Organizing Your Wedding Day

In my photography career I have shot hundreds of weddings. I’m not an expert on wedding planning, but I thought it would be helpful to share what I’ve experienced to be an ideal wedding day timeline. I have found that brides and grooms find their day to be most stress-free when a timeline is followed.
I would HIGHLY recommend hiring a planner to help with your wedding day organization. They are the true, time-tested experts.
This blog post is intended to be a general starting point. Each wedding is unique so more than likely, any couple looking at this will have to make some tweaks. Other things to think about include: sunset time, location/weather, the amount of time required for portraits, length of ceremony and transportation time.
I have designed two timelines:
1. The couple seeing each other before the ceremony (first look)
2. Portraits taken after the ceremony

First Look Timeline

1:00 – Getting ready

3:00 – First look / Couple portraits

3:30 – Wedding party photos

4:30 –  Wedding party and couple freshen up before the ceremony

5:00 – Ceremony (based on 30 min)

5:30 – Family formals

6:00 – Cocktail hour

7:00 – Reception


Portraits after the Ceremony Timeline

1:00 – Getting ready

3:00 – Ceremony (based on 30 min)

3:30 – Family formals

4:00 – Wedding party photos / Couple portraits

5:30-Wedding party and couple freshen up before the reception

6:00 – Cocktail hour

7:00 – Reception

And here is a good starting point for a reception timeline:

6:45 – grand entrance/ cake cutting/ blessing

7:00 – dinner

7:45 – first dance / toasts / special dances

8:30 – open dancing

My collections include 8, 9, 10 or 12 hours of coverage on the wedding day and your timeline can be adjusted depending on whether you want more getting ready photos or reception photos.

When planning your getting ready schedule-Make sure to plan in time for hair, make-up, eating lunch, transportation, getting into your dress (at least a half hour – brides underestimate this) and portrait time. It’s better to plan in more time than not enough.  So make sure you start early!

The key to enjoying your day is having a great plan ahead of time- that way the day will run smoothly, and the only thing you will need to focus on is and taking in every precious moment.