Wedding Day Timeline and Tips

Timelines below are a general guide based on an 8-hour day with a ceremony start time of 5:00pm. These timelines assume that everything takes place in the same location, which is not often the case for weddings. In your timeline, make sure to include plenty of time for travel between locations.

 

With First Look

1:30pm - LV Arrives
1:30-3:00 - Bride Getting Ready
2:30-3:00 - Bride Getting into dress
3:00-4:30 - First look, Bride/Groom, Bridal Party and Family Portraits
4:30-5:00- Prepare for Ceremony
5:00-5:30 - Ceremony
5:30-6:30 - Cocktail Hour (get any additional family portraits)
6:00-6:30 - Capture Reception Details
6:30-7:00 - Reception entrances, first dance, toasts, first course served
7:00-8:00 - Dinner
8:00-8:15 - Sunset Photos, if applicable
8:15-8:30 - Cake cutting, Parent dances
8:30-11:00 - Dancing
9:30pm - LV departs

Without First Look

2:00pm - LV Arrives
2:00-3:30 - Bride Getting Ready
2:30-3:30 - Guys Getting ready
3:30-4:30 - Separate Bridal Party Portraits
4:30-5:00- Prepare for Ceremony
5:00-5:30 - Ceremony
5:30-7:00 - Bride/Groom, Bridal Party and Family Portraits
7:00-7:30 - Reception entrances, first dance, toasts, first course served
7:30-8:30 - Dinner
8:00-8:15 - Sunset Photos, if applicable
8:30-8:45 - Cake cutting, Parent dances
9:00-11:00 - Dancing
10:00pm - LV departs

 

Getting Ready  |  1.5 hours

I always suggest to give us more time here rather than at the reception.  We typically arrive when the bride's makeup is being applied. The bride getting ready is when most timelines can be thrown off, so make sure to leave some buffer room for everyone's makeup and hair to be finished on time.

Hair, Makeup and Candids

This is your down time with your bridesmaids. Drink mimosas and have fun! One of us will be there to shoot candids while the other is capturing the details. Try to find a room with plenty of windows as natural light is key for beautiful photos. Also try your best to somewhat organize the room prior to us arriving.

The Details

You've spent a lot of energy picking out all the little details and designing your invitation - they should be captured in a beautifully composed way!

Tip: have the details ready to be photographed. These include the dress, shoes, rings (both bride and grooms), other jewelry, veil, hair pieces, perfume, and invitations. 

Bridal Portraits

These include you getting into your dress, your family and friends helping you get ready and also just photos of you. All bridesmaids should be dressed prior to the bride. This way everyone will look stunning as that beautiful gown is being buttoned up.

The Guys

Lets be honest, guys require a lot less time to get ready. One of us will be with them as they joke around and Google the best way to fold a pocket square.

 

First Look and Creatives | 1.5-3 hours

I highly encourage first looks for all couples who do not have much time in between their ceremony and reception. It allows you to have that special moment together without a crowd watching. It also helps to de-stress the day when we can get all your most important photos completed prior to the ceremony, allowing you to enjoy your cocktail hour. Creativity takes time and so does organizing large groups of people!

The exception is if we have plenty of time in between the ceremony and reception, which typically happens when they are not at the same location or with an extended cocktail hour. That often times works out even better since the lighting improves later on in the day.

First Look | 15 minutes

This is an intimate moment to be shared by just the bride and groom and captured by us. We love capturing the emotion between the couple during this time.

Bride and Groom Portraits | 30-45 minutes

This usually happens immediately after the first look and is our absolute favorite part of the day. We like to keep it natural and fun instead of meticulously posing you.

Bridal Party Portraits | 30 minutes

Tip: take special care to check the sunset time if you're wedding is in the late fall/winter/early spring. We cannot photograph outside in the dark without using external flash, which will not capture the beautiful scenery.

 

Pre-Ceremony | 30 minutes

I always suggest leaving a good 30 minutes to sit down and take a breather before walking down the aisle. The rest of the day and night will fly by so be sure take this time to freshen up and relax. We use this time to photograph the ceremony space and get set up.

 

Ceremony | 30 minutes-1 hour

Ceremony times of course vary. You will be in the moment and we will worry about the rest. When the bridal party is walking down the aisle, 1 person (or 2 if we're doing video) will be at the sides of the aisle capturing those moments. When the bride has walked down we will exit along the sides so as not to distract during the ceremony. 

 

Cocktail | 1 hour

Family Portraits | 20 minutes

We encourage you to have only the most important family members for these photos. We want you to be able to enjoy your cocktail hour with your guests! Here are some typical shots:

B&G + both sets of parents
B&G + Bride's parents
B&G + Bride's immediate family
B + individual family members
G + Groom's parents
B&G + Groom's immediate family
G + individual family members
Sibling shots
Grandparents shots

Reception Details | 20 minutes

When one of us is getting the family portraits, the other will be capturing all the details of the reception hall before the guests enter. We love having the time to get those gorgeous table settings and name cards before they've been touched. 

 

Reception

Introductions, first dance, toasts, dinner, cake cutting, bouquet toss, etc.

Every reception timeline is different and is typically worked out with your venue, caterer and DJ/Band. We just like to know the details and have the organizer let us know before a major event is happening. Here we're capturing candid coverage and will let the night play out.

Sunset Shots | 15 minutes

If there's an epic sunset then we want to capture it! Nothing beats that golden hour glow and we often step out for a short time to capture some beautiful shots.

Dancing | 1 Hour

Whip out the wide angle lens and get the party started! We typically dip out about 1 hour after dancing has begun. There are only so many blackmail photos you need of your family and friends getting down on the dance floor.

Special Exit

Did somebody say sparklers, antique cars and fireworks? If you're having a special exit, we absolutely want to be there for it. Sometimes that means extending our coverage or adjusting the timeline to fit.