Wedding Day Timeline Tips

Wedding day timeline tips

Hi everyone! Sara here. I’m coming at you today with some tips that will help you plan your wedding day timeline. Newly engaged people often will sit down and really start thinking about their wedding and realize they don’t quite know how long certain things will take. 

That’s what I’m hoping to help you with in this post! Of course, all of my couples get individualized help putting together their wedding day timeline from me! I talk with each of my couples and put together a timeline that ensures everything goes smoothly and they don’t have to worry about a thing! 

In this post though, I’ll go over a few tips that will be helpful for you when thinking about how to put together your wedding day timeline. I hope this helps, and reach out to me with any questions you might have! 

1. Decide whether you want to do a first look or not. A first look is when the marriers see each other before the ceremony. It’s a sweet, intimate moment between the couple and I think it helps reduce nerves before the ceremony! I could write so much more about this (and did in another blog post) but whether you have a first look or not will have a huge impact on how your timeline is set up. If you have a first look, you can get most of your pictures done before the ceremony (including wedding party pictures and couples pictures). If you don’t have a first look, you should try to make sure you plan your ceremony early enough so that you have enough natural light to get all your portraits (all the ones I mentioned above, plus family formals) done following the ceremony. Check the sunset time on the day of your wedding and talk with your photographer about this so you can get the best light possible! We can always do flash portraits but who doesn’t want glowy sunset pictures?! 

2. The bride (or groom) should NOT be the last one to get their hair and makeup done! I can’t stress this enough! I have seen late ceremonies because the bride was the last one to get ready. Make sure that the bride or groom, if they are getting hair and makeup done, are in the middle of the line up! Hair and makeup always takes longer than you think it will! We can always do touch ups later but that way if you need to go on to a first look, you can. 

3. Leave buffer time between different parts of the day. In the case that something takes a little longer than you think it will (which something most likely will), it’s good to leave buffer time between different parts of the day. As a photographer, I always help my couples plan this out during the timeline consultation. I know about how long things take and always add on a little bit of extra time. This ensures that even if we do get a little behind for one part of the day, we still can stay on schedule in the long run! 

4. Consider travel time. If you are travelling to multiple locations for the ceremony, reception, and photos, make sure to account for travel time, and add a little time for traffic.

5. Plan to be hidden 30 minutes before the ceremony so your guests don’t see you. This is time before the ceremony that you will be able breathe a little before it’s time to walk down the aisle (or whatever you’re walking down!). This is also a good time for your photographer to take detail shots of the ceremony space. 

As a last note, all my couples get a guide that includes wedding planning tips once they book me :). This guide also has a detailed sample timeline that helps them see how a wedding day could flow. 

I hope that helped! Please reach out if you have any questions, I’d be happy to help!

All my best, 


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