Wedding Planning Tips

Creating Your Wedding Day Timeline

Building Your Wedding Day Timeline – Everything You Need To Know

The top two questions I get from couples are how much coverage do I need and how do I create a wedding day timeline.

I’ve got you covered! I’m laying out three questions to answer and how to layout your timeline.

First sit down and write out the answers to these three questions:

  1. What time is your ceremony? Afternoon? Morning? Lat night celebration? My average couple chooses to have their ceremony right around the 3/4 O’Clock time.

  2. Next let’s talk about your first look. Haven’t even thought about a first look? Check out this blog for the pros and cons of doing a first look or not! Whether or not you do a first look does influence the timeline of your day. If you choose to do one, you can knock out all of the photos before your ceremony. If you choose to keep it more traditional, you will need to have a longer cocktail hour to ensure you get all of your photos, wedding party photos, and family photos taken care of.

  3. I always ask my couples how large will your groupings be for family portraits. Some people want more extended family photos, aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, etc. For that, I would highly recommend having an hour of the day set aside to get all of those. If you’re wanting just immediate family – parents, siblings, grandparents – then you can definitely allow for just 30 minutes.



Now that you have those answered you can write out your timeline of the day.

Whenever I am creating a timeline for couples, I start with your ceremony time and work backwards from there. Let’s say your ceremony starts at 4:00 PM and you are doing a first look, I always give you a half hour to relax before you say I do. Then work back wards from there with all of your family portraits and wedding portraits. Leave an hour for your first look and couple portraits. 30 min. for the final getting ready touches.

Fast forward to your ceremony and work forward to determine your reception timeline. 3:00 PM ceremony for 30 minutes. You have cocktail hour until 4:45, grand entrance at 5:00 PM. Now your DJ will most likely run the reception show, that is what they are there for! You can work with them on the exact timeline for your reception, but I have laid out the most common timeline below. I ALWAYS leave 30 minutes to go out and snag some sunset couple portraits so you have a variety of photos to choose from the day!





Here is an example timeline of a wedding I have coming up!

If you’re more of a visual person, I talked through the entire process step by step of creating your timeline on my Instagram. Check it out here!

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If you’re wondering how much coverage you need to create your timeline, head over this blog post and find out!

Ready to start planning?

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Husband + Wife, photographer, videographer, artists,
cat parents, travelers,
inspired by family, joy, and you.

That's us on our wedding day. The part we loved the most? The big group hugs, the tears shed, the belly laughs, and getting to share all of it with our friends and family. 

We're Olivia + Christian


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