sample wedding timeline & tips for planning your wedding

That is why I have created these wedding timeline tips and samples, to help guide you and support you as your wedding draws nearer.

Of course, these are just general tips and I understand that each wedding is different and might not fit this exact model. Please feel free to adjust as your schedule dictates, or contact me anytime with questions.

I can even help you formulate a custom timeline that fits exactly into all your wedding plans!

One of the hardest parts of planning a wedding is trying to piece all the details together, from many different vendors, into one day! Not knowing how long events take, or in which order they go, can be very frustrating!

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Below are some approximate guidelines
that can help show you how long wedding events usually take!

Getting Ready for the Bride - Total Time is 60-90 minutes:

• Hair & Makeup: Ask your stylist for their approximation of how long your wedding party will take for their hair and makeup. Then add on an extra 30 minutes to their estimations (this is padding time so that your morning isn’t rushed and you don’t feel like you are running late to the ceremony).
• Bride typically goes last for hair and makeup.
• Once bride is approx. 30 minutes away from completion, your photographer will arrive on the scene. We will photograph all of your details (jewelry, hanging dress, invitation, bouquets, etc.) This stage takes about 20 minutes.
• Once detail shots are accomplished, we will start photographing the bride in her finishing stages, as well as the camaraderie of the bridesmaids. **NOTE: At this time, the bridesmaids should start getting dressed. Mother of the bride should already be dressed at this point.
• 20 minutes before departure for the ceremony (or your First Look), the bride puts on her dress. This location should be in a room filled with windows and enough space for your bridesmaids to be gathered around you for some gorgeous pictures.
• Confirm that you and bridesmaids have all needed essentials for the entire day: wedding license, tissues, makeup touchups, flat shoes if originally wearing heels to ceremony, backup hair pins, and glass vases filled with 1 inch of water for your bouquets.
• Depart for Ceremony or First Look
• Finishing Notes:
⁃ Photographer should first arrive to girl’s location 1 hour before the bride putting on her dress.
⁃ Florist should have bouquets delivered around the same time
⁃ Bridesmaids should be completely dressed 45 minutes before departure to Ceremony or First Look
⁃ MOB should be completed dressed by photographer arrival

Getting Ready for the Groom - Total Time is 30-40 min:

• Lux Light Photography’s Associate Photographer will be capturing the groom and his groomsmen. Upon arrival, the guys should have pants and dress shirt on, but nothing else.
• Photographer will capture the ties, vests, jackets, and boutonnieres.
• Please have boutonnieres delivered to guy’s getting ready location at the same time the bridesmaid bouquets arrive at their location (or at least, close to the same time).
• Guys often have a congratulatory shot, so if this occurs, Lux Light Photography will stay for this as well.
• Guys portraits take 20-30 minutes, then photographer will depart to join with bridesmaids and Lead Photographer.

First Look (if applicable) - Total Time is 45-60 min:


• Lux Light Photography will arrive early and scout out a perfect location based on weather and light previous to starting the day
• The First Look will occur approx. 1 hour before the ceremony starts (this is an ideal time, if it has to be shorter due to time constructions, we can certainly make this happen. But allowing 45-60 min for this time allows you to experience the joy of first seeing each other, as well as allows for some intimate portraits following.)
• The Lead Photographer will coordinate with the groom and place him facing away from his bride. The Associate Photographer will remain with the Bride, to help coordinate her arrival.
• Once the bride and groom experience the joy and thrill of seeing each other, we will then move into some private portraits of just you two, without onlookers or guests viewing us.

Pre-Ceremony - Total Time is 20-30 min:

• 30 minutes before ceremony starts, we will wrap up the First Look and travel to ceremony location. Bride will hide away while groom will meet up with groomsmen and follow your ceremony etiquette. Family & Wedding Party should also be in same meeting location as groomsmen to get ready for the processional.
• Photographers will mingle with guests, take photos of ceremony decor, and await the start of the ceremony.

Ceremony

• Lead photographer will be in the front of the ceremony for the processional, to capture wedding party and bride as they come up the aisle. Photographer will stand slightly to the side by the bride’s parents. Associate photographer will be in back at all times.
• When officiant asks the guests to sit, Lead Photographer will move around to sides and back for various angles throughout the ceremony.

post Ceremony

• Photographers will capture wedding party leaving ceremony
• Bride/Groom greeting guests
• **Side Note: Most weddings opt out of a greeting line these days and use the cocktail hour/reception to talk to their guests instead of the formal dismissal from the ceremony. It is total personal preference of course, but the greeting line typically takes 20-30 min out of your day

Family Portraits - Total Time is 20 min:

• Family portraits start right after the ceremony. Bride’s family goes first, the groom’s family second.
• All immediate family members (including grandparents) should stay at the ceremony until they are dismissed by the photographers
• Family portraits will start with the big group shots first (including all kids and grandparents) so that they can be the first to leave
• Family portrait shot list will be sent to bride/groom 6 weeks before the wedding from Lux Light Photography. We will use that list to move through the family portraits as quickly as possible so that the family can move to cocktail hour, and so that you don’t spend a lot of time standing and smiling haha!
• The family portraits typically take 20 minutes but the time can increase if family members leave early, or forget to stay after the ceremony. It can also take longer if you decide you want any extended family present, like aunts, cousins, etc.
• **Side Note: Depending on your personal preference, some couples find it helpful to chat with their mother and mother-in-laws before the family portraits start. Moms often like to dictate who should stand where and include extra people you originally didn’t have in your shot list. If this occurs, Lux Light Photography will politely mention that we work from a shot list directly from the bride and groom and if we have time, we can capture those extra family shots. If we run out of time, any family member is more than welcome to come find us at the reception, and we can capture any group shots they would like! We want to keep everyone happy, but our job is also to keep the flow of the day moving on time, so we will accomplish this as best we can :)

Wedding Party Portraits - Total Time 30-45 min:

• This is usually the time that you either depart on a bus for some drinking/merriment, or you stay at your resort for these images. If transportation is used, this portrait time can take longer.
• Portraits will start with entire wedding party and include several poses. Bridesmaids go next and then groomsmen. Each group with have several poses and separate photos of each.
• If time permits, we can also sneak in some portraits of the bride/groom. If you did a First Look, these will be more relaxed and fun, interacting with each other and your wedding party. If you did NOT do a First Look, this is where we will quickly capture those intimate portraits, moving slightly away from the wedding party to be able to better concentrate on you.

Reception - Total Time is 2-3 hours:

• The night is easy-peasy from here!
• Upon arrival, Lux Light Photography will touch base with the DJ, letting them know you are ready for your grand entrance. The DJ will coordinate your entrance from there. Lux Light Photography will go into reception to start capturing details, tables, centerpieces, etc.
• After entrance, your toasts will start. Approximate time of toasts is 3-5 min per person.
• Dinner is served (30-60 min depending on catering service).
• Cake cutting (5-10 min)
• First Dance, Bride/Father Dance, Groom/Mother Dance (15-20 min)
• Guest Dancing Starts *Side Note: Recommended time for photography is 45-60 min before photographer departs for the night
• Bouquet/Garter Toss: This tradition is becoming less popular among weddings, but it is personal preference if you decide to include it. My personal recommendation is to take into account your guests and their ages, as well as their marital status. If you only have 5 friends who are single, it might provide for a more awkward moment instead of a camaraderie moment.
• Let the photographer know ahead of time, if you plan any Anniversary Dances, or other games you want included

timeline sample

• 1pm Photographers arrive, florist delivers bouquets and boutonnieres
• 1:45 bride finishes hair/makeup
• 2pm Bride puts on Dress
• 2:30 Bride/Groom departs getting-ready location for First Look. Wedding Party departs for ceremony
• 2:45 First Look
• 3:30 Wedding Party arrives at ceremony
• 3:45 Family/Wedding Party lines up for ceremony
• 4 pm Ceremony starts
• 4:30 Ceremony ends
• 4:30 Family portraits start
• 5 pm Wedding party portraits start
• 5:30 Bride/groom portraits start
• 6 pm Wedding Party Entrance to Reception
• 6:10 Toasts
• 6:30 Dinner served
• 7:30 Cake Cutting
• 7:40 First Dance
• 7:45 Bride/Father Dance
• 7:50 Groom/Mother Dance
• 8:00 Guest Dancing Starts
• 9 pm Photographer Departs

need help creating your own timeline?

Comment below and i'd be happy to help!

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231-633-9410

Soufflé tootsie roll tart lemon drops brownie macaroon. Gingerbread cotton candy powder toffee chocolate cake gummies chocolate candy. Gingerbread halvah caramels oat cake. Brownie tiramisu chocolate jelly beans bear claw chocolate cake sesame snaps sweet cupcake. Chocolate bar macaroon cookie chocolate sweet danish cookie. Fruitcake cotton candy topping ice cream sweet roll dessert bear claw. Candy cotton candy croissant chocolate muffin.

Bonbon biscuit lemon drops dessert chupa chups toffee. Gingerbread tiramisu icing jujubes cookie pie.

Tart lemon drops brownie macaroon. Gingerbread cotton candy powder toffee chocolate cake gummies chocolate candy.

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