Wedding Day Timeline for 5:30pm Ceremony

General Rules of Thumb For Your Photography Wedding Day Timeline

Here’s what I recommend for a perfectly balanced wedding timeline where you get all the pictures you want taken but still have time to mingle and enjoy the celebration.

BRIDAL DETAILS: 30-45mins (I can usually get these done while stepping into the getting ready area and photographing the girls hanging out at the same time!). This is the time where I photograph your dress, rings, invitation suite, etc. Not sure what details to gather for photos? Read this Instagram post!

GETTING IN THE DRESS: 30-45mins! This can take 10mins or 45! You just never know! This is an area where we build in extra time just in case! Also, I love having a few minutes to capture just the bride in her gown!!

BRIDAL PARTY PORTRAITS: 15-30mins depending on the size of the party. We always capture just the bridesmaids, just the groomsmen, the entire group together and then individuals with the bride and groom separately. Even with my super fast workflow, this can take some time!

BRIDE AND GROOM PORTRAITS: I love having 30 minutes before the ceremony and 30 minutes after the ceremony. However, I know this is not always possible. My goal is to be able to give my couples some additional portraits that add a little extra variety from the ones that we took pre-ceremony! If you are not sharing a first look, I cannot stress enough how important it is to at least have 30 minutes of portrait time after the ceremony!

FAMILY FORMALS: This is the hardest part of the day as far as photography is concerned! I make it my mission to make family formals fast, easy and as efficient as possible! I recommend 15-30 minutes for family formals, but not at the expense of your Bride and Groom portrait time! We can always grab large group photos during the reception. That glowy sunset light for Bride and Groom portraits has to be taken advantage of right when it’s happening because it will disappear quickly!

RECEPTION DETAILS: I would love 15 minutes to photograph all of the beautiful details and decor of your reception. This is something brides oftentimes forget to include in their wedding timeline. Photographing reception details is also easily done when you have a second photographer and do a first look! The second shooter will photograph cocktail hour while I go photograph reception details!

Example of a wedding day timeline for a 5:30pm ceremony with a first look:

2:00pm Photographer arrives, Bridal Details *pro tip for the BEST detail photos: have your florist drop off your bouquets before this time and have extra loose florals for your photographer to use for detail photos

2:45pm Getting Ready

  • 2:45pm Pajama photos / pop champagne
  • 3:00pm Bride gets dressed *make sure whoever you want with you while getting dressed is already fully dressed for these photos!
  • 3:20pm First look with bridesmaids / father / reading letter / exchanging gifts

 

3:50pm First Look followed by Portraits

4:15pm Bridal Party (bridesmaids + groomsmen)

4:45pm Guests start to arrive, Bride in hiding

5:30pm Ceremony

6:00pm Cocktail Hour

  • 6:05pm Family Formals (Immediate + Extened)
  • 6:30pm A few Newlywed Portraits

 

6:55pm Guests invited into reception space

7:00pm Intros, welcome speech, blessing, dinner

7:30pm Sneak out for sunset portraits [for 8:00pm summer sunset]

7:50pm First Dance, Speeches, Parent Dances

8:10pm Open Dance Floor

9:45pm Controlled Exit with just the Bridal Party + their dates (keeps it quick and doesn’t stop the party, read about it here!)

10:00pm Photo Coverage Ends

 

Example of a wedding day timeline for a 5:30pm ceremony without a first look:

2:00pm Bridal Details

2:45pm Bride Pre-Ceremony

  • 2:45pm Pajama photos / Pop champagne
  • 3:00pm Bride gets dressed *make sure whoever you want with you while getting dressed is already fully dressed for these photos!
  • 3:20pm First look with bridesmaids / father / reading letter / exchanging gifts
  • 3:40pm Bridesmaid photos
  • 4:00pm Bride in hiding

 

4:00pm Groom Pre-Ceremony

  • 3:45pm Groom + Groomsmen fully dressed, final getting ready photos
  • 4:15pm Groomsmen photos

 

4:45pm Guests start to arrive

5:30pm Ceremony

6:00pm Cocktail Hours

  • 6:05pm Immediate Family Formals (save extended for reception)
  • 6:25pm Group Bridal Party
  • 6:35pm-6:50pm Portraits

 

7:00pm Guests invited into reception space

7:00pm Intros, welcome speech, blessing, dinner

7:15pm Sneak out for sunset portraits [for 8:00pm summer sunset]

7:40pm First Dance, Speeches, Parent Dances

8:10pm Open Dance Floor

8:30pm Extended Family Photos

9:45pm Controlled Exit with just the Bridal Party + their dates (keeps it quick and doesn’t stop the party, read about it here!)

10:00pm Photo Coverage Ends

 

wedding details

Preserving the powerful and fleeting moments which make your day incredibly meaningful- that's my goal as your wedding photographer. Most couples say the day goes by in the blink of an eye and they wish they could relive their wedding. There’s nothing more meaningful than delivering a gallery with pictures that make the memories come flooding back. 

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