Let’s face it, planning a wedding can be tough! My first advice for coordinating your day and ensuring all goes right, HIRE A WEDDING PLANNER! A wedding planner can make things smooth and seamless, and let you relax and take the day in! Don’t consume yourself worrying about the details and making sure everyone is following the timeline. Let someone else keep you and them on track. A wedding planner can not only focus your wedding day vision and ensure that you’re hiring trustworthy vendors, but based on these things and experience, they can develop a timeline so that your day is exactly what you want it to be! We offer a list of amazing planners – just ask!
Whether it’s you or your wedding planner, or perhaps it’s a collaborative effort of both, you’ll want to develop and outline and fill in the details as you go. Here’s a general idea of what your wedding day (photo) schedule should ultimately look like; this will vary based on the dynamics of your day.
For the Bride: A trial run of hair and makeup always helps to estimate how much time you will need to look your best. To be sure you have enough time to enjoy and relax, add another 30-40 minutes to this for a safety net for any issues that could come up, and if nothing comes up, then you’re golden and you can just sit and relax! You’ll also want to include about 20-25 minutes for getting your dress on. Some wedding dresses are tricky and take a bit of practice and time to get zippered, laced, or buttoned properly. Average time: 1.5-2hrs. For the Groom: Most weddings involve some sort of group activity early on, like golfing, shooting pool, etc. Afterwards, we will get some details of the grooms finishing touches, shoes, jacket, cufflinks. These little pieces will help tell your story, documenting groom prep is essential. We will finish up with a few portraits of the guys together, fun & formal! Grooms and party usually take a little less time than the bride and bridesmaids, but obviously this can vary. Average time: 1-1.5hrsKeep in mind things like bride/groom gifts and notes as well as any other personal touches that are unique to your day. For ideas on how to make sure your getting ready photos are amazing, check out our blog post on getting ready photos.The next phase of your outline can really change here. Consider if you want first look photos with couples portraits, and whether or not you want to include the bridal party and/or family. Another common photo request to consider for brides, is if you’ll want first look photos with your father or family. These variables could really change your timeline. Average time: 1-2hrs.
Ceremony & Reception:
We’ve noticed a trend of ceremony services getting shorter and shorter. Thats not to say that they are less important, couples have just been focusing more on the aspects that are truly meaningful to them. Your officiant will give you more information on how long all this will take. Plan for 15-30 additional minutes to allow your guests to exit the ceremony, and 30-45 minutes if you’re planning on having a receiving line. Ceremony Average time: 15mins-1hr.Cocktail hour – Depending on what you did before the ceremony (first look/ no first look) can change your timeline here: couple portraits/family & bridal party photos Average time: 1hr.Guests move to dinner: This time will include Introductions, Toasts/Speeches, and the first dance. Average time: 30mins.Dinner: Typically you will go with your photographer during a portion of dinner to do sunset photos. Average time: 45mins.A bit of dancing usually occurs before Cake Cutting & Parent Dances (Average Time: 15 mins.).Dancing picks back up after, and depending on what you would like for your day will end the night. A typical evening wedding can end anywhere from 10pm-2am.Planning is key to less stress on your big day, so be sure to use your wedding planner to their full potential!