If you’re reading this, we assume you’re planning your wedding!! Holy heck. That is so so exciting! We imagine you’re filled with so many emotions as you make big decisions and plan the day you’ve been dreaming of. One of the most challenging parts of planning a wedding can be the timeline. Don’t worry- we’ve got you covered and want to take the stress off your hands!
This is your day, no one else’s. (How exciting, right?) So, how do you want your day to look? Let’s jump into a few things to consider while dreaming up your day!
Your ceremony time is going to really help shape what your day is going to look like. It will dictate what time your hair/makeup needs to be finished, what time photos will be, etc! A huge thing to consider when deciding what time to have your ceremony is light. Will your ceremony take place in the morning, afternoon or evening? Will it be indoors or outdoors? Be sure to take this into account when deciding on your ceremony time.
Sharing from experience, the best scenario (in our opinion) is for your ceremony to be about two hours before sunset and somewhere with beautiful, even lighting. Natural light is always the dreamiest environment for magical photos. You can thank me later on that one!
Now let’s think about time. You’ll want to make sure you’re scheduling in more time than necessary. No matter how organized and detail-oriented you are, things are bound to run a little behind schedule on your big day and it is totally okay. As a photographer and recently married, we have seen it all. By adding a few cushion hours into your schedule whether it’s 30 minutes extra for hair + makeup, 30 minutes extra after the ceremony to hug your people, etc, your day will be much more relaxing. The less rushed, the more present you will be able to be with your people.
Below you’ll see an example timeline to give you the best idea of what to expect throughout your wedding day…
9:00 a.m. -11:00 a.m.—Hair + makeup begins
2:00 p.m.—Couple + wedding party ready
2:00 p.m.—Wedding details photographed- Here’s a few wedding details you won’t want to forget!
2:30 p.m.—Put wedding dress/attire on
2:45 p.m.—First look w/ wedding party or parents (optional)
3:00 p.m.—Couple first look (optional. Here’s pros + cons of a first look!)
3:30 p.m.—Couple portraits (only if you have a first look. If not, couple’s portraits are after ceremony.)
4:00 p.m.—Wedding party photographs
4:45-5:00 p.m.—Couple is hidden + taking a moment to breathe before the ceremony!
5:30 p.m.—Ceremony (sign your marriage license immediately after, so you don’t forget!)
6:00 p.m.—Family photographs
6:30 p.m.—Couple photographs
7:00 p.m.—Dinner + reception begins
7:30 p.m.—Toasts + speeches
8:00 p.m.—First dance + reception events
11:00 p.m.—Couple exits
*Take into account driving time if ceremony and reception are at different locations!
Keep in mind, this is just a sample timeline! This timeline might be perfect for your day or there may be a few items on this list that don’t even apply to your wedding! Do what feels right to you! If you haven’t already, we highly encourage you to consider hiring a wedding planner or day-of-coordinator for your big day to help things flow seamlessly! We hope these tips will help you create the perfect, seamless timeline & that the stress is kept at bay as you step into your big day!