The biggest question I typically get asked during the planning phases is “How should my wedding day be planned out?” or “How to Create Your Own Wedding Photography Timeline?”. While my favorite answer is “It depends”, I thought it might be better just put a post out there so you can build your own timeline!
A couple of caveats though:
- If you are working with another wedding photographer, please talk to them before making anything permanent. They may have different ideas and that is okay! Just make sure to talk to them before deciding anything!
- These timelines are built assuming that there is little to no time traveling between locations. If traveling between ceremony, reception, and any other locations takes time, that needs to be taken into consideration! Please let your photographer know during the timeline creation stage about anything like this.
- Not everyone’s timeline is the same. So below, I have provided two different examples of how the timelines can be broken out.
A Sample 8 hr timeline with a First Look
I’m not going to try to convince you that you should have a first look, because I have already created a post about that already. So instead, I’m just going to assume that if you are reading this part, you have already decided to do it, mmkay?
Right when I show up, I always like to start with the details. I love when my clients go ahead and put all of the details in a bag. Then when I show up, we can go ahead and knock that out right at the start!
This timeline also has me start a little bit earlier since we have to do more before the ceremony like all of the portraits and the first look! But doing it this way gives you more portraits and you will get to attend the cocktail hour if you have one!
But if you are set on having the doors open and having the first time they see you at the ceremony, then I have that sample timeline for you too!
A Sample 8 hr timeline with an Aisle Reveal
I’d say a good portion of my couples still have a traditional aisle reveal and that is okay! They love having the doors open and seeing their loved one at the end of the aisle for the first time. If that is how you dreamed it would be, then I’m fully here to support it. I just want to make sure we still plan to include everything important and give it the proper amount of time!
The biggest thing to note about this timeline is to make sure all of the portraits that are scheduled before the ceremony are completed during their designated time. You have less time after the ceremony and we can’t really push things around with this timeline. Also, I need at least 90 minutes to two hours after the end of the ceremony with good, quality light to get the best portraits of the two of you. The couple’s portrait time is always placed last since we want to get your guests to get to the party. However, that means if we are running late, your portraits is the time slot that suffers.
Typically, most of my clients will also have a cocktail hour during the time after the ceremony as well. And that’s actually a smart thing to do! Your guests know you are taking photos, but it is good to keep them occupied so you can have a moment for just the two of you as a married couple!
Another great way to keep the time after the ceremony short is by keeping it to immediate family only. I know it would be hard to say no, but we can do it at the reception, I promise! Family formals can take up a lot of time, especially if last minute requests are added on. If you have any requests for extra family or friend portraits, let me know and we can find a way to do it at the reception!
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I know timelines aren’t the most fun thing to talk about (unless you like organizing as much as I do), but knowing all of this ahead of time can make or break your wedding day!