I’ve always been the girl totally in love with weddings. I’m not an expert wedding planner, but I thought it might be helpful to share, from a photographer’s point of view, what I’ve experienced to be an ideal wedding day timeline. I work really closely with my couples so their day runs very smoothly and creating a timeline together is the greatest.
I schedule wedding day timelines with a chunk of time for each major event so nothing is passed over too quickly. And light plays a huge factor– I want to make sure that all important portraits and details of your day are photographed in natural light. There are so many factors when developing your wedding timeline, so this is just a rough guide. Your timeline takes into consideration family traditions, location, weather, time for portraits, distance between locations if more than one, cocktail reception vs. formal sit down dinner reception, and so much more. After you book your wedding with me, we will create a timeline that works best for you!
The timeline below is designed around having a first look before your ceremony. Choosing to do a first look or not to do a first look is totally up to you. When I first started photographing weddings years ago with Tammy Swales Studio I thought first looks were the weirdest things ever. I mean, it’s bad luck to see each other before your ceremony right? You know what, after six years of photographing weddings, first looks have become my absolute favorite part of wedding day. First looks are intimate and shared only with the two of you. It’s a chance to celebrate together and enjoy some alone time. My husband and I did a first look and we both cried during our first look AND our ceremony so no worries that it diminishes any emotions! We chose to do all of our portraits before our ceremony as well so immediately after our ceremony we could spend the rest of our evening with our guests!
Below is what I think an ideal wedding day timeline looks like where there is one photographer, a first look, and one location (during the Summer where there is a ton of gorgeous natural light)…
1:00 GETTING READY
2:30 FIRST LOOK WITH BRIDE & GROOM PORTRAITS
3:30 BRIDAL PARTY PORTRAITS
4:30 DONE WITH PORTRAITS/FRESHEN UP FOR CEREMONY/PHOTOGRAPH CEREMONY DETAILS
5:30 COCKTAIL HOUR/FAMILY PORTRAITS/ PHOTOGRAPH RECEPTION DETAILS
6:45 INTROS/FIRST DANCE/TOASTS & BLESSING
7:15 SEATED DINNER
8:00 SUNSET SESSION WITH BRIDE & GROOM
8:45 CAKE CUTTING/ FORMAL DANCES
9:00 OPEN DANCING
The key to enjoying your day is creating a great timeline from day one– a timeline that all of your vendors know about. The most important part of your wedding is that you enjoy yourself and take everything in!