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wedding timeline suggestions


Thursday Tips: Wedding Day Timeline


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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