What's the secret to a stress-free wedding day? Scheduling enough time!
Sample Timeline from a Wedding Photographer
The Wedding Day TIMELINE! Below is an outline of an ideal wedding day timeline working off a 6 pm ceremony. With years of experience of assisting and photographing many weddings, I have come up with my very own timelines. The timeline below is based on a wedding that includes a first look. Now this timeline can be adjusted to your unique wedding day. All weddings are different and timelines can differ. I highly suggest reviewing your timeline with your wedding photographer.
Every bride loves having those beautiful shots of those bridal details. It's an important part of the story ( dress, shoes, jewelry& invitations). 45 minutes is generally the perfect amount of time for this. Also during this time, your photographer can shoot pictures of the bride and her girls getting ready. The second photographer can also start taking pictures of the groom 40 minutes before the first look since they get ready pretty quickly.
It's now time for the bride to get into her dress! This is a big moment! I always ask that the bridesmaids and mother of the bride be dressed by the time the bride is ready to get in her dress. After the bride is in her gown, she can put her jewelry on, veil shoes, etc. Additional bridal portraits will be taken at this time.
After the bride and groom take their time with the first look, romantic portraits of the two of them will begin while the initial excitement is still present! Remember that the lighting will determine where your photographer will want to shoot. As the bridal portraits take place the bridal party can start making their way for bridal party portraits.
Bridal Party Portraits
Now it's time for bridal party shots! I generally buffer in extra time throughout the day just in case we have more unexpected things that hold us up! One way to make sure you stay on schedule for bridal portraits is to have someone put the boutonniere on the guys BEFORE they arrive for portraits. During bridal party shots you should make sure to get seperate shots of both guys and girls seperate AND together. It's always fun to add some silly shots in aswell.
Bride in Hiding
After the bridal party shots are finished. The bride will go into hiding so that early guests don't sneak a peek and the ushers will being their duty.
If the reception is at the same location as the ceremony, I will use this time to shoot reception decor UN TOUCHED. If the ceremony and reception are in different locations, I recommend having cocktail hour outside of the reception area if possible so the photographer can grab shots of the reception before the night begins and guests start laying down purses and coats at their seats
It's time to get married! Most ceremonies are 30 minutes long. If the ceremony is longer than 30 minutes the timeline should be adjusted to such. Cherish these moments! Your ceremony is going to pass by so quickly!
Family formals normally take place immediately after the ceremony. It's best to save all the family formals until after the ceremony because ALL family members will be present at this time. 30 minutes is plenty of time for family formals. You should provide a list to your photographer of specific shots you want before the wedding. I recommend doing family portraits outside if the ceremony location is held inside to get more natural family portraits.
The Timeline Continued...
A Few "Just Married" Portraits
In the summer time when the sun starts to hit the tree lines is the best time for pictures. This is when the sun glows golden. This is a great opportunity to let the bride and groom have a few minutes for additional portraits after the family formals.
The bridal party is now ready to line up and begin introductions. By this time your photographer's timeline is no longer a script. Now it's time to focus on the reception.
8 hours of wedding photography generally covers the main events of your wedding day and an hour of dancing! If you are interested in having an exit photographed there are several options for this! You can either add additional hours of coverage or plan a faux exit with just your bridal party. This is very successful and the party never stops. Send me an inquiry if you're interested in learning more.
Details& Prep: 1.5 hours
First Look& Portraits: 30-40 mins
Bridal Party: 30- 40 mins
Family Formals: 30 mins
Extra Portrait Time: As much time as you want!