Wedding Day Timeline Examples

WEDDING TIMELINE EXAMPLES

Your timeline can literally make or break your photos. Good lighting is the key to good photography, so if your timeline isn't great the result can be just "okay" photos instead of amazing photos. You want amazing photos! You also want lots of them, so you want to make sure your timeline allows for it which is why I recommend choosing a package with atleast 8 hours *for most weddings*. The goal is to have the portraits of the two of you (which are arguably the most important and the ones that you want to be the most beautiful) land during the prettiest golden hour of the evening...but not too close to sunset incase it's a cloudy day and it gets dark sooner.  You also want a little wiggle room to account for any little delays that may pop up for any reason.

 

Keep in mind that these will need to be adjusted depending on the time of year, and you can always find the time that the sun will set on your wedding date by googling your location + date + sunset time.

Take a look at these wedding day timeline examples (from the photographer's perspective) to get the best photography possible. These should also help you see exactly how an 8 hour vs. 10 hour package differ, and pay attention to how the first look in the 3rd example affects how much time you have for portraits of just the two of you (it essentially doubles the number of photos you'll be able to get together and cuts down the time that guests have to wait by about 40 minutes!):

Timeline Example #1 -

Scenerio:

Date: January 1st

(sunset time 5:44pm)

8 hour package

no first-look

Minimum time (30 minutes) for bride/groom portraits

Photographers NOT staying for full reception

12:00pm - 12:45pm

photographers arrive, begin venue and detail shots

12:45pm - 

photos of finishing up hair and/or make-up

1:15pm-1:30pm -

bride + bridesmaids get dressed

1:45pm - 2:20pm

bridesmaids + bridal portraits

2:00pm-2:15pm - 

groom + groomsmen get dressed

2:30pm -

groomsmen + groom portraits

3:00pm -

take a break/hide from arriving guests/photographer's finish shooting venue shots now that decor/florals are finished being set up.

3:30pm -

ceremony begins

3:45pm -

ceremony ends > begin cocktail hour > gather family for family portraits

3:45pm-4:05pm -

formal family portraits

4:05pm-4:15pm -

portraits of all bridal party together

4:15pm-4:45pm -

bride/groom portraits

4:50pm - 

introductions/start dinner

5:15pm -

bustle dress if needed

5:30pm - 8:00pm

toasts/dancing/cake cutting/bouquet toss/garter toss

8:00pm -

photographers leave

Timeline Example #2 -

Scenerio:

Date: May 1st

(sunset time 8:10pm)

10 hour package

no first-look

Minimum time (30 minutes) for bride/groom portraits

more relaxed timeline/more time for details and unexpected delays

Photographers DO stay for full reception

1:00pm-2:00pm

photographers arrive, 1st hour for venue/detail photos

2:00pm - 3:45pm

photos while getting hair/make-up done, in robes, hanging out, etc.

3:45pm - 

bride + bridesmaids get dressed

4:15pm - 5:00pm - 

bridesmaids + bridal portraits

4:50pm - 5:05pm - 

groom + groomsmen get dressed

5:15pm - 5:45pm - 

groomsmen + groom portraits

5:45pm -

take a break/hide from arriving guests/photographer's finish shooting venue shots now that decor/florals are finished being set up.

6:15pm -

ceremony begins

6:30pm -

ceremony ends > begin cocktail hour > gather family for family portraits

6:30pm - 6:50pm -

formal family portraits

6:50pm-7:00pm -

portraits of all bridal party together

7:00pm-7:30pm -

bride/groom portraits

7:35pm - 

introductions/start dinner

8:00pm -

bustle dress if needed

8:00pm - 11:00pm

toasts/dancing/cake cutting/bouquet toss/garter toss

11:00pm

send-off

Timeline Example #3 (ideal)-

Scenerio:

Date: May 1st

(sunset time 8:10pm)

10 hour package

FIRST-LOOK

Full hour photoshoot time for bride/groom portraits

shorter wait between ceremony and reception for guests

1:00pm-2:00pm

photographers arrive, 1st hour for venue/detail photos

2:00pm - 3:45pm

photos while getting hair/make-up done, in robes, hanging out, etc.

3:45pm - 

bride/bridesmaids AND groom/groomsmen get dressed

4:10pm - 

bride and groom first look

4:15pm -4:35pm - 

portraits of all bridal party together 

4:35pm - 5:35pm - 

bride and groom portraits (full hour)

5:45pm -

take a break/hide from arriving guests/photographer's finish shooting venue shots now that decor/florals are finished being set up.

6:15pm -

ceremony begins

6:30pm -

ceremony ends > begin cocktail hour > gather family for family portraits

6:30pm - 6:50pm -

formal family portraits

6:55pm

introductions/start dinner

7:30pm -

bustle dress if needed

7:45pm - 11:00pm

toasts/dancing/cake cutting/bouquet toss/garter toss

11:00pm

send-off

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©HARPER BLANKENSHIP PHOTOGRAPHY   |   AUSTIN / SAN ANTONIO / TEXAS   |  FINE ART WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER