March 29, 2021
The best way to manage your wedding day is by creating a timeline. A detailed wedding day timeline will help you avoid having any surprises or stress on the big day!
For very 20 years, we’ve loved capturing so many beautiful moments for couples. Whether it’s their wedding or engagement photos, it’s such an honor to be able to capture these memories as they happen!
You might not be familiar with the ins and outs of how to create a timeline for your wedding, but don’t worry! We are professional wedding photographers and we can help you out. The three biggest things to consider when creating a wedding timeline are; the sunset time, if you are wanting a First Look or not and if you’ll be traveling between two or three locations during the day.
If you’d rather not see each other before the ceremony, we will be sure to keep the two of you separate before the ceremony while still getting some of the group portraits done before. Then finish up during your cocktail hour instead.
Of course, all weddings are different and your timeline may differ due to distance between the different location and unique situations. I would recommend using this as a guide and let us help you adjust it for your specific needs.
This example for your wedding day timeline is for a 5 p.m. ceremony time and assuming you will see each other before the ceremony (First Look). Not sure if you want to see each other before the ceremony? Let us help you to determine if a first look is for you or not.
Use these links to jump to a specific part of the wedding day timeline.
Planning time to photograph your dress, shoes, jewelry and other details allows us to c wreathe images that would surely be a fun addition to your wedding album. We personally love having time to shoot all these details before things get too busy on the wedding day!
The amount of time needed varies, but I would recommend no less than 30 minutes for bridal details.
It’s alway great having a few floral pieces to style your details with and we will be sure to reach out to your florist requesting a few stems.
You may not think of your bouquet as a priority, but it could make all the difference to how your images turn out! With a gorgeous bouquet, your photographer can use it in other areas to create fuller looking floral pieces around the entire wedding. We can use it to spruce up bridal details, reception details and of course bride & groom portraits.
It’s time to get into your dress! The day has finally come, and the anxiety is starting to fill you. This is a good time for mom and the bridesmaids to be dressed and helping you to step into your wedding gown. Then the accessories, jewelry, veil and shoes. Top it all off with a spritz of your favorite perfume (and here in Arizona one more swipe of deodorant). Your photographer will be capturing some candid moments with those who surround during this special time as the day begins.
If you have a second photographer then you’ll also have coverage of your groom getting ready with his dad and all the groomsmen. It’s always nice to see the moments you weren’t present for represented in your photos. Seeing those moments will complete your wedding day sorry.
Quick tip for preparing for Family and Bridal Party Portraits: This is the time when the bridal party and parents will locate the personal floral pieces (bouquets, boutonnieres and corsages).
Deciding Where to Get Ready at?
As a photographer, I always recommend getting-ready photos at an Airbnb instead of the hotel. They’re perfect for that Pinterest vibe!
I think this is our entire teams favorite part of the wedding day!
Your photographer will select a location based on best lighting and setting to create a private encounter between the two of you. Seeing each other for the first time on your wedding day, face to face is not something that can be recreated so getting it right the first time is incredibly important.
Just a few reasons you should consider doing a first look:
Not sure if you want to see each other before the ceremony? Check out this article to see if a first look is for you.
After soaking up all the feeling of seeing each other on your wedding day, we will take a little time for Bride & Groom Portraits. Creating some romantic, fun and maybe even silly images of the two of you… what ever reflect who you two are together.
Even though all the wedding day images are important to, the images from this time are the ones that resonate the most for the bride and groom.
These images are our favorites because it allows you two to be yourselves, to connect with each other and because it’s simply a lot of fun. Not to mention they simply turn out beautiful!
Planning for the family and bridal party photos to be completed prior to the ceremony creates an opportunity for all of them to participate in cocktail hour and helping to entertain the other guests.
During this time, we will create images with just the ladies and just the guys as well as everyone together. This time is so much fun, goes quick but we get a great variety of images!
This is also the time to capture formal portraits with your immediate families, so you don’t have to spend much time taking pictures during your cocktail hour. We like to include the grandparents during this time to.
Again, this should be a fun and relaxed time for everyone involved.
At this point, the couple and bridal party should return to the bridal suites to freshen up and prepare for the ceremony. Making sure the vow and rings are with the designated people.
At this time the photographer will photograph the ceremony details in addition to capturing some of the guest arrivals. If the reception is in the same location the photographer will photograph the reception space if it’s ready.
This allows us to create great images of the space before the reception begins and guests start claim their seats laying out purses and coats.
The moment everyone’s been waiting for!
The guests are seated and the music starts to play.
The bridal party is lined up and proceeding down the aisle.
Now it’s your turn, you’re walking straight to the one want to marrying, the love of your life.
This is something you’ve imagined for countless years!
The two of you share your vows and commitment, seal it with a kiss, celebrating as you walk hand in hand as husband and wife.
While everything you’ve planned for up to this moment are necessary, it’s important to remember why it’s all happening… the connection and love the two of you share.
Although most ceremonies are about 30 minutes long, many ceremonies held in the church are often longer so you’ll want to plan a little more time and a little buffer in the timeline.
Your ceremony will pass by in a blur, be intentional about being in that moment!
If you’d like to include any extended families in your formal photos, we recommend doing this immediately following the ceremony. This usually consists of one grouping of the bride’s extended family and one grouping of the groom’s extended family.
You should typically allocate no more than 20 minutes for your extended family pictures.
To make this process as quick as possible, I’d recommend designating one or two member for each the bride’s and groom’s side of the family to inform all family member where and when they need to be for the photo.
The best lighting of the day is typically during golden hour. This is when the sun serves us a nice warm, golden glow. Golden hour is the hour prior to sunset. These images are often the couples favorite images from the entire day, so you don’t want to skip them!
This is when the fun (and maybe a little wild) begins because you created a wedding day timeline that’s realistic, has reduced stress and simply worked! It’s time to enjoy, celebrate and dance with your closest family and friends.
From here we will follow the wedding planner’s and/or DJ’s schedule and take more of a photojournalistic approach. Being in the action and capturing the moments as they happen.
But don’t worry, we’ll be sure to include those guests that don’t join you on the dance floor. We go to them… doing our best to get images of the majority of your guests.
If you are planning a grand exit with sparkler, glow sticks, bubbles or even cold sparklers be sure to contract enough time for your photographer to capture that time too.
A great wedding day timeline allows us to ensure amazing photographs and have a great flow to the wedding day and allows to soak it all up and enjoy such a special time.
P.S. Find more tips and resources on all things wedding and engagement photos!