David Rook Wedding Photographer 

What is a Wedding Timeline?  Why is it so important?

 

 Would you like to have a stress-free wedding? Would you like to have 100% piece of mind during your wedding day? Why is it so important to have a wedding timeline?  This is a once in a lifetime day, planning will free you, so you can have fun and celebrate your wedding with the one you love the most and have stunning photos to remember this momentous occasion.  If you get it right a wedding timeline will be your best friend during your wedding day. Wedding timelines don’t have to confusing, even if you’ve never made a timeline before. At a friend’s wedding you might not have noticed how the day was organized. You might not have noted how long each individual aspect lasts.  As a professional photographer I have been to a few weddings and a well-planned wedding is always the most fun. Here are some tips and tricks on how to keep your wedding day running smoothly. No matter if it’s in a church or outdoors, timelines take the stress out of the day. Please remember that wedding timelines are only a guide, and not set in stone. I tell all my couples, that I have never been to a wedding that runs perfectly on time. A timeline can be adjusted on the fly, if the hairdresser or the makeup artist is running late, or your guests are having fun drinks after the ceremony anything can be extended or shortened if you need to. The first dance occurs earlier because everyone has finished eating early. Knowing when your wedding starts and when it ends is essential to start planning your day. Ensuring that everything runs on time in the middle is important, but there’s always a chance to make little adjustments to fit in with the practicalities of the day.

 

Starting your wedding timeline
 

Your wedding will be unique, so try to avoid copying a wedding timeline from a wedding website or from the internet, it probably won’t work for your wedding day (yes, you can use my templates as a starting point). Use the sunset as a starting point most things be brought forward or moved back but the earth spinning is something no one can change. Why is planning around sunset so important? It’s the golden hour when light at its most spectacular time of day, and the sunset is the perfect time for breathtaking wedding photos. Start by writing a list of all the events that occur on your special day, these can include; hair and makeup, putting your dress on, leaving ceremony, location photos, arriving at reception, speeches, cutting the cake, first dance.  Estimate how long each of these will take if you aren’t sure, you can always ask your vendors how much time you should allow for each event. Don’t forget to allow travelling time (Google Maps is handy for this). Then you start planning your wedding day timeline.  Check out the wedding timeline template on the last page as a guide. (This is only a guide Please Do Not Copy It!)

 

Shot with Kat Cherry 

Things to think about which will help your wedding run Smoothly!

Will the bride and bridesmaids be getting ready at a hotel with or a B&B? Allow travel time if your ceremony and reception in separate locations.  If they are separate, write it into your wedding timeline so you can avoid rushing through your day. Will you transport your guest by bus or will they be driving themselves to the ceremony and reception? Having a bus for your guests can make travel quicker and easy to organize, it can even make the day run smoothly.  Ask your celebrant how long will your ceremony be.  Will you have a cocktail hour in between ceremony and reception? Will you have a receiving a wine after the reception or after the ceremony, or even not receiving a wine at all. Who will make the speeches and how long will they go for?  After the first dance will there be a parent’s dance?  Does your reception venue have a curfew, what time will it close?  What time will the bride and groom leave?  Remember it’s your timeline, if you must end the party at a predetermined time, when will that be? How much time is vendors booked in for? Is there an after-party?


 

A Summer Wedding Day With a 4pm Start time


Summer is so can be so hot so a 4pm ceremony time is best to avoid the heat, 10pm reception end (this timeline works well when the ceremony and reception in the same place). 


➢ 10:00am - Hair and Makeup/Getting ready. 
➢ 11.00am - Photographer arrives bride & bridesmaid getting ready photos. 
➢ 1.00pm - Groom and groomsman getting ready photos. 
➢ 2.30pm -  Final bride getting ready. 
➢ 2.45pm  -  Groom & Groomsman leave. 
➢ 3.00pm  -  Bride leaves. 
➢ 3:30pm  -  Guests begin to arrive. 
➢ 4:00pm -  Ceremony starts. 
➢ 4:35pm  -  Ceremony ends. 
➢ 4.45pm  -  You look beautiful & congratulations photos. 
➢ 5.00pm  -  Formal and family photos start. 
➢ 5.30pm  -  Location photos. 
➢ 5:45pm  -  Drinks service starts for guests. 
➢ 6:20pm  -  Nibbles served for guests. 
➢ 6.43pm  -  Sunset. 
➢ 7:00pm  -  Bride & Groom arrive. 
➢ 7.05pm  -  MC welcomes the guests and does housekeeping. 
➢ 7.10pm  -  Meals start being served. 
➢ 7:45pm -  Speeches start. 
➢ 8.15pm  -  Cutting of the cake. 
➢ 8:30pm  -  First dance. 
➢ 8.35pm  -  General dancing music starts. 
➢ 10:30pm  -  Last call. 
➢ 10:55pm  -   Music off. 
➢ 11:00pm  -  Guests depart. 

Shot with Kat Cherry


 

Separate Ceremony and Reception Location

You can’t always have the luxury of having the ceremony and reception in the same location. So, you have a gap in between the ceremony and reception.  Some churches won’t schedule ceremonies at a certain time of day, or sometimes, you simply can’t schedule a back to back ceremony and reception venue due to other bookings.  Having a gap in your day is very common and not difficult to organize around. No matter which part of Australia you live in its hot sometimes even in winter. You must think about is your comfort and the comfort of your guests. Always have water handy (having it on ice is best) it will be good for the wedding party and will make your guests feel welcomed.  Ensure guests feel welcomed by having the venue serve drinks and food. The gap between ceremony and reception can easily be two hours, don’t let reach three hours it’s your wedding and a not photo shoot, remember to have fun too. Two hours gives people enough time to say hello to each other chat and have a drink or two.  So elderly guests may decide to go back to their hotel room to change or maybe even have a quick nap.  Can one-hour gap be too short? Yes, it is you need to allow time to travel and quality photography takes time. 



Here’s a sample of a wedding timeline with a two-hour gap between the ceremony and reception:


➢ 10:00am - Hair and Makeup/Getting ready.
                    • Travel time 30mins Back to hotel room or house.  
➢ 11.00am - Photographer arrives Bride & bridesmaid getting ready photos. 
➢ 1.00pm  -  Groom and groomsman getting ready photos. ➢ 2.30pm  -  Final bride getting ready. ➢ 2.45pm  -  Groom & Groomsman leave. 
                   • Travel time 30mins to ceremony. 
➢ 3.00pm  -  Bride leaves. 
                   • Travel time 30mins to ceremony. 
➢ 3:30pm  -  Guests begin to arrive. 
➢ 4:00pm  -  Ceremony starts. 
➢ 4:35pm  -  Ceremony ends. 
➢ 4.45pm  - You look beautiful & congratulations photos. 
➢ 5.00pm  -  Formal and family photos start. 
                   • Travel time 30mins to location. 
➢ 5.30pm  -  Location photos. 
                   • Travel time 30mins to reception. 
➢ 5:45pm  - Drinks service starts for guests. 
➢ 6:20pm  -  Nibbles served for guests. 
➢ 6.43pm  -  Sunset. 
➢ 7:00pm  -  Bride & Groom arrive. 
➢ 7.05pm  -  MC welcomes the guests and does housekeeping. 
➢ 7.10pm  -  Meals start being served. 
➢ 7:45pm  -  Speeches start. 
➢ 8.15pm  -  Cutting of the cake. 
➢ 8:30pm  -  First dance. 
➢ 8.35pm  - General dancing music starts. 
➢ 10:30pm  -  Last call. 
➢ 10:55pm  -  Music off. 
➢ 11:00pm  -  Guests depart



Here’s a sample of a wedding timeline with a two-hour gap between the ceremony and reception:

➢ 9:00am   - Hair and Makeup/Getting ready. 
➢ 11:00am - 1:00pm  - Vendors arrive for ceremony setup.  
➢ 12:00pm   - Wedding party and family photos start. 
➢ 1:30pm - Doors open/Guests begin to arrive/Pre-ceremony music starts. 
➢ 2:00pm   - Ceremony invite time. 
➢ 2:15pm   - Ceremony starts. 
➢ 3:00pm   - Ceremony ends. 
➢ 3:00pm   - Vendors start to arrive for reception set up. 
➢ 3:30pm   - Guests gone from ceremony site. 
➢ 4:00pm   - Ceremony site cleaned up/vendors depart. 
➢ 5:00pm   - Reception invite time. 
➢ 5:00pm   - Cocktail hour starts. 
➢ 5:30pm   - All guests onsite. 
➢ 6:30pm   - Move guests into dinner. 
➢ 6:45pm   - Buffet opens/Dinner served. 
➢ 7:00pm   - All guests have food. 
➢ 7:15pm   - Toasts. 
➢ 8:00pm   - First dance. 
➢ 8:05pm   - General dancing music starts. 
➢ 8:05pm   - Second set of pre-sunset portraits. 
➢ 8:26pm   - Sunset. 
➢ 8:45pm   - Dessert.  
➢ 9:45pm   - Last call. 
➢ 9:55pm   - Music off. 
➢ 10:00pm   - Guests depart. 
➢ 11:00pm   - Breakdown done, all staff departs.







Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Why Bad Weather Can Mean Awesome Wedding Photos.