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  • Kayla Bowman

How To Plan A Wedding Day Timeline | Birch & Belle Photography

Updated: Jun 28, 2022

Planning a wedding can be VERY difficult for brides, especially since they are most likely not "wedding planners". Having worked with so many couple who are planning their own wedding, I have noticed they all have one thing in common, They want it to go smoothly!

I have come up with a 'typical' wedding day timeline based on my photography experience. This will help brides have a base on how much time wedding events typically need and the easiest order of transition from one event to the next. Please note not ALL weddings are the same and you don't have to follow any specific rules when it comes to your wedding. This is YOUR day after all!

Here is a suggested list of events I have seen in my experience. My goal is just to help with creating your own timeline using this template! I will list event different options in each time slot.

This is based on an 8 hour photography wedding day.

12:00 Photographer arrives -- bridal party is almost ready

- photos of wedding day details, (dress, shoes, jewelry, rings, etc)

- photos of bride getting into wedding dress with (mother of bride or MOH, etc)

- empty ceremony/reception photos

1:00 Pre-ceremony formal photos / first looks

- could be with dad, grandparents, bridesmaids..

- fiancé first look

- photos bride with bridesmaids/ groom with groomsmen

2:00 Preparation for ceremony/ bridal touchups

- guests arriving

- candid photos

3:00 Ceremony -- 20-30 mins

3:30 Formal family portraits

- create a small list beforehand and let them know

- have someone who knows the people on the list and have them help gather

4:00 Hors D'oeuvres/Cocktail hour for guests

- bridal party photos

- photos of bride and groom

- reception detail photos

5:45 Bridal party reception entrance

6:00 Toasts & dinner

6:45 Cake cutting

7:00 Dances

- bride and groom

- father / daughter

- mother / son

7:30 Bouquet and garter tosses

- dollar dance, anniversary dance, etc

8:00 Open dancing

8:15 Photographers end time

Things to note:

-- Depending on time of year you could do sunset photos during reception, plan around sunset time!

-- If you do a first look with groom you can get all bridal party photos done prior to ceremony

The unknown can be so stressful and this day should be as easy as it can be!

Thank you for being here! You can message me if you have any other wedding planning questions! I am happy to help!