5 Steps to Create Your Wedding Day Timeline

Jun 11, 2022

You’ve got a list of suppliers you’ve been recommended by friends, your mum is wondering what time she needs to be ready by, your partner is pacing back and forth and you’re staring into the abyss wishing that someone would show you the way *enter Lily’s Wedding Day Timeline blog post*

A lot of couples, much like yourself, haven’t planned a timeline of their wedding day before; not to fear.

When you book me as your photographer / videographer, I will go through this with you and fill in the blanks or look over your timeline to make sure we’re on the same page.

This is a generic guideline and should be looked at as a tool to design your own wedding day timeline. Elopements, destination weddings, multi-day weddings, culture, ethnicity and religion are not factored into this guide.

1) What’s Most Important?

Whether or not the photography/videography is the most important thing on your day, we still need to be kept in the loop. For the majority of cases, it takes longer than you think. Organising family members, looking for your bridesmaids shoe, chasing down the snacks and then taking guidance for photos; it takes time.

Make a list of every scene you’d like captured during the day and work the details around them.

For example, you’d like some of those prep styling shots, but also a first look and group portraits. It’s not ideal to have makeup/hair finishing 10 minutes before we need to leave. Book them in to finish up approximately an hour or so before to make sure we get all those shots.

Some couples I work with want shots of them walking down the aisle, but also the back of their dress. Say you’re super keen on having wedding party portraits, but you’ve organised an amazing cocktail hour for your guests. This is the time to think about having a second shooter. An extra set of hands can help capture your friends mingling, whilst I’m with you eating Allens and posing to tunes.

2) Ceremony & Portraits

To arrive and set up, I like to be at the ceremony location 20-30 minutes prior to the start time, and 30-40 minutes prior for video.

Every ceremony is different! A Catholic ceremony may go for an hour, but it’s possible for a celebrant to complete in 5 minutes. Chat with whoever will be officiating and how you’d like it to run.

From there, depending on the time of year and combinations, I usually leave about 30 minutes for family photos. It’s a great time for these shots as everyone is still looking sharp and no one’s disappeared 😂

Portraits are next. These generally just involve the wedding party, but you can include whoever you like. This is where you will need to factor in travel time to different locations, transport, snack/drinks and coordinating with family.

3) Venue, Speeches & Sunset

Cocktail or set menu, the catering will usually have a way they like to do things. 30 minutes is a good amount of time to get those gorg sunset shots and to dip out for a moment together. After factoring in sunset, work in your meal times. And lastly, slot in your speeches, cake cutting, games, dances – AND LET’S GET THAT D-FLOOR OPEN ASAP! 💃

4) Travel Time

To minimise loss of coverage time, really map out your ceremony, reception and prep locations. You don’t want to be constantly getting in the car going to and from locations.

You want to be enjoying your wedding day!

5) Prep & Details

Using a hetero relationship as an example, I like to spend at least an hour with the groom, and an hour and a half with the bride before leaving to the ceremony. This is usually enough time to capture those beautiful detail shots, candids with your family and wedding parties, and all your group portraits once you’re all ready.

With these points in mind, I hope I’ve created some clarity. When you work out what is most important to you, everything else should fall into place. Keep the communication lines open with your chosen suppliers and make sure everyone is on the same page.

In the end, all we want is to show up for you both in the best way possible.

Click here if you need help discussing your timeline!

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