One of the more detailed matters that comes up as the wedding day approaches is the wedding day timeline. If you have a wedding coordinator working with you, they will come up with an initial timeline. As a photographer, it’s best if you share the timeline with your photographer in advance to make sure everyone is on the same page. Even if you don’t have a coordinator working with you, a timeline is essential, and your photographer can help you structure the day.
I like to arrive when the bride is having is getting her final makeup touches and when most of the ceremony/reception site is set up (if the ceremony and reception are the in the same location).
Here is a sample timeline that I used for Nikki & Blake’s wedding back in April. Everything went so smoothly, that we actually ran ahead of schedule!
– Photography coverage begins
– Details photographed (wedding dress, shoes, jewelry, invitations, bouquet, etc)
– Last minute hair and makeup touchups
– Candid photos of the bridesmaids preparing
– Bride dresses
– Candids of bride with mom and bridesmaids
– First Look
– Bride and groom see each other before the ceremony for photos
– Bride with matron of honor
– Groom with best man
– (Bridal Party photos)
– Family pictures with family present pre-ceremony
– Bride gets tucked away from early arriving guests
– Photographers shoot ceremony details, reception details, and cocktail hour location, if available.
6pm – Ceremony
6:30pm – Ceremony Ends
6:40pm – Extended Family pictures
7:00pm – Photograph reception details
7:10pm – Grand Entrance
7:15pm – First Dance
7:30pm – Welcome and prayer, if applicable
7:35pm – Buffet Line opens
8:00pm – Toasts
8:15pm – Father/daughter…mother/son dance
8:25pm – Open dancing
9:30pm – Cake cutting
9:40pm – Bouquet/garter toss
10pm – Money Dance
10:20pm – Open dancing
10:55pm – Grand Exit with sparklers
11pm – Photography coverage commences
And while it’s nearly impossible to always adhere to a strict schedule, so there should be enough wiggle room and flexibility in the schedule should anything arise. If you’re working with a coordinator they can take care of most of this for you, and as always, share the proposed timeline with your photographer! I hope this helps when planning your wedding day timeline!
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