Why to Plan More Time on your Wedding Day (and the Ideal Timeline)

It’s something I discuss with every couple before their day: the timeline! Most brides and grooms assume that leaving most of the one-hour cocktail hour for photos is enough time to shoot all of their photos. By all, I mean family formals, bridal party seperately and together, and bride and groom portraits. While this is technically true (we CAN shoot that fast), it’s not the best scenario! Picture the typical wedding day: After your ceremony, which could go 5-10 minutes late, you do a receiving line that you estimated would take 10 minutes. 25 minutes later, the last guest exits the church and we rally the family members together for family formals.  20 minutes later, we are done with family formals and ready to start bridal party photos and bride & groom portraits. Already, most of that hour is gone! Usually the bridal party is ready to hit the cocktail hour, and sometimes are not as cooperative as they could be, and the bride and groom feel as though they’re missing out on precious time of the day they planned SO long for. We end up feeling rushed and the bride and groom get the last 10 minutes of our time together before the reception starts. This type of timeline can damper our creativity, and the bride and groom miss parts of their own wedding.

Picture this scenario instead for a wedding that’s at, say, 4 p.m. . This would be an ideal timeline to maximize every second of your wedding day and create gorgeous, creative photos:

12:30 – Tim and I arrive at the prep location and shoot the guys and girls getting ready, last finishing touches, and details of dress, rings, flowers, etc.

1 p.m. – Bride and groom see each other for the first time at a pre-determined location

1:10 p.m. – We shoot bride & groom portraits

2 p.m. – We shoot bridal party all together

2:30 pm – Tim shoots groomsmen and I shoot bridesmaids, individuals and all together with bride

3:20 p.m. – Head back to waiting room to drink a cocktail and relax before the ceremony!

4 p.m. – Ceremony

4:30 – Family formals

4:45 – Bride & Groom and bridal party are done! The rest of the night is relaxing, fun and non-rushed.


Of course, we understand when it simply isn’t possible to see each other before the ceremony.  In that case, we always suggest leaving a 2-hour gap in between the end of the ceremony and cocktail hour, or extending the cocktail hour for your guests.

I hope this helped some of you future brides while planning your timeline! 🙂








One response

  1. Shay

    I will keep this in mind. 🙂 Again, I’m such a huge fan. I hope you could maybe do my wedding pictures when that day comes.

    August 19, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s