Planning the Wedding Day Timeline
It isn't the most exciting aspect of the wedding day, but the timeline is one thing that can make or break your photography.Below, I will outline an ideal wedding day working off a 4pm ceremony time and including a first look. Lots of couples choose to do a first look and you can read all about them on this blog post here! Remember that all wedding days are different and your timeline may differ due to travel times and unique situations!
12:00PM - 1:15PM
Lots of brides love having those beautiful detail shots! It's an important part of the story and I love having time to shoot the dress, shoes, jewellery, invitations, etc. I normally like to allow 45 minutes for this part of the day and while I am shooting details, I'm also capturing some shots of the bride and her girls getting ready! If the groom is getting ready nearby, I like to slip over there for 20-30 minutes, as they take less time to get dressed, and get some shots of them getting ready as well (or the second photographer will do this if you added one to your package!).
1:15PM - 1:45PM
After the details have been photographer, it's time for the bride to get into her dress! This is a big moment! I usually ask the mother of the bride and all of the bridesmaids to be dressed by the time the bride is ready to get into her dress. This ensures that everyone will look nice in those images. After the bride is in her dress, she can put on jewellery, shoes, etc.
This is one of my favourite parts of the day! I will find the perfect location for my couple's first look and make sure I find a location that is as private and secluded as possible (while also being pretty!).
BRIDE & GROOM PORTRAITS
2:15PM - 3:00PM
After the bride and groom take their time with the first look, I will begin taking a few romantic portraits of the two of them while the initial excitement is still present!
BRIDAL PARTY PORTRAITS
3:00PM - 3:30PM
Now it's time for Bridal Party shots! I will get shots of the guys and girls separately and together! Getting these photos done before the ceremony allows your bridal party to go to the cocktail hour and gives you a better chance of attending the cocktail hour as well.
BRIDE IN HIDING
3:30PM - 4:00PM
Now that the majority of formal photos are out of the way, this is a good time to freshen up, get something to eat, or touch up makeup before the ceremony!
4:00PM - 4:30PM
Now it's time to get married! Most ceremonies are 30 minutes long, but if yours is longer, just make some adjustments in the timeline! Now your cocktail hour can begin!
4:30PM - 5:00PM
Family formals generally take place after the ceremony. It's a good idea to save family formals until after the ceremony as that is when ALL the family members are present!
5:00PM - 5:30PM
Now is the best time to capture all the reception details! It is best if guests are kept outside of the reception area during cocktail so that there are no coats, purses, etc. interfering with beautiful photos. Keeping guests outside the reception area will save your photographer a big headache!
5:45PM - 6:00PM
Now you can ask guests to find their seat and enter with your bridal party!
6:00PM - 8:00PM
Now is time for dinner, dances, cake cutting and fun! You can read more about planning a perfect reception timeline here!
7:00PM - 7:15PM
I always suggest to my couples to sneak out during dinner for a few sunset portraits! Your guests wont even know you are gone and this is the best light of the day - you won't regret it!
Most couples go with 8 hours of photography coverage, which with a 12pm start time, means that coverage would end around 8pm. If you can, try your best to get all your speeches and dances completed before that time, or you can always hire your photographer for 9-10 hours if you wish to have some more coverage of the party!
I hope you found this timeline helpful in all your planning!