Timelines: They are hard and I’m here to help!

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Easily the most frequent question I get from clients is “How do I make a timeline? How long does everything take?”

Well I’m here to help! One note, if I’m not your photographer or you’re not planning to book me then make sure you check with your photographer as everyone works a little different! Here we go:

So you have the time you want have your ceremony and you know when you want your reception to begin but everything else feels up in the air!

Here’s what we do:

  1. Talk to your hair and makeup artists and find out how long they need. Make sure to tell them the time you want to be ready for getting dressed, not the time of your wedding or first look. If you say you want to be ready by 3 pm they would believe that’s all the time they have to finish. In reality you want to have time to put your dress on, do any first looks, travel time to the ceremony etc. Make sure to add a little extra time especially if you are doing photos before your ceremony. If we have an hour to do photos and it’s all taken by running late then we have to scramble and re-adjust. Better safe than sorry!
  2. Decide if you want to do a first look or do a traditional aisle reveal. If you do a first look you can also do your wedding party and family photos after the ceremony. The timing is totally up to you!
  3. Don’t forget to add travel time if we are going to different locations for photos.
  4. Get a realistic time for dinner service. Anytime I see a timeline where dinner is supposed to be served in an hour…nun-huh
  5. Tip: both people in the couple getting ready close together makes life a lot easier
  6. Don’t forget to schedule time for your decor photos

So how long do things take…here’s an average, it may take more or les depending on how many people are in your wedding party, family photos etc

  1. Bridal Party getting ready: 90 minutes to get details, getting ready candids, hair and makeup touch ups , getting the dress on, any wedding party or Mom/Dad first looks.
  2. Groom’s Party getting ready: 30 minutes. Guys generally have less details and get dressed in 5 minutes.
  3. First Look: 15 minutes. It goes pretty quickly
  4. Couple Portraits: I like to have at least 30-60 minutes, don’t forget any travel time we need
  5. Wedding Party photos: 30 minutes
  6. Family Photos: 30 minutes
  7. Sunset or night time photos 15 minutes

So how does this look on a typical day:

  • 11:30 Bridal Party gets ready-details
  • 12:15 Groom Party get ready
  • 1:00 Get Bride Dressed
  • 2:00 First Look
  • 2:20 Couple Photos
  • 3:00 Wedding Party Photos
  • 4:00 Ceremony
  • 4:30 Family Photos
  • 5:00 Decor Photos
  • 5:30 Guests mingling, cocktail hour candids
  • 6:00 Reception begins
  • 6:15 Dinner Service
  • 7:30 Begin Speeches, speeches between courses
  • 8:30 Cut Cake, games etc
  • 9:00 First Dance and Dancing Photos
  • 9:30 Coverage ends

Have any questions on how to build your timeline? Send me a message! I’m here to help!

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