How To Create Your Ideal Wedding Day Timeline

Education, Wedding

How To Create Your Ideal Wedding Day Timeline | Wedding Day Stress Relief | Laura & Rachel Photography www.lauraandrachel.comWe went from “We don’t have enough time”, “We always feel so rushed”, “We could have done better”, to “That was the smoothest wedding we’ve ever shot!”, “We had ample time for everything we needed – plus more!”, “Everyone was incredibly happy with how smooth the entire day went!”. How? Simply by learning from our mistakes and educating our clients.

From the very beginning, a timeline is key to avoiding unwanted stress on your wedding day. After the initial meeting with our couples, we personally help them create their timeline to ensure we have sufficient time for each part of the day. It’s normal not to know how much time to set aside for details, a first look, portraits, bridal party, and family formals. This is actually a part of the planning process we LOVE to help with!

The “ideal” wedding day timeline varies from wedding to wedding. So much, that we were receiving requests to cover as little as 6 hours, up to a 12+ hour wedding day. Brides who love our work, and follow our blog, normally put wedding photography high on their priority list. We take the time to educate our clients on why we won’t shoot a wedding for less than 8 hours (unless it’s a destination wedding or elopement). We need those 8 hours to genuinely tell the story of the day.

If you’re sharing a First Look, (which we highly recommend and you can read about here), will allow you more time with guests, more alone time with each other, and nearly double the amount of couples portraits we deliver!

This wedding day timeline example we’re providing is just our opinion and what we feel works best for us bases of a 5:00pm ceremony time-frame and 6:15pm – 6:40pm sunset (depending on location). Remember all wedding days are different and your timeline may differ due to travel times and unique situations.

1:00pm – 1:45pm     Details
1:45pm – 2:15pm     Bridal Prep
2:30pm                     First Look
2:45pm – 3:30pm     Couples Portraits
3:30pm – 4:00pm     Bridal Party Portraits
4:00pm – 4:30pm     Family Portraits
4:30pm – 5:00pm     Bride in Hiding
4:30pm – 4:50pm     Reception Details
5:00pm – 5:30pm     Ceremony
5:30pm – 6:00pm     Romantic Portraits
6:00pm – 6:30pm     Couple Joins Cocktail Hour or Bustles for Grand Entrance
6:30pm                    The Reception Begins
8:50pm                    Grand Exit

Interested in hearing tips and tricks from a wedding day? Get free education straight to your inbox!

laura & rachel



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Together, we have worked in the wedding industry for over a decade, and make up one incredibly unique mother-daughter fine art wedding photography team. We have documented weddings from the breathtaking West Coast, to the historic East, and have had our work published internationally both in print and online. Our wanderlust hearts have taken us all over the country, capturing love stories, and visiting quaint hometown coffee shops along the way, and even though we've spent most of our lives in a nautical California town, we now call South Carolina home, expanding to the low country of Charleston. We are photographers, directors, curators, and most of all, storytellers for your wedding.

And WE can't wait to get to know you!

We're Laura & Rachel