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A Typical Wedding Day Timeline

HERE’S WHAT A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A BRIDE LOOKS LIKE.

It might seem a bit silly to list out the timeline of a wedding day —sure you’ve probably been to a thousand weddings in your lifetime, the events are pretty standard, right? Wrong! A day-of schedule can vary based on a number of variables so I decided to take this opportunity to create a little cheat sheet to share with you upcoming brides so you’ll know what sort of things to expect.

With all of my couples, it is part of my job to create a timeline completely customized to your wedding day based on a handful of things such as the ceremony time, the sun & its positioning in the sky, the length of contracted time, and events such as first looks that may be included throughout. This is all part of the experience, but going in so many couples are completely overwhelmed with all of the tasks going on throughout the day so it’s important to make sure you have not only an idea of what to expect, but also to have faith that your vendors and photographer (especially) have the plans in order to keep the ball rolling.

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11 AM: Hair & Makeup Begins

Bridal party typically begins hair and makeup. Every bridal party is different, you may require more or less time but regardless, make sure to let your artist know the time you must be finished by for photos.

Quick tip: Wear cute robes, and turn getting ready into a fun photo op.

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12 PM: Vendors begin arriving

This is usually when I’ll start capturing candid getting ready moments while grabbing detail shots of your rings, flowers, and any other significant items.

Quick tip: You may want to ask someone to meet vendors and check the final setup.

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1:30 PM: Bridal Portraits

Once your hair and makeup is applied I’ll photograph you getting into your gown, followed by some mandatory ‘you’ time where I’ll capture your beautiful wedding day portraits.

Quick tip: It’s important for you to make sure to have your hair and makeup artist aware of deadlines, making sure these are met ensures that we don’t run over and take time away from other important moments.

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2 PM: Bridesmaids Portraits

By capturing a handful of photos of you with your bridal party prior to the ceremony, it saves us a lot of time following which gives me more time to spend on you and your man while also giving you more time to spend with your guests.

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2 PM: Groomsman Portraits

This is the point where I’ll have my second photographer sneak off to capture photos of your handsome groom and his groomsman.

Fun Fact: Second photographers not only take away a good deal of stress, they also help when time gets tight by ensuring moments are captured by having them available to go to other spots while I work in at a different location.

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2:30 PM: First Look

First looks are great for a number of reasons, my favorite being that it can be a truly meaningful and emotional opportunity for the bride and groom to see each other before the ceremony in an intimate manner while also giving the opportunity to get the jitters out before the ceremony.

Pro Tip: Make sure to choose an intimate spot for just the two of you, it ensures you don’t have the distraction of anyone else.

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2:45 PM: Couples Photos

Once we get the jitters out, and touch up any necessary makeup from any potential tears, we’ll dive into your couple photos.

Pro Tip: Bring a spare bag of makeup at the venue in case of touch ups from sweat or tears. Important things to include are foundation, mascara, beauty wipes, powder, brushes, eye shadows and setting powder.

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3:30 PM: Wedding Party Group Photos

Following portraits we will dive right into the combined group photos. This is convenient as it leaves less things to do after the ceremony so you can get to spending time with family!

Pro Tip: Save the heavy alcohol intake for after the ceremony, functional wedding party members ensures we get through the important group shots quick so you can have more fun.

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4:30 PM: Ceremony

 

It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for. Time to get married!

Pro Tip: Even though the day goes by quick, don’t forget to take a moment to just stop, look around, and soak in every detail of the day.

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5 PM: Family Photos and Cocktail Hour

 

Immediately following the ceremony we will dive right into portraits with your family members & other important people.

ProTip: Tell family members about the group photo plan beforehand so they stay after and remain quick and painless.

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6 PM: Reception Entrance & Toasts

 

Pro Tip: It’s a good idea to give speakers a length guideline so toasts don’t eat into dance time.

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6:30 PM: Dinner is Served

 

Arguably most couples favorite part of the entire day- next to marrying the love of their life of course.

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7 PM: First Dances

 

Get ready for some absolutely adorable photos.

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7:30 PM: Cake Cutting

Pro Tip: If you plan on shoving cake in each-others faces, cut the cake after your golden hour portraits so cleanup time doesn’t cut into the best photo lighting of the day!

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8 PM: Golden Hour Portraits

If you ask any photographer, this is the best opportunity for photos all day. The dreamy golden tones and beautiful sunset colors will set these portraits apart from all the others.

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8:30 PM: Dancing

Don’t be afraid to have a little fun on the dance floor, those moves make for the best photos.

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9 PM: Staged Exits

Whether you plan a staged exit or not, you can be sure I will be ready to handle the most challenging lighting condition. If you are looking to have a staged exit but need ideas don’t be afraid to reach out- I’ve been apart of many unique exits!

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