One of the biggest things to consider as you think about your wedding day is your timeline!! As you begin to create your wedding day timeline, remember that much of the timeline is built around photos, your ceremony time, and sunset time. Here are nine things you should consider as you plan your wedding day timeline. Scroll to the bottom for sample timelines!
1. First Looks. Would you like to do a first look? Do you want to add in any additional first looks (with dad, bridesmaids, etc.)?
2. Gift & Letter Exchange. Would you like to add in time to exchange gifts or letters (videographers will often want to have the letters read out loud)?
3. Travel Time. Will you be traveling between venues? Factor in extra travel time, as well as time to pack up, get into cars, and park.
4. The Grand Exit or the Faux Exit. Do you want your photographer to be there for your exit at the end of the evening? If this is not a priority, or not in the budget, considering doing a “faux exit” earlier in the evening. Your photographer will have just close family and bridal party fake the exit, and then you’ll get back to the party!
5. Hair & Makeup Schedule. How long does hair and makeup take? Work with your hair and makeup artist to create a schedule that gets you done on time – be sure to communicate with them exactly what time you need to be ready for photos, and be clear that it’s important you’re finished on time. Often, wedding day timelines can get derailed from the beginning because hair and makeup are not finished in time.
6. Setting Your Ceremony Time. Work with your photographer to set your ceremony time so that you have ideal lighting for your photos! Depending on your location, how many venues you have, travel time, and whether or not you are choosing to have a first look, their recommended ceremony time will likely be somewhere between 90 minutes to 3 hours prior to sunset.
7. Ceremony Length. Most wedding ceremonies last about 30 minutes. However, if you plan to have a shorter or longer ceremony, be sure to account for that as you build your timeline.
8. Cocktail Hour. If you want to attend cocktail hour, consider doing a first look and omitting extended family photos so that you have minimal photos remaining after your ceremony. If you want cocktail hour to be short, having a first look or a limited family photo list will also allow you to get to your reception more quickly.
9. Bride & Groom Time Before Reception. Would the new Mr. & Mrs. like a few minutes before their reception to have a moment alone to eat, have a cocktail, and soak in the newlywed bliss? Add time on to cocktail hour to allow for these moments!