(in my opinion anyway)…
On the day of your wedding, the last thing you want to feel is disorganised or rushed. Making a wedding day timeline (yourself, with myself or with your event planner) is essential. It will help everyone know where they need to be and when and also stop a million questions being thrown your way the day of your wedding.
When it comes to planning the schedule, several factors have to be considered. How many people need their makeup and hair done? Do you want to be present at your drinks reception? And one of the most important factors to me is, is the lighting of your photographs important to you? Something you may not have thought about.
As a photographer who loves dreamy portrait sessions which take your photographs to the next level this last question is something you need to consider when imagining how you want your portraits to turn out. Depending on the time of day, the light can be high, and the shadows are harsh. That epic sunset and warm glowing photos won’t be possible during this time frame. I can still get plenty of stunning portraits during that time, but the ‘feel’ of the images won’t be the same as if you also reserve your portrait session just before sunset.
I know this is a big ask, especially for summer weddings where the sun sets between 8pm-9pm, but I would rather have 20 minutes of gentle light than 2 hours of full sunlight. So below, I have drawn up a timeline on how to best be able to ensure you get the most from your wedding day and your photographs.
Keep in mind that is this is only an example, and I work with my couples before the wedding day on their own personal timeline so that everyone is on the same page and we all know what to anticipate.
Here is an example of a summer wedding.
7:00am – Get some breakfast, it’s all too easy to forget to eat!
9:00am – Bride begins hair & makeup. Bridesmaids begin their hair & makeup. (Top Tip – Take wedding dress and veil out of garment bag to breathe and relax into natural formation).
11:00pm – Groom & Groomsmen should begin to get ready. The Bride gets her makeup done. (Top Tip – If wearing a strapless dress, make sure to remove bra straps at this point if applicable to avoid bra strap marks on your skin. During these preparations, your photographer will take detail shots of shoes, dress, jewellery, perfume, wedding invitation and any other detail that is deemed important. I’ll also be grabbing candid photographs of the Bride and bridesmaids.
11:30pm – Bride & Bridesmaids take some guided pictures in robes, popping champagne, receiving gifts. / Groom & groomsmen toasting.
12:00pm – Bride & Bridesmaids dress. Photos of Mother of the bride or maid of honour helping bride with the dress, jewellery etc.
12:30pm – Take a moment to breathe. (Top-Tip! This is a good time for everyone to have a bite to eat, so no one is fainting during the ceremony!).
12:45pm – Solo portraits with Bride including photos with bridesmaids and parents.
1:00pm – Groom & Photographer heads to the ceremony location. / Bride can do some last-minute touch-ups.
1:15pm – Bride & Bridesmaids arrive at the ceremony location followed by the Ceremony
2:00pm – Drinks reception
2:30pm – Bridal & Groom portrait session.
3:15pm – Group/Family portraits.
3:45pm – Call to wedding breakfast.
4:00pm – Bride & Groom Entrance – Food is served.
5:30pm – Speeches
6:00pm – Room is cleared for evening preparations.
7:00pm – Evening Guests arrive
8:30pm – Cake Cutting followed by Bride & Groom First Dance. / Father daughter and mother & Son dances.
9:00pm – Bride & Groom go for a wedding portrait session at sunset.
9:30pm – Bride and Groom return to reception.
10:30pm (about) – Bride & Groom go for an epic night shot with photographers. (10 minutes maximum)
12:00am – Photographers Leave