The wedding timeline


While this guide is a great starting point to plan the wedding day, please keep in mind that the many scheduled events happening during the day including the getting ready, a first look, couples portraits, bridal party photos, family formals and many reception traditions such as the wedding party introductions, the first dance, parent dances, cake cutting, bouquet touching garter toss, and many other cultural or religious traditions might alter the sequence and timing of all events.

I based my wedding day timeline recommendations on the experience I gathered photographing more than 150 weddings throughout out the years. This experience and the exposure to many types of weddings has given me an understanding of how the wedding day should go - especially when it comes to wedding photography.

I’d love to help you simplify the timeline building process to ensure you have a stress-free wedding, while giving you the time to enjoy the day. Here are a few different scenarios and timelines that can give you a better idea of what a wedding day timeline looks like and help you jump-start your wedding day planning





One of the key fundamentals for a stress-free wedding is communication and to set aside enough time to account for any challenges that may arise during the day. One of the worst things that can happen is to have a tight schedule where a delay on one area can have a great effect on the next. These are the most common delays:


Hair and makeup take longer than expected

One of the bridesmaids is running late for hair and makeup

Bridesmaid's dressed or Groomsmen suite need to be steamed

The flowers don't arrive on time

Bridal party needs to change rooms and everything is all over the place

Lacing laces on the bride's dress takes longer than expected

The groom and groomsmen went to play golf and are stuck in traffic

VIPS are stuck in traffic and are running late for photographs


Just be aware that a wedding has a lot of moving parts and no matter how well you plan, delays are bound to happen. To avoid a major delay, just give yourself a time cushion so if there are delays on one event, the effect is not great.




The time you invest planning and designing the timeline can reward you with a seamless wedding

experience. The times listed for each segment below represent the typical amount of time needed to document your wedding day.

Getting Ready - Bride and Bridesmaids (1 hour)

Getting Ready - Groom and Groomsmen (30 minutes)

First Look (15 minutes)

Family Formals (30 minutes)

Wedding Party Portraits (20 minutes)

Bride & Groom Portraits (1 hour)

Ceremony (30 minutes to 1 hour)

Reception (2 to 4 hours)






1:00pm - 2:30pm - Getting ready coverage begins

2:30pm - 3:00pm - Travel to ceremony or bride’s makeup retouch if at the same venue

3:00pm - 4:00pm - Wedding ceremony

4:00pm - 4:30pm - Receiving line and church exit

4:30pm - 5:00pm - Family formals and bridal party pictures

5:00pm - 6:00pm - Bride and groom portraits

6:00pm - 7:00pm - Cocktail hour - Photographer shoots cocktail hour and reception room details

7:00pm - 11:00pm - Reception - Photographer shoots all formalities and dancing






12:00pm - 1:30pm - Getting ready coverage begins

1:30pm - 1:45pm - Travel to first look location

1:45pm - 2:00pm - First look

2:00pm - 2:30pm - Family formals and bridal party pictures

2:30pm - 3:30pm - Bride & groom portraits

4:30pm - 5:00pm - Travel to ceremony location or bride and groom break to retouch makeup

5:00pm - 6:00pm - Ceremony

6:00pm - 7:00pm - Cocktail hour - Photographer shoots cocktail hour and reception room details

7:00pm - 11:00pm - Reception - Photographer shoots all formalities and dancing




While the sample timelines above give you an overview of a typical wedding, there might be other things to consider that are more specific to your wedding. For example,  Jewish weddings might need to allocate additional time for the Ketubah signing, Tisch or Bedeken before the ceremony and additional time for other traditions, like the hora, during the wedding reception.

In addition to planning the wedding timeline, you should also consider other factors that might can help you have a better experience. For example, you can hire a wedding day coordinator to make sure everything goes according to plan or hire a second photographer if your event is large or the events are happening in different locations (e.g. groom getting ready at a different location).



WEDDING DAY CHALLENGES

PLAN FOR THE DAY

Ceremony at 3PM, cocktail hour at 6PM and no first look

WEDDING DAY TIMELINE SAMPLE

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER

Ceremony at 5PM, cocktail hour at 6PM and first look

WEDDING DAY TIMELINE SAMPLE

BACK TO GUIDE INDEX

submit & let's get started

All fields are required

We'd love to hear more about you and your story! Share how you met, your proposal, where you are getting married, your venue and what questions you have for us!
We are here to help you. Use the form below to get in touch! We are excited to hear from you!

LOVE WHAT YOU SEE?

Let's work together!

submit & let's get started

request your wedding photography quote

You deserve the absolute best. That's why We want to
make sure We Are the right choice for you.

In the meantime, follow me on Instagram to see my most current work

THANK YOU! I'LL BE IN TOUCH WITH YOU
WITHIN 48 HOURS

CHRIS@CHRISBOJANOVICH.COM

203.987.5560

contact us for detailed pricing & availability information

@chrisbojanovich.photography

THE LATEST on

Instagram

HOME


Instagram-color Created with Sketch.
Facebook Copy-color Created with Sketch.

Business branding

portraits

Weddings

FIND YOUR WAY AROUND

CONTACT

close menu