I am by no means a wedding planner. But, I have photographed my own share of weddings to help give out a few tips in regards to preparing a wedding timeline. I remember enjoying doing this when I was going through my own wedding planning, it was as if I was already “living” the wedding day as I was writing it down.. VERY exciting!!
Sometimes one might feel that as long as we have “in mind” what will go on during the day, it will be sufficient. Trust me, the wedding day flies by FAST! and some things don’t always go according to plan, but it’s always VERY helpful to have a timeline. Others involved in the wedding will also appreciate to be in the loop of things.
Many brides work along with a wedding coordinator/planner, and that’s great! But if you don’t have one, work with your photographer to build the best timeline for your day. Every wedding photographer is different, some might need more or less time when shooting, so feel free to ask them for advise when it comes down to planning the day. Remember, your wedding photographer will be with you for the majority of the day -more than any other vendor- so his/her opinion definitely counts 😉
Here are a few guidelines (more or less) to get you started for an 8 hour coverage.
Bride getting ready: 30-45 minutes. Allow extra 30minutes if photos of groom and his guys want separate getting ready shots, unless you have a second shooter. Plan for travel time if at a different location.
First look and portraits (If planned): 30 minutes to one hour
Family Portraits after ceremony: 30 minutes
Wedding Party: 30 minutes
Bride and Groom portraits: 1 hour
Reception set-up prior to guest arrival: 30minutes
With that said, a good start is to work your way up from the Ceremony time. Say your ceremony will take place at 4:30pm with a “first look”.
As you can already see, without a first look you could potentially have less portrait coverage, and potentially very minimal getting ready shots if your plan is to have make-up and hair done early in the morning.
For reception it could work well by doing the following;
Again, this is just an idea to help you plan. Don’t be shy about asking your wedding coordinator or photographer for scheduling suggestions, they will appreciate it!