How to Create your Wedding Day Timeline
When I am working with couples I ask them the following questions in order to create their timeline.
First Answer the following Questions
1- Is everything in one location or multiple locations?
2- How far away is each location?
3- Do you want to do a first look?
4- What time is your Ceremony
5- What time is does your cocktail hour start
6- What time does your reception end
7- What time is sunset (Google your wedding date, location, and sunset)
I always start with the same formula and build backwards.
Everything in one location
Ceremony at 5pm between March- October
No first Look
One Photographer – 8 Hours of Coverage for full day
2:30 Photography Begins with Bride
3:30 Hair & Make-up Complete
3:30 Groom/Bridegroom & Wedding Party Getting Ready Photos
3:30 Wedding Party & moms get dressed
4:00-4:20 Bride gets into dress
4:20-4:30 First Look with Wedding Party
4:30-4:40 First Look with Dad
5:30-6:30 Cocktail Hour
5:30-5:40 Family Photos
5:45-6:00 WP & couple Photos
6:00-6:20 Couple enjoys Cocktail Hour
6:20-6:30 Couple Photos
6:35-6:45 Entrances /First Dance
6:45-7:00 Open Dance Floor
7:00-7:15 First Course Served/ Blessing
8:00 Parent Dances
8:15 Dance Floor Opens
9:00 Cake Cutting /Night Photos
10:30pm End of Reception
** Sunset photos would take place at some point during the reception if possible
Everything in different locations
Religious Ceremony at 5pm between March- October
No first Look
10 Hours of Coverage
1:00 Getting Ready Photos Begin with Bride
2:00-2:45 Bridegroom/Groom and Wedding Party Getting Ready Photos
2:00 Hair & Make-up Complete
2:00 Wedding Party & Mom’s get dressed and pack up everything for reception
2:30 Bride gets into dress
2:45 First Look with Wedding Party
3:00 First Look with Dad
2:45-3:15 Bridegroom/Groom and Wedding party travel to church
3:15-3:45 Bride & Wedding party travel to church
5:00-5:20 Family Photos in Church
5:20-6:30 Photos on the road
6:30-7:30 Cocktail Hour
6:30- 7:10 Couple go to Cocktail Hour
7:10-7:25 Photos with couple around venue
7:35-7:45 Entrance/First Dance
7:45-8:00 Dance Set
8:00-8:15 First Course
8:15-9:00 Second Course
9:00 Parent Dances/Cake Cutting
11:30 Reception Ends
If you add a first look add 90 minutes before the ceremony. The only time I recommend a first look is during winter months when the sun sets before your ceremony start time.
For same sex weddings I love when brides get their hair and make-up done together and then separate to get dressed. There are little intimate moments while you are getting ready that are just beautiful to capture.
For Grooms I can go either way. Helping each other get ready also adds an intimate touch. If you get ready in rooms next to each other we can also do some neat things with photos while you are both getting ready.