Look no further for everything you need to know to create the perfect wedding day timeline! In this blog we are sharing all of the GOLD on how to create a wedding day itinerary that flows, breathes, and gives you the right amount of time for each part of your wedding day!
You are engaged, have your wedding venue, and have some approximate times for your ceremony and reception. AMAZING! Now it’s time to figure out how to piece together your entire day so that it rolls out the way you dream it will.
You are excited to plan the wedding of your dreams (naturally!). But there’s so much to get done and you don’t want to go down the rabbit hole that is Google and Pinterest trying to figure out how the pros smash out a wedding day timeline. And now you don’t have to (hooray!!!).
Timelines create mega stress for brides across the globe. Not to worry, check out our 5 tried and tested ways to guarantee your perfect wedding day timeline!
Keep reading for the ULTIMATE no-fail timeline guide (plus all of our best wedding scheduling tips) and see how our couples smash out the best wedding day timeline that make space in your day for everything that matters!
Take it from ALL the brides who have walked down the aisle before you. Wedding days happen at blink speed, which is why your wedding photography and videography are so precious! Dylan and I joke about how many moments our own wedding photographer captured were things we don’t even remember seeing – like our hot cocoa bar at our winter wedding!
One moment I was getting my hair and makeup done and a blink later we were having our sparkler exit!
If you know us, you know that one of the many reasons we chose to specialize in wedding photography in London, Ontario, is because we love marriage and family so much. We are obsessed with photographing your wedding day in a way that brings you back to your big WHY, and reminds you that LOVING EACH OTHER will always be one of your best legacies.
To do that, there needs to be the right amount of space for all of your wedding day moments to happen. Having a plan and structure for your wedding day gives you the freedom to be spontaneous and slow down to enjoy your day! And the last thing you want is to feel that you can’t pause and breathe on your wedding day. That just leads to feeling (and looking) nervous or stressed.
Who wants that?
Let’s start with the ultimate cheatsheet to smashing out a perfect wedding day timeline. The following includes all of the key parts of your wedding day. Feel free to take away or add any moments to personalize it for you!
This will give you a starting point – which is what we do with all of our couples.
Keep in mind that the minimum time below is the shortest amount of time that we recommend. The upper limit you see below is the best amount of time to capture everything.
Feel free to use this cheat sheet as your guide. These time minimums are the first step to having an amazing wedding day timeline! The minimum time below indicates the minimum we’d assign to photographing that part of the day.
|Wedding Day Moments||Time required|
|Styled Bride & Groom details||30-60 min|
|Groom getting ready||30-45 min|
|Groom getting ready alternative: Mock-up before ceremony||15 min|
|Bride getting ready||75 – 90 min|
|First look||10-20 min|
|Bride and Groom portraits||15-40 min|
|Bride and bridesmaids||15 min|
|Wedding Party||15 min|
|Groom and groomsmen||15 min|
|Immediate family photos (assign 2 minutes to each photo combination)||30-60 min|
|Photographs of ceremony decor||15-30 min|
|Wedding ceremony||30 min|
|Husband and Wife photos||30 – 45 min|
|Cocktail hour + reception décor photos||30 mins|
|Reception||90 – 120 mins|
|Travel time (make sure to add this into your schedule)||0-120 min|
As a quick rule of thumb, when trying to figure out how much wedding photography coverage time you need, we suggest the following:
First look photos have become increasingly popular in recent years. First looks are some of our FAVOURITE photos! These are deeply personal photos taken prior to the wedding ceremony, as the bride and groom see each other for the first time on their wedding day. This FIRST LOOK provides you with a quiet moment to connect as a couple, too, before you make your powerful vows to each other.
You can maximize your timeline and give yourselves more breathing space between your ceremony and your reception. Plan on having 60 minutes for the first look which also includes time for your bride and groom portraits.
Consider adding a first look to your wedding day timeline. Click here to learn more about adding a first look and all of the benefits
There are so many beautiful places for wedding photography in London, Ontario. Unless your ceremony, portrait location, and reception are all being held in the same location, you will have to consider how much time it will take to travel to and from each venue.
While you are putting together your wedding day timeline, map out how much time you need for travel. This simple, yet often overlooked detail, will make a big difference on your actual wedding day. Don’t forget to use Google Maps to keep tabs on how much time you need, to get to and from all the places you need to go on your wedding day!
We love to help our couples create a personalized wedding day timeline because the last thing you should be doing on your wedding day is stressing about your schedule. On your wedding day, you want to be relaxed and enjoy all of the moments! When you do the planning work upfront, you will reap the benefits of feeling (and looking) peaceful and relaxed on your big day!
Having a day-of wedding planner (like Ally from Perfectly Designed Events!) is also a wonderful way to ensure that your wedding day is stress-free!
Choose someone who will calmly, gently remind you, and guide you, throughout the day so that you don’t fall behind and get rushed!
The real point of your timeline is to keep your day on track as much as possible, understanding that there may be a little ebb and flow, and that’s okay! When you make enough space for every part of your day, you get peace of mind. You can focus on what your wedding day is really all about. This is the day you get MARRY YOUR BEST FRIEND.
Everything after that is just part of the dream.
Are you looking for a London, Ontario wedding photographer with a timeless style? We’d love to hear from you! Contact us to see if your date is available!
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We're Dylan & Sandra. Married photographers, donut lovers, and obsessed with family and our squishy toddler. We're so glad you're here! Grab a drink and stay awhile for classic + joy-filled love stories in and around the GTA, London, Niagara and the best-of wedding advice!
Authentic moments you'll want to relive again & again
We can't wait to connect and hear all about the day you are planning! Let's capture your incredible story.
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