Creating your Wedding Day Timeline

Hi, all! Recently I have had a couple brides come to me asking for advice on their wedding day timeline. Realizing this is something most brides are creating on their own these days, I thought it might be helpful to share some timing tips when creating your own wedding timeline.

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Before the Wedding

Getting ready photos can be super cute, but what's not cute is having half of your hair on top of your head while your hairdresser is just beginning your up-do. This is why ordering your bridesmaids before yourself for hair matters! As the bride, you should be the last to get your hair and makeup done. This way you can plan for your photographer to arrive as the finishing touches are being added to your hair and makeup. You'll feel confident with an almost full face of makeup and your photographer can catch a few flattering "getting ready" photos.

Each bridesmaid takes about 30 minutes for hair and another 30 for makeup.
Bride's hair takes a solid hour; makeup takes about 45 minutes.
(Typically you will have a trial run for your hair. This is a good way to judge the amount of time your hair should take!)

Photo Time Estimations:
Girls getting ready: 30 minutes
Bride getting into her gown: 10 minutes
Bridal Party (girls only): 30 minutes
Bridal Portraits (bride only): 30 minutes
First Look and bride/groom portraits: 20 minutes - 1 Hour
Bridal Party (boys only): 20 minutes
 

Travel: Are you traveling to your salon? Or traveling from your getting-ready spot to the ceremony location? Don't forget to allow travel time! And always add some extra time for traffic!

Hiding the Bride: NOTE: Guests will start to arrive at least 30 minutes before the ceremony. Make sure to allot enough time for photos to end 30 minutes prior to the ceremony time! This extra time will also be a great time to pray before the wedding and exchange gifts with your groom!

Post Ceremony

Family photos are first! One easy tip to ensure these photos run smoothly is to make sure you inform all family members where to meet immediately following the ceremony. This way you don't waste time looking for Aunt Betty — she's probably at the bar.

Full Bridal Party Photos: This can be done before the ceremony if you and your groom decide on a first look. This typically takes 30 minutes. 

No first look? After your family photos and your full bridal party photos, it will then be time for your bride/groom photos. This takes 45 minutes - 1 hour. 

Final Tips when creating your wedding day timeline

Be prepared! Supplying your photographer with a list of combinations for family photos you want taken will help speed up the process and make sure you don't forget someone!

Be aware of when the sun is to set on your wedding day. Make sure to talk to your photographer if you are getting married in the early spring, late fall, or winter. Depending on the time of your ceremony, you might have to utilize your daylight before the ceremony in order to get all of your photos.

Finally, when in doubt, ask your photographer! No one will know better than him/her how long photos should generally take. And always make sure to run a proof of your timeline past your photographer. He/she may catch things you didn't even consider!

Samantha Searles