Creating a wedding time line is an important part of the wedding planning process. By having a set time for things to happen on your day things will run more smoothly and you'll be able to relax and have a stress free day!
Couples will often think of when to plan the ceremony, when to start the reception, when to feed the guests, etc. But often times their portrait sessions or photo time with their family get over looked. Planning the schedule is a collaboration between my couples and I to come up with the best time line that works best for them.
Carving out a good chunk of your schedule for photography is extremely important when thinking about your time line. Having more time than you think you might need for photos goes a long way to help plan for unexpected delays. The ceremony can run long. Guests and family members can be missing. The weather might not cooperate and then things get rushed. A well thought out schedule helps to guarantee great images from your wedding day.
If you want the best photographs you'll want to keep some of these following things in mind. Plan a good chunk of time towards being photographed, and plan more time than you think you'll need. Keep in mind the time of day and the quality of light that will be available for your formals and portraits, especially if you are getting married later in the year when the sun sets earlier. Also consider about amount of time you'll have following the ceremony and the start of the reception. You don't want to feel rushed or stressed to get back to the reception while you're taking portraits.
Below I have created two different time lines. The first is the couple seeing each other before the ceremony, for a first look. The second time line is the couple waiting to have their portraits taken following the ceremony. (Keep in mind this is just a guideline and not set in stone and can differ depending on what time of the year you are getting married):
Time line if formal portraits taken before the ceremony:
Morning-three hours before ceremony- The bride and her bridesmaids get their hair and makeup done and begin to get dressed. Two hours before ceremony – I arrive to the location where bride is getting ready. During this time the bride gets into her dress and gets ready to leave for ceremony location or the location for the first look. 1 hour and 30 minutes before the ceremony - The bride and groom have their first look. 1 hour before the ceremony - The bride and groom have their portraits with their bridal party. 30 minutes before the ceremony – The bride and groom along with the bridal party arrive at the ceremony. This is a chance for the bride and groom to relax and freshen up before the start of the ceremony. Ceremony begins. 45 minutes following the start of the ceremony – The family portraits are taken with bride and groom. 1 hour following the start of the ceremony – The cocktail reception beings. The bride and groom have final portraits taken until dark.
Time line if the portraits follow the ceremony:
2 hours before ceremony - The bride has portraits done with her bridesmaids 1 hour before ceremony - The groom has portraits done with his groomsmen 30 minutes before ceremony - The bride and groom are part way done with portraits and can have time to relax and freshen up before the ceremony starts. Ceremony beings. 45 minutes following the start of the ceremony - The family portraits are taken with bride and groom 1 hour following the start of the ceremony - The bride and groom have portraits with their bridal party. 1 hour and 30 minutes following the start of the ceremony - The bride and groom have formal portraits. 2 hours after the start of the ceremony - The formal portraits are done.
I want to be able to provide you the best images I possibly can from your wedding day. Working together to come up with the best time line for your day will ensure that you'll walk away from your wedding day with images that you'll love!
I hope that this helpful to couples who are beginning to think about their wedding day time line. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below!