If you’re currently planning a wedding, you might be wondering how to create the perfect wedding day timeline. I’m here to help you! I create a wedding day agenda for each and every one of my wedding couples. As a luxury wedding photographer, it’s important to be incredibly organized and think through the entire wedding day so I can perfectly cover the event. I use this wedding day itinerary throughout the day to make sure no event is overlooked and no shot is missed.
Before the wedding, I typically arrive 3 hours before the ceremony time. This allows me ample time to photograph the beautiful details. These details are one thing that makes each wedding unique, so I want to make sure I capture all those special momentos that are carefully curated into the wedding day. Invitations, shoes, florals, etc are part of this process.
Another reason I arrive 3 hours (at least) before the ceremony is to photograph the bride with her bridesmaids. This is such a fun and special time, and every bride will look back with fondness as she re-lives the moments she spent with her wedding party prior to the ceremony.
The final reason I arrive to the wedding site prior to the wedding is so I can photograph the bride getting ready. This can include getting into the dress, putting on her perfume and jewelry, and getting her hair and makeup finished up for her big day.
As an added bonus, I can often spend some time photographing some relaxed portraits of the wedding party before the ceremony.
The next big event on the Wedding Day Timeline is of course the wedding ceremony. I like to schedule the appropriate amount of time for the ceremony in the wedding itinerary, but I also take note of any special events. For example, is there a relative or friend delivering a reading? A special song? Or, are you writing your own vows? All these are important details I thrive in capturing on the wedding day.
One of the absolutely most important details to include in the wedding day itinerary is the golden hour wedding portraits. This, of course, is scheduled around the last hour of sunlight. This is sometimes dependent on the wedding venue location, but whenever possible, I love to shoot wedding portraits at golden hour of the bride and groom, as I did for Emma and Sam Bradford’s wedding portraits.
When the reception arrives, I like to be fully prepared. We complete a full rundown of the reception, including timing for special dances, bouquet and garter, cake cutting, etc.
Next up, I’ve been shooting a lot of late-night wedding portraits lately. They’ve been a fun way to end the night with a few more photos of the bride and groom. These are less traditional and a little more fun and sexy. If the couple is having a grand exit, this shoot takes place before the first sparkler is lit.
Finally, the grand exit is the last item on the wedding day timeline. The wedding itinerary isn’t complete without the grand exit, especially if it’s as grand of an exit as Jenny and Zac’s wedding reception fireworks exit.
So, here is a sample wedding timeline for you to look over. This is just a guide, but will get the ball rolling on planning and scheduling the perfect wedding day itinerary.
3pm Benfield Photography arrives, wedding details
3:30 Bride gets in dress
4pm Bride with wedding party (groom with wedding party)
4:30 First look with bride and groom
6pm Ceremony (rings, vows, special song, kiss)
6:30 Cocktail Hour + Family Portraits
7:30 Reception Begins with first dance
7:40 Parent dances
7:50 Dinner served
8pm Wedding portraits during golden hour
8:30 Cake cutting and toasts
9:30 Garter + Bouquet toss
10:30 Late night portraits
11pm Grand exit
Talk to you soon,
Dale Benfield is a Luxury Northwest Arkansas Wedding Photography and has been named one of the best Luxury Wedding Photographer in the world while serving Fayetteville, Rogers, Bentonville, and Destination Weddings. Benfield Photography is a Fine Art Bespoke Wedding Photography Studio and is a staple in NW Arkansas and has photographed luxury weddings, Italy weddings, celebrity weddings, private estate weddings, Crystal Bridges weddings, Carnall Hall weddings, Weddings at Osage House, Bachelor Nation Weddings, and more.
He has photographed every style of wedding you can image: intimate weddings, Catholic cathedrals in Italy, church weddings, elopements, destination weddings on the beach in Mexico, and so on.
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