How to Create a Wedding Day Timeline

Every couple dreams of a wedding day that runs smoothly. But how do you pull it all off without a day-of coordinator? By creating a timeline you can ensure that everyone is on the same page come the big day. Keep reading to learn why you need a wedding day timeline and how to create a Wedding Day Timeline that is easy to understand yet detailed plan.

Why Create a Wedding Day Timeline?

A wedding day timeline is your best chance to ensure the day goes without a hitch. If you have chosen not to hire a wedding day coordinator, a timeline acts as one. The responsibility of being at a specific place and at a specific time will ultimately be with your wedding party, once they receive the timeline. It takes the responsibility off of your shoulders so that you can enjoy the day, rather than direct it.

Example of a Wedding Timeline

Below is a sample of a wedding day timeline. Use it as a base for your own timeline and edit the time slots and details as you see fit! 

10:30 a.m. Bridesmaids and groomsmen meet at a designated location to start getting ready / Hair & makeup artists arrive

12:00 – 2:00 p.m. Photographer, videographer, and other vendors arrive at the venue to set up

2:00 p.m. Bride’s hair & makeup

2:30 p.m. Bride begins getting dressed

2:45 p.m. Bridal portraits

3:00 p.m. Bridal photos with Bridesmaids

3:30 p.m. First look with Bride & Groom (*optional)

4:00 – 4:30 p.m. Wedding ceremony 

4:30 p.m. Bride & Grooms photos

5:00 – 5:50 p.m. Wedding party photos & family photos / If not yet complete, Groom portraits & photos of Groom with Groomsmen 

5:50 – 6:00 p.m. Additional family and group photos

6:00 – 6:55 p.m. Cocktail hour, guests drive/are transported/move to reception room by 6:55 p.m.

7:00 p.m. Grand entrance / Reception starts

7:10 p.m. Dinner begins / social time

9:00 p.m. Speeches & toasts

9:25 p.m. Cake cutting & dessert is served

9:30 p.m. The couple’s first dance, followed by parent dances/games

9:45 p.m. Open up the dance floor to guests

11:30 p.m. Reception ends & vendors leave

Collaborating with Your Photographer

Once you have finished creating a tentative wedding day timeline it is essential that you send it to your photographer for editing. A photographer knows exactly how long it will take them to obtain a set of shots and will therefore need to approve each time slot. Too short of a time slot and they may be rushed, meaning you will end up with less photos than you expected. Be open to allowing your photographer to expand a few timeslots in order to accommodate their shotlist. Alternatively, you may have to shorten the shot list. 

Distribute the Timeline

After finalizing your timeline, print it out and distribute it. People who should receive a detailed timeline include: the wedding party, parents of the bride and groom, all of the vendors and the venue. During the dress rehearsal I recommend taking a few minutes to go over the timeline and answer any of your family or friends questions. This way, you won’t be bombarded the day of your wedding. In addition, designate someone in your wedding party to be the official peacekeeper. If any issues or questions should arise, from the wedding party of vendors, they will be responsible for providing a solution. This will allow the bride and groom to enjoy the day and be fully present.

As your wedding photographer, I want nothing more than for your day to be everything you have dreamed. I am glad to collaborate with you to create a wedding day timeline that allows me to take all of the photographs that you desire, yet in the most timely manner possible. If you are currently looking to hire a photographer for your Central Florida wedding, be sure to check out my gallery. Then reach out with any questions or to book a consultation! I can’t wait to be a part of your special day.

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