the sun will be set by 5PM meaning all outdoor photos have to be done at that time. If you are getting married in July and want sunset photos, the sun doesn’t go down until 8PM meaning you need to ensure your photographer is allotted to stay that late for you. If it is rather chilly or very hot for your wedding, we will also adjust your timeline for you, your bridal party and family to take breaks to warm up/cool down. We unfortunately can’t predict the weather (still waiting for someone to give me mother nature’s phone number), so please don’t keep yourself up at night worrying about this! Just be aware on your wedding day that we may need to take this into consideration. I can 100% promise we will never miss out on the photos you want due to cold or hot weather. 🙂
In terms of bridal party, family and guest count, it’s important to keep in mind how large any of these groups will be. A larger group will take more time naturally. If you are planning to do a receiving line after your ceremony or dismiss the guests yourself, you will need to make sure there is time to greet your guests without having to rush. If you have a very small family, we won’t need to have as much time in the timeline for your family photos. Regardless of the size of your family it is incredibly helpful to provide your photographer with a list of family photos (using names) that you would like to be taken on your wedding day! We will have so much fun with your bridal party large or small. Your bridal party size can also include ushers, flower girls and ring bearers. The size of your wedding is perfect for you!
Your wedding day is one of the best days of your life. It is a day when your favorite people are all going to be in one place to celebrate and love you and your fiancé. It is truly so special! Having a clean and clear wedding day timeline will make sure that you enjoy your wedding day even more. You won’t have to worry about when and where people need to be, because they will all know already. You don’t have to stress about any of your vendors not being somewhere or missing an important part of your day, because they have a clear timeline from you.
I work with all of my brides 1-2 months (or earlier, if requested) in advance of their wedding day to start solidifying a timeline that I will live by on their wedding day. If you are one of my brides (HIIII, you’re the coolest), I will ensure that you are never walking into any part of your wedding day blind and I am always here to help. If you are not one of my brides, but want to be, let’s chat!!! I can’t wait to meet you! Your wedding day is going to be so perfect.