One of the most common questions that I get from a bride while planning her wedding is how to set up their schedule in terms of photography. I’ve photographed maaaaaaany weddings and know exactly what my ideal schedule would be, however, I highly recommend hiring a wedding coordinator! They really are the time ninjas that know how to put together the best schedule for you. This particular schedule is for an 8 hour day with two photographers for a couple who decided to do a first look. These times can fluctuate a bit depending on what is important to you but its definitely a good place to start!
2:00-3:00 Details while getting ready, getting into dress, boys get in their tuxes
3:00-3:45 First look/bride and groom photos (will get more later when lighting is ideal)
3:45-4:30 Bridal party, together and separate (My MAIN focus of photos before the ceremony is to get the bridal party done. If you prefer to get family photos completely done as well, then this schedule might be different by 20 minutes, give or take. I always recommend doing family photos AFTER the ceremony because everyone will be in one place. Nothing like waiting for Uncle Joe to get to the ceremony site early because you need him for that one family photo!
4:30 Bride and Groom relax and touch-up before ceremony (this also gives your photographer a chance to photograph details before the ceremony)
5:30-6:30 Cocktail Hour
5:30-5:50 Family photos (This fluctuates depending on the size of your family)
5:50-6:15/30 Couple’s portraits, if you choose to do more of them
6:30 Guests sit down
6:45-7:00 Grand Entrance/First dance
7:45 Speeches (You’ll want to allow your guests and your vendors to eat a bit before speeches)
7:45-8:15 Special Dances
8:15 Open Dancing
8:45 Cake Cutting
9:00 Open Dancing
10:00 Exit- End coverage
If you’re a couple that wants to enjoy your cocktail hour, I’d say to have family photos finished before the ceremony. That way, you have more time to enjoy your cocktail hour with friends and family. I do always recommend family photos after the ceremony because of the logistics of getting family members to come early. However, as long as everyone is communicating well, it is totally doable!
Yay! You’re getting married! The most important thing is to NOT stress if the day doesn’t go by a perfect timeline. At the end of the day, you’re getting married and it will be amazing no matter what.