How to create the perfect wedding timeline

January 20, 2023


Like weddings themselves, timelines can vary widely. Depending on your venue location, if the entire day will be on-site at your chosen venue or in different locations. Also, if there will be a first look, a cocktail hour you’d like to be a part of and daylight hours. While creating the perfect wedding timeline, it is important to be flexible and allow extra time in case things pop up and you’re delayed. Your day will be amazing regardless, so it’s important not to squeeze to many things in and allow time for yourself to take it all in. This timeline is still applicable for groom-groom and bride-bride couples. I will choose which one to arrive first to based on their getting ready location.



Have all the Groom’s gear ready to be photographed together. For example, anything sentimental for the day, cologne, shoes, cuff-links, tie etc. It is also good to have the button hole present and all the suits hung together. After I am finished photographing the details (usually around 15 minutes), the groomsmen can start getting into their suits. If the Groom would like parents to be present, to pin the button hole it’s a good idea to tell them to arrive at the same time I do, if they are not already there. The remaining 30 minutes will be spent taking groomsmen photos, as well as family and any other special people in the Grooms life photos before I head off. Prep is the best time for parent and sibling photos together. To make sure they’re captured before the busy day.



I like to arrive once hair and make-up has been finished and you’re in your robes ready to get changed. We’ll start with a photo in your robes and we can open any gifts you might want to share with your loved ones in this time. I’ll then move onto photographing your details, whilst you get into your dress. Similar to groom prep, if you would like your parent there to zip up your dress or have a first look with. It’s a good idea to also tell them to arrive when I do. We’ll then spend the remaining 30 minutes doing bridesmaids photos and any with your special loved ones before the ceremony.



Allow 30 minutes pre-ceremony for us to get set-up, for videography we need to set up multiple cameras and connect an audio system to the PA. This will also give us time to capture the ceremony set-up without guests, which you often don’t see before your arrival.



Ceremonies typical take around 30 minutes, and that allows for being slightly late. The best ceremonies are always the ones ‘un-plugged’ or without phones. Eliminating phones allows your guests to be present for the ceremony. It will also make sure that your photos don’t have guests in them with their arm stretched out into the aisle, for your first kiss or whilst you’re cheering your way down the aisle. Imagine having your beautiful first kiss ruined by someone jumping in front to take a photo that you’ll never see again.



I always allow 15 minutes for congratulations after the ceremony. This will give you a lovely moment with your new offical partner and family. The bar will often open now for you to have a champagne and say hello before being whisked away for family photos.



I always recommend to my couples to write a shot list for both sides of family and email it to me. I will then get you to choose one reliable and loud person from either side of the family, who will be able to assist me finding your family members once the ceremony has concluded. Family photos are hands down the most chaotic part of the day. Hence why I like to get them out of the way early. I like to make this as efficient as possible and aim to get it done in around 15 minutes. However, I recommend 30 minutes in case some family members disappear (which happens).

TIP: Add on an extra 10 minutes here if you would like a group photo



The fun begins! We’ll grab your bridal tribe, some drinks, cheese platter from the venue and head out for a walk around the venue. You’ll be able to catch up with all your best mates, have a laugh and relax. I like to do bridal party photos on-site as it makes it way easier to get a large group from location to location. If you do choose to have these photos off-site, make sure there is transport ready to go with a driver. Whilst family photos are on, I recommend choosing someone in the bridal party (not a family member) to organise all the drinks, nibbles and transport so you can leave straight away and there’s no waiting around.



I advise my couples to have 1 hour for bridal portraits. We will definitely not be shooting for 1 hour, but that time will be spent having a moment with your new offical husband or wife, travelling to a couple of different locations and then allowing sometime for you to get back and have a breather before heading into the reception.



Dinner, speeches, cake cutting and first dance usually take around this long. Your catering team will be able to help with how much time they will need between each course, then you can plan the other formalities around that. I advise that you wait for speeches to start until after your main meals are cleared. This is so your catering team and guest aren’t making noise through your speeches, which will be heard in the audio of your speeches film.



Make sure to put a 15 minute sunset window into your timeline. For example, if sunset is at 7pm, make the window 6.45pm-7pm. This is actually more about having another little breather and catch up with your partner more than the photos themselves. Even if there’s no sunset on the day, having this window in your timeline will make sure you do have some break in the formalities to relax.



Dance floor is open! Have as little or as long as you want for dancing and mingling til the end!

View this gallery from Dark Horse Vineyard, to show you a day with a timeline similar to this one.