No two weddings are the same, so it can be difficult to determine what your wedding day timing should look like. believe me, I get it! So this blog is here to help you understand how much time is needed for certain aspects of your wedding day.
It’s hard to say for sure exactly how your day will go, but this post is only meant to serve as an overview. I highly recommend hiring a coordinator or planner. Even if your venue offers an on site venue coordinator. Venue coordinators are wonderful at what they do, but they are not the same as a hired wedding coordinator that knows the ins and outs of your wedding day.
Every wedding is different but these estimates can help you get a good feel for how long things will take. Just keep in mind that every wedding and photographer is different so some of this might change.
– Styled Details and Getting Ready + 60 minutes
– Cute Pajama or Robe Photos + 5 minutes
– Bride Putting on Dress + 30 minutes (trust me)
– Bridal Portraits + 20 minutes
– Groom Portraits + 5 minutes
– First Looks w/ Bridesmaids, Dads etc + 5 minutes (each)
– First Look w/ Couple + 10 minutes
– Couple Portraits + 40 minutes
– Bride and Bridesmaids + 15 minutes
– Groom and Groomsmen + 15 minutes
– Full Bridal Party + 10 minutes
– Family Formals + 30 minutes (15 groups or less)
– Tucked away before guests arrive + 30 – 60 minutes
– Ceremony Detail Photos + 10 minutes
– Travel Time + 15 minutes in addition to GPS estimate
Mistakes to Avoid
Over the years we have seen some sticky situations that have totally derailed the timeline of the day. Here are some things to avoid when creating your wedding day timeline to help avoid stress!
- Not adding buffer time. Tucking in buffer time really comes in handy if things get off track so that you can make up time later if needed. Add 5 or 10 minutes here and there to accommodate for this!
- Hair and makeup running over. Avoid this by communicating a clear “hard stop time” to your hair and makeup team long before the wedding day.
- Getting stuck in traffic/finding parking. Add 15 minutes to any travel time needed on your wedding day.
- Flowers not arriving in time for portraits. Communicate clearly with your florist when florals will be needed. Personal florals (bouquets and boutonnieres) should arrive when your photographer arrives.
- Not planning for enough time to put on the dress.
- Family heading to cocktail hour before family formals. Prevent this by personally letting them know where to be for formals and when to be there prior to the wedding day.
Planners and Coordinators
Again, we cannot stress the importance of having a coordinator or planner for your wedding day more! (Separate from a venue coordinator) Having someone on hand to help with all of this (and creating your full wedding timeline) is such a huge help for any couple getting married. We share a list of our preferred coordinators with all of our booked couples. Month of coordinators typically book several months in advance so please don’t wait!