Planning a wedding can be really overwhelming, so I wanted to create some resources to help my brides and grooms stress less and enjoy their wedding day. One of the keys to having your wedding day be smooth, stress free, and enjoyable is creating a great wedding day timeline. If you hire a wedding planner, they may make one for you, but it’s important to look it over and make sure it includes everything you want and need.
Wedding Day Timeline
I want you to enjoy every minute of your wedding day. It should flow effortlessly and evenly. Consider the following when planning your wedding day and give more time to the areas that are most important to you.
- Details: 30 minutes to 1 hour. Shoes, jewelry, veil, perfume, invitations. You put a lot into looking your best today and incorporating every significant detail.
- Getting Ready: 30 minutes to 1.5 hours. The Bride and Groom. You may just want the final touches, getting into your dress or putting on your tie and cuff-links. Or you may want these last moments with your friends, as a single woman, before your father gives you away.
- First Look / No Look: 15 minutes to 30 minutes. Whether you see each other or not, before the ceremony, you may want to take a quiet moment together, without all the commotion. You can take this time to talk, hold hands, exchange gifts, pray, or let your emotions show in private.
- Wedding Ceremony: 30 minutes to 1.5 hours. Depending on your beliefs, your ceremony may be short and sweet or you may have communion and readings in both English and Hebrew.
- Family Portraits: 1 hour. Regardless of if you see each other before or not, we do intimate family portraits (parents, siblings, etc.) before the wedding ceremony, separately, so that the big family photos afterwards of both sides are quick and easy. This lets your guests enjoy more of the cocktail hour. Plan on 30 minutes before the ceremony (15 minutes per side) and 30 minutes after the ceremony.
- The Bridal Party: 30 minutes. Family members aren’t the only important people in your lives. Make time for those friends who have celebrated with you from the beginning.
- The Newlywed Couple: 1 hour to 1.5 hours. The most important people! Don’t jam pack your day so that these photos are cut short. We want to capture the gorgeous setting, your amazing attire and of course the love you share.
- Wedding Reception: 2 hours to 5 hours. Of course you want pictures of your first dance, the cake cutting, and parent dances, but you may not need those blackmail party pictures of your drunken guests. 😉 Most of the main events are done after 2-3 hours but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything still worth photographing.
Sample Wedding Day Timeline
There are few moments in live more special, joyous, and unforgettable than your wedding day. On your wedding fay, there will be so many extraordinary details and intimate moments that need to be preserved to share and relive for the rest of your marriage. The images from this day are for your family to treasure and tell the story of the beginning of your lives together. This sample wedding day timeline is based off of a Colorado summer wedding with a 5:30pm ceremony.
Before Your Ceremony
- 1:30-2:30pm: Detail shots of your dress, jewelry, shoes, vows, rings, tie, watch, pocket square, and other mementos like your something new, old, borrowed, and blue.
- 2:30-3:15pm: Getting into your dress, your parents seeing you for the first time. The groom dressing and hanging out with friends.
- 3:15-3:30pm: First look between the two of you, if you chose to see each other before the ceremony.
- 3:30-4:15pm: Photos of bride, bridesmaids, and bride’s immediate family.
- 4:15-4:35pm: Photos of bridal party and some couples photos.
- 4:35-5:10pm: Photos of groom, groomsman, and groom’s family.
After Your Ceremony
- 5:30-6:00pm: Ceremony.
- 6:00-6:20pm: Large family portraits.
- 6:20-7:00pm: Portraits of the newlywed couple.
- 7:00-8:00pm: Dinner, but slip out for a few minutes for some epic sunset photos of the couple.
- 8:20-8:45: Toasts and cake cutting.
- 8:45-9:10pm: First dance and parent dances
- 9:30 and on: Bouquet toss, garter toss, and open dancing. Plus anything else because you are MARRIED and it’s YOUR NIGHT!