Something that many couples underestimate is the importance of planning your wedding day timeline. How do I create a timeline for my wedding where I won’t feel stressed out or rushed? Plus, a wedding can be pretty high-stress… How do I mentally prepare for my wedding day and stay calm?
It’s worth taking the time to think about these things, since your wedding day isn’t just about your guests; you want to enjoy it as well! As a wedding photographer, I’ve seen over and over what works well on wedding days – and what doesn’t.
Based on my experience, I’ve put together an outline you can use to work out how to plan your day. That way, you’ll have plenty of time to spend with your loved ones, while still enjoying quality time as a couple. If you’re wondering how to create a stress-free wedding timeline, this guide should help.
Start with the groom. Grab your friends, enjoy a drink and begin getting dressed. I’ll be able to capture some lovely candid moments of you and your friends preparing for the day. I usually spend around 45 minuets on this part of the day!
Next in the schedule should be the bride and her besties. Schedule in around 1 hour and 20 minutes for this. Try to time it so that your hair and make-up is almost ready when I arrive, that way, we can get some fun photos of you getting ready and the artist touching up your make-up.
The getting-ready shots tend to be some of the most fun to look back on, as you can relieve special memories of preparing for the day with your closest friends and relatives.
Next, it’s the moment you’ve been waiting for… The ceremony!
I always arrive around 30 minutes before the actual ceremony so that I can focus on all your beautiful decorations and personalised touches. You worked so hard on your table settings, flowers, and decor, so it’s important that I take photos for you to help remember the day.
It’s also great to have candid photos of your guests arriving, with excitement and anticipation of what’s to come.
It’s time to introduce the world to the new bride and groom! The exit from your ceremony venue is your first public outing as a married couple, so we’ll take plenty of photos as you exit.
I love a confetti exit too! Don’t worry if your venue doesn’t allow it – you can often get around this by asking a friend or relative to help source some biodegradable confetti or rose petals.
I recommend jumping straight into family photos after the ceremony. Otherwise, people might go their separate ways or head to the bar!
So how long do wedding photos usually take? We can usually get this done in around 25 minutes, but it’ll go faster if you’re prepared.
It helps to make a list of family members that need to be included so we don’t miss anyone. Or, if you have a relative with a loud voice, they can be the perfect person to enlist to help out with rounding up the troops. This person can also help remind everyone to stay put after the ceremony, so we can get your family photos done as soon as possible.
Bridal party shots
After the family shots, I recommend moving onto some group images of the bridal party. You’ll love having photos of you and all your best friends celebrating, so we can plan something super energetic, with more confetti, or a simple yet lovely champagne toast.
I find this is something most couples worry about, as it can feel awkward being followed around by a photographer. However, I promise it’s nothing to worry about!
It’s my job to make couples feel comfortable and I’ve got lots of little tricks to help you. I’ll give you guidance and help set you up, but the magic will come from those little in-between moments when you’re laughing, looking at one another, or resting your head on one another’s shoulder.
The wedding portraits usually take around 35 minutes. Depending on the day, try to schedule in some time pop out for some golden hour photos just before sunset – this soft, glowing light is gorgeous for weddings.
After the portraits, it’s time to let loose and enjoy the reception. Make sure to allow some time before your guests arrive so we can capture the details of your reception in its pristine condition.
Have you thought about planning a fun entrance? This is so entertaining and gets the guests hyped up for an evening of pure fun and celebration.
I find that it’s best to stagger speeches throughout the night and to schedule your own for the very end of the evening. This gives the night pace and form while also bringing the whole party back to a single focus again.
Unless you’re planning on having your first dance straight out of the gates, I recommend aiming for around 8.30 pm. By this time, you’ll be ready to go straight from your Waltz into a full-blown whole party boogie.
While you unwind, toast and dance with your nearest and dearest, I’ll snap away in the background, capturing sweet images of you and your loved ones having the time of your lives.
I hope the above gives you a good idea of how to create a seamless wedding timeline and plan the layout and flow of your wedding day. However, remember that it’s just a guide and the best way to plan your wedding is always what works best for you!
If you have any questions about wedding planning, timelines or the amount of time we need to allocate for photos, I am happy to help. As an experienced wedding photographer, I’ll be with you to help plan out the day so that we can capture all the beauty, fun, and love it entails.