Wedding Day Timeline

Even if you’ve been to a wedding, you’ve probably never paid attention to the time frame of events. I get a lot of questions about how to plan a wedding day schedule. For me it’s easy. I usually start with the ceremony time and work backwards to make sure there is enough time for everything. If I’ve learned anything, the best practice is to leave more time that you think you will need. Always!

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Here is what a typical schedule looks like:

Photography Begins: 1:00 pm

Hair and Makeup should really be done or just finishing up at this point.

Getting Ready 

  • Dress alone
  • Bride and girls getting ready
  • Bride putting on dress
  • Bride alone in dress
  • Guys getting ready (assistant photographs)
  • Guys putting on boutonnieres (assistant photographs)
  • Details /candids

 FIRST LOOK    2:45-3:00

  • Bride and Groom alone

 Casual/Fun Bridal Party and Bride and Groom Shots      3:00-4:00

  • Group Shots
  • Candid shots
  • Couple  shots

Ceremony       4:00-4:30

  • Ushers seating guests
  • Processional
  • Bride walking down aisle
  • Groom waiting at altar
  • Bride being given away
  • Wedding party at altar
  • Exchange of rings
  • Exchange of vows
  • Exchange of Kiss
  • Signing of marriage license (if available)
  • Recessional
  • Bride and Groom together walking down aisle
  • Detail candids of guests and decor

 Formal/ Family Shots   4:30-5:00

  • Bride and Groom with entire wedding party
  • Bride and Groom with parents, siblings, grandparents, extended family
  • Bride and Groom with parents, grandparents, siblings
  • Bride and Groom with grandparents
  • Bride and Groom with parents, siblings
  • Bride and Groom with siblings
  • Bride and Groom with parents

Reception   Cocktail Hour: 5:00-6:00pm Dinner Served: 6:00pm

  • Overall view of reception hall
  • Detail shots
  • Guests interacting
  • Cake Table
  • Head table details and candids
  • Announcement of wedding party
  • Announcement of Bride and Groom
  • Cake cutting
  • Toast and speeches
  • DINNER            (no photos)
  • First dance
  • Bride and father dance
  • Groom and mother dance
  • Bouquet and Garter (if necessary, some couples chose not to do this)
  • Dancing candid shots

Photography Ends: Between 9-10 pm

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  • Emily

    This was incredibly helpful! I’ve been to only a handful of weddings (and in each of them so you’d think I was paying attention) and I keep feeling like I’m missing certain logistical pieces of it when I think ahead to my own. Thank goodness I have two weddings to just attend and not stand up in before my own next summer!ReplyCancel

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