Educational For Couples, Weddings

Creating Your Perfect Wedding Day Timeline

filed in

bride and groom posing next to fence and pond in North Carolina

I love serving my wedding couples in any way that I can! It starts all the way from when they book me as their photographer to delivering their gallery and designing their album. An important part of my client experience is creating a wedding day timeline! This is essential to making sure that the wedding day keeps on a strict schedule, with some built in buffer time. Creating the perfect wedding day timeline for my couples ensures that they will have a stress free day filled with cherished memories!

It All Starts With The Couple

A month ahead of a couples’ wedding day, I send a questionnaire for them to fill out all the details. This includes the ceremony time, how long their reception will be, and a list of all of the family formal shots that they want. Having a photography friendly timeline is extremely important to make sure you get the most out of your wedding photography investment. I always create extra time in the wedding day timeline in case a part of the day runs behind schedule. But I ensure my couples that this is completely normal and not to worry.

When I arrive for wedding day, I check in first with the bride and groom to let them I’ve arrived. I always start by photographing bridal details and switch between details and getting ready candids. Once everyone finishes their hair and makeup finishes, we are ready for the bride to put on her dress! I like to make sure the bridal party is dressed as well as your mom or whomever, so she can help with getting the dress on. I plan around 1.5 hours in the wedding day timeline for this section of the day. We will then head into your first look!

This is my favorite part of the wedding day! While my wedding couple is soaking in the excitement together, I will take some romantic portraits while the bridal party is on standby for photos. I buffer in extra time throughout the day just in case something unexpected holds us up! One way to make sure we stay on schedule for bridal party portraits is to have someone put the boutonnieres on the guys BEFORE they arrive for portraits.

The bride will go into hiding so guests don’t see her about 30 minutes before the ceremony. During this time I will photograph reception details. I recommend having your cocktail hour in a separate location so I have time to capture the reception untouched. Then it’s time for the ceremony! Most ceremonies last about 30 minutes or less. 

reception details with peach and pink flowers and candles

Immediately after the ceremony we will shoot family portraits. We’ll need about 30 minutes for family formals. My couples fill out the questionnaire before the wedding with their list of photos. I make sure the family members know to stay after the ceremony so we don’t have to go searching for them. It’s great when the officiant makes an announcement! Once family formals are finished, I like to do “just married” portraits. The emotions are different then during your first look since you’re officially married now!

My couples can enjoy cocktail hour and get ready for introductions into the reception! Depending on the time of year you are getting married, we can schedule some time for sunset photos! After the sun has set, the reception events have started! At this time, I’m photographing first dances, speeches, cake cutting, and open dancing. Most of my packages are for 8 hours of coverage so an hour of open dancing photos is plenty. You can schedule a fake exit with your bridal party right before I leave. That way your guests can stay longer and the party never needs to stop! 

sparkler reception exit at Wilmington, NC wedding reception

If you’re planning your wedding and want to book a photographer who creates an amazing client experience, I would love to serve you! Be sure to inquire with me so we can find your date!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *