Tips for Couples

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3 Tips: How To Create a Detailed Wedding Day Timeline

A bride and groom kissing in a field on their wedding day.

Wedding Coordinators or Planners usually help brides plan out a wedding day timeline. But if you don’t have a Planner or Coordinator, don’t worry! I’m super organized and love helping brides create a detailed wedding day timeline for their wedding.

It’s important to me that my brides feel at peace knowing that we have talked through every detail of the day and they can rest easy knowing that we will have time to capture all the photos they want. Creating a detailed timeline also helps me and everyone else know where they need to be and when, which helps the day run smoothly. 

Here are a few things to think about as you are working out the wedding day timeline!

What Is Your Priority For The Day?

First look with the excited bridesmaids.

What is your priority for the day? Is it to have time after the ceremony to relax and spend time with important people? Are you willing to get up and get ready for pictures at seven in the morning? Figure out what you are and aren’t okay with and what your priorities are and we can plan a timeline around those preferences.

A couple I recently worked with had prioritized joining cocktail hour to spend time with friends and family they didn’t see often. In order to do that, they had to have a wedding day timeline that fit all of the photos in before the ceremony. 

While other couples might want to prioritize having some alone time with each other to just breathe and take it all in, away from the crowd of people. 

Whatever your priorities are, they play a significant part in planning your wedding day timeline.

Do You Want A First Look?

A dad hugging his little girl on her wedding day during their first look.

Speaking of priorities – what about a first look? If you want a traditional wedding where you don’t see each other until the ceremony (no first look), then you need to give time after the ceremony to have all the joint family photos, the whole bridal party, and your couple’s portraits taken. This is completely doable, but it does take up a significant portion of time after the ceremony while your other guests are moving onto the cocktail hour without you and waiting for the reception to begin. 

If you have a first look, it gives you room before the ceremony to take care of a lot of photos. So after the first look, will we only take the bride and groom portraits, or will you have the rest of the bridal party and your family join you to take bridal party and family formals as well? If your priority is to join cocktail hour so you can socialize, then consider doing all the photos before the ceremony! 

When Is The Ceremony? 

The bride and groom saying their wedding vows at the altar while their guests look on.

When we are planning your wedding day timeline, everything builds off of the ceremony time. Be sure to think about what season your wedding is in when setting the ceremony time. For example, if you have a fall or winter wedding the sun sets at around five in the afternoon, giving little time after the ceremony for almost two hours of pictures! 

Once we have the ceremony time decided, we plan out what happens before and after the ceremony. This includes what time you need to be ready for photos before the ceremony and how much time we need to plan to take care of any remaining photos we need after the ceremony.

Below are two examples of wedding day timelines (one with a first look and one without) so you can get an idea of what we will be creating for your day. But remember, we will create a customized wedding day timeline that aligns perfectly with your priorities!

Example of a Wedding Day Timeline on a dark teal background with white words
graphic that gives an example of a wedding day timeline with a first look

Final Thoughts On Creating The Wedding Day Timeline

The bride and groom walking hand in hand and smiling at each other through a tunnel of their wedding party.

One thing to remember: You can rely on me to help make things run smoothly.  I want to ensure that my brides are at ease and happy with whatever we have scheduled for the day. We can be as flexible as needed in order to ensure your peace of mind – from the first consultation where we get to know each other, to preparing for your wedding, to the sparkler exit before the honeymoon! I am one hundred percent available to any bride and groom I work with. Anything you need – questions, suggestions, anything –  I am here to help you!

To all of my brides, I hope that your wedding day is as happy and stress-free as it can be, and I’ll be there every step of the way to ensure that things run smoothly!


If you need someone to show your love story in pictures, send me a message and let’s get coffee!

If you liked this post check out:
Four Tips For Beating The Summer Wedding Heat
Four Tips For Your Wedding Day: Common Questions
Joey & Kim’s Wedding at the Wild Goose Farm
Val & Don’s Engagement on Bethany Beach
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