Things You Need To Know About Wedding Timelines  


Let’s face it: planning a wedding can be stressful. This is why it’s important that you hire the right professionals to help ensure your Big Day goes perfectly. It might seem more practical to DIY your entire wedding timeline, but getting advice from seasoned wedding professionals on how to plan your wedding can definitely help you avoid any snags along the way.

What Is The Right Wedding Timeline For Me?

Every couple is unique, and so are their wedding celebrations. This is why there’s no standard for what kind of wedding timeline is “right” for a certain couple. Some couples may want an indoor wedding, while others find it more meaningful celebrating outdoors. Other variables can come into play, such as the head count, the time of year, etc. 

That being said, here are some tips to help you figure out how to properly plan a wedding timeline!

1. Allow For Some “Cushion Time”
This can’t be stressed enough: allot time in between wedding transitions! Expect the unexpected on your Big Day, so adding some time between getting ready, going to and from the venue, and actually walking down the aisle are ways to make sure things run smoothly. For example: the bride may want to do a last-minute touch up before walking down the aisle. Or if the ceremony and receptions are in different locations, it may take some time to get from place to place, not to mention looking for a parking spot!
San Diego Indian Wedding
2. Give Your Photographer The Right Timeline Info
In order to get those once-in-a-lifetime shots, your wedding photographer needs to be briefed on the timelines. Most wedding photographers typically charge by the hour, for up to 7-10 hours of coverage on their wedding days. These are the things your photographer needs to know:

  • The number of bridesmaids and groomsmen, if any
  • If you plan to do a First Look or not
  • The number of people on both sides of the family, and how many photos with those people
  • The time and length of the actual ceremony (Morning, afternoon, or evening? A 30 minute or hour-long ceremony?)
  • Key locations (ex. Where you’ll get ready, the ceremony, the reception)
  • The parking situation at your wedding venue/s
  • If you’ll be doing a send-off

These points are crucial factors for the wedding photographer, so they can formulate an efficient wedding day timeline.

3. Who’s Really In Charge Of The Timeline: The Planner, Or The Photographer?
Actually, it’s both!

A wedding planner is in charge of knowing what happens during the wedding day, and the photographer is responsible for keeping track of the time constraints for the important parts of the actual day. Close coordination between the wedding planner and photographer is so, so important for your Big Day!

Here’s what the responsibilities of the wedding photographer look like:

  • The photographer gathers information from the couple in order to create an unofficial draft of the wedding timeline.
  • The couple or the photographer sends the initial draft to the wedding planner.
  • The planner gives input on the timeline and sends it back to the photographer.
  • The photographer studies the feedback and gives comments on timing adjustments to the wedding planner. Usually, wedding planners are flexible when it comes to timing.

It’s important to avoid “hogging” the couple on their wedding day, so they have room to meet and socialize with their guests.

Worth nothing: Other vendors that also have a say on wedding timelines are the catering service and the DJ. The caterers are responsible for planning out the multiple-course wedding meals, which ultimately determines the flow of the reception. The DJ and planner can help the caterers with this aspect of planning, especially when it comes to crucial milestones like the wedding speech, or the first dance.

4. How Long Does It *Actually* Take To Capture Wedding Photos?
Here’s a guesstimate of photographing important wedding milestones:

  • Getting ready: 2-3 hours
  • First Look – 30 minutes
  • Bridal Party – 30 minutes
  • Ceremony:
    • For non religious Ceremony – 30 minutes
    • For religious ceremony – up to 1hr
    • Allot some cushion time before the ceremony itself! This is when the photographer can take detailed pictures of the bride and groom at the wedding venue
  • Formal Family Portraits – Up to 30 minutes, depending on how big the family is.
  • Sunset Portraits – 30 minutes
  • Wedding Reception – Allow at least 4 hours to photograph the couple’s reception, to capture all the milestones (the entrance, the first dance, parent dances, speeches, dinner, cake cutting, dancing, etc).

Have any more questions? Don’t hesitate to message us. We’d love to work with you on your wedding day!