Quick Tips For Your Wedding Day Timeline


Apr 5, 2018

Wedding Planning Tips // Huntsville Wedding Photographers

We’re putting the finishing touches on some amazing content that’s about to be released, and I came across these tips about planning your wedding day timeline. Since spring wedding season is just around the corner, timing is perfect to share a few of them on the blog this week!

When To Get Started

Around 3-4 months is our favorite timeframe to get your official wedding day timeline nailed down! You’ll want a plan in place before vendors, family, and friends start asking questions about when to be there and what’s happening.

When you put together your timeline 4 months in advance, it’s always possible that you’ll need to make some minor tweaks as more details fall into place. That’s okay! It’s so much easier to tweak something you already have than try to figure it all out from scratch.

Having a timeline in place early give you framework for all the little details to fit into. You’ll also have a realistic idea of how many hours you’ll need to book with the DJ, photographers, and planner. Making cocktail hour and dinner decisions are easier, and you’ll know what time to schedule hair and makeup appointments.

Talk to the Experts!

Timeline questions are definitely some of THE most frequently asked questions, so we want to help give you the framework for building a wedding day timeline.

Your wedding planner and/or wedding photographer are going to be your very best resource for building an overall timeline for your day. They’re experts in both the wedding industry AND in knowing how long they specifically need for each unique event.

A quick tip: Every photographer is different in the amount of time they want for each part of the day. We’re sharing a typical wedding day timeline for our couples, but be sure to work with your own photographer to customize your own. 

Sample Timeline

But where do I start?, you may be asking…

Here’s an example of a popular 8-hour wedding day timeline for our couples, based around a 6:30pm ceremony time:

2:00 – Photographers arrive, detail pictures

2:30 – Getting ready pictures with the groom

2:45 – Dress on!, finishing touches (jewelry, shoes, perfume)

3:00 – Father/Daughter first look

3:15 – First Look with Groom!!

3:30 – Bride and Groom portraits

3:50 – Bridal Portraits

4:00 – Bride and Bridesmaids

4:15 – Full Bridal Party

4:45 – Groom and Groomsmen

5:00 – Family Portraits (Immediate and Extended)

5:30 – Hide and Enjoy these moments!

6:30 – Ceremony!

7:00 – Just Married Moment!

7:10 – Final Romantic Portraits

7:30 – Reception Entrance!

10:00 – Grand Exit!

(Love the look of those dreamy sunset portraits and want some of your own? Here are 2 easy ways you can make them happen.)

One of the most common timeline challenges:

The formal family portraits. Anytime you’re working with a large group of people, there are a lot more moving pieces to coordinate. The more people you have, the higher chance you’ll have to be tracking someone down who missed (or forgot) the memo.

If a few family members aren’t present at the right time, it makes coordinating family formals take much longer. Communicate with all your immediate and extended family ahead of time to let them know exactly WHEN and WHERE to meet for pictures.

Need a little help on how to communicate that effectively? We’ve got a great freebie for you! Grab this template for family formal coordination to check that off your list:

What’s your best timeline tip?

The First Look is the most pivotal part of keeping your wedding day on schedule.

Because all the formal pictures happen after the First Look, it’s impact is huge. If you’re 30 minutes late getting into your dress, your photographer has lost 30 minutes of limited portrait time that can be challenging to make up. Schedule lots of extra getting ready time in the morning to make sure you have all the time you need!

It might sound good in theory to just take more pictures after the ceremony if you run behind. After the ceremony is over, though – you’ll be ready to get to the reception! 10-15 minutes of Just Married pictures is epic (it captures a totally unique emotion), but after that you’ll be ready for some food and mingling.

Did you have an official timeline for your wedding day? Share your thoughts and tips in the comments! :)



Want more? Check out these resources!

4 Tips for Getting The Most Fabulous Reception Details

Groomsmen Boutonnieres: Who and When

The First Look: Why We Love It

Free Family Formal Template Download

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