One of the things I get asked most about is how do I put together a wedding day timeline? This is something that your photographer and/or your wedding planner should work with you on putting together. However, I did want to share some tips so that it can help you be prepared when it comes to the timeline of the wedding day. There are lots of things that factor into your timeline, and things a lot of people don’t consider.
I think the biggest misconception when it comes to putting a timeline together is how much time is actually needed.
My photography packages begin with a minimum coverage of 8 hours. I don’t think it is possible to fully document a wedding day the way I would like to and the way I think every bride deserves in less than 8 hours. I used to offer 6-hour packages, and I just don’t think it is enough time. The only exception to this would be an elopement.
Even with 8 hours, I think that is the bare minimum amount of coverage that will be needed.
One of the biggest things you want to be careful of when creating your timeline is making sure to divide your time up evenly throughout the day. You don’t want it to be heavy on pre-ceremony portraits, and you don’t want it to be heavy on reception photos. This is why I like to divide my coverage up evenly. I typically split my coverage where half is on the front end, and then the other half is on the back end of the day.
I also created a guide with some additional tips for creating the perfect wedding day timeline on my website. You can click HERE to download that guide.
I’m going to show you 4 examples of real wedding day timelines. You can adjust the times based on when your ceremony time is.
If you chose not to do a first look, do keep in mind the time of sunset. Since the majority of the photos will be done after the ceremony, you will want to plan your ceremony early enough to still have sunlight for your photos after the ceremony. I think having your ceremony end at least an hour and a half before sunset is ideal in this scenario.
Also, if you chose not to do a first look, you will want to allow at least an hour after the ceremony for photos. This is a great time for your guests to enjoy a cocktail hour.
I hope this will help answer some of your timeline questions. If you would like a Canva template of these timelines to customize for your wedding, you can click here to download them for free!