Your Wedding Day From Start to Finish, Part 1


With a well laid out timeline, you will have plenty of time to destress or get away from all of the excitement for a few minutes with your new spouse!

Over the years, we have learned that a well built timeline can help you have the low stress wedding you’ve always wanted. When our couples are headed down the final stretch of planning their wedding, they are often unsure about when to schedule certain things. As a best practice, we make it a point to emphasize things to consider when scheduling all of the key contributors to timing on a wedding day. Let us explain what we have found works best throughout our eight years photographing weddings. Check out our two sample timelines below (Traditional and First Look) and note when certain things are taking place and the time allotted for them. One note we cannot stress enough:

Hair and Makeup: Your day essentially starts here – this can make the rest of your day run late. Plan extra time here and your day will have a much better chance of staying on schedule. If you have ever had one of those days where you over-sleep and get a late start to your day, only to have a stressful rest of the day, seemingly unable to recover? Unfortunately, if you do not allow enough time for hair and make up, your wedding day could be like that.

First Look Timeline:

Photographers Arrive – 11:00

Photograph Details/Girls Getting Ready – 11:00-1:45

2nd Photographer Arrives to Guys – 1:00

Photograph Guys Getting Ready – 1:00-2:45

Bride Gets Into Dress – 1:30-1:35

Bridal Portraits – 1:35-1:45

First Look/Bride & Groom Portraits – 2:00-2:45

Bridal Party Portraits – 2:45-3:30

Family Portraits – 3:30-4:15

Photos Completed – 4:15

Ceremony – 5:00-5:45

Extended Family Portraits – 5:45-6:00

Cocktail Hour – 6:00-7:00

Reception – 7:0-11:00

Traditional Timeline (Catholic ceremony)

Photographers Arrive – 9:30

Photograph Details/Girls Getting Ready – 9:30-12:00

2nd Photographer Arrives to Guys – 11:30

Photograph Guys Getting Ready – 11:30-12:30

Bride Gets Into Dress – 12:00-12:15

Bridal Portraits – 12:15-12:30

Guys Travel to Ceremony – 12:30-12:45

Girls Travel to Ceremony – 12:45-1:00

Ceremony – 1:30-2:30

Receiving Line – 2:30-2:50

Travel to Cocktail Hour/Reception – 3:00-3:15

Family Portraits – 3:15-3:45

Bridal Party Portraits – 3:45-4:15

Bride & Groom Portraits – 4:15-5:00

Photos Completed – 5:00

Cocktail Hour – 5:00-6:00

Reception – 6:00-10:00

Take a look at both timelines and think about what will work for your wedding. There are several things to consider, such as where each event will be held. Will you have your ceremony and reception at one venue? Or will you be getting married at a church and then traveling to the reception venue? One is not better than the other, they just have different requirements. Again, remember that how you plan out the beginning of your day can greatly affect the rest of your day.


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xoxo Sarah & Isaac

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