Here’s the Timeline Guide that You Need for your Wedding Day!
Updated: Mar 22
There’s no doubt: it indeed takes a huge effort to execute your big day!
It might seem like an easy-breezy for those who haven’t experienced the whole journey of preparation, but a wedding day is an extreme coordination between the couple, the guests, and all the involved vendors.
So, how do you keep everyone sane through the frenzy of the much-awaited event?
Well, my friends, a fool-proof solution that we highly recommend is to create a proper and well-planned run sheet for your wedding timeline.
As wedding photographers in Melbourne who’ve worked with numerous couples during their big day, we’ve witnessed the power of schedule run sheets multiple times!
The 24 hours of the day might seem long enough not to bother, but when managed inappropriately, you’ll inevitably find yourself asking for more time.
Hence, to give you several insider tips and ideas on how to properly allocate your time during the event, please see below the list of guidelines for planning your wedding schedule like a pro!
(Just a quick note that this guide is made according to a photographer’s point of view and you can personalize it according to your needs.)
Prepping with the Bro’s (Groom Prep - 45-60 minutes)
During normal situations, guys usually get ready within 15-20 minutes (or shorter) but this doesn’t apply to the day of their wedding.
Sorry ladies, but men’s prep time for the big day takes a longer time than usual because they want to look good for you!
Therefore, you should allocate a little more time than usual for the men’s ‘getting ready’ photoshoot (45-60 minutes).
Of course, shooting the details (suit, boutonnieres, shoes, etc.) is already a standard but we would also love to capture all the hilarious and picture-worthy situations that take place in the groom’s prep room.
From the good-humored conversations to carefree laughter over a few beers, capturing the BTS of the groom’s side will surely amuse the bride’s side.
We swear that all these little details matter, and once you’re going through your wedding photo album in the future, you’ll realize that taking the extra shooting time with the men is all worth it!
✅ Wait for the photographer’s arrival before you dress up.
✅ To maximize the time, hang the suit in an interesting spot and layout the groom’s accessories in a clean surface before your photographer’s arrival.
Dressing Up with the Ladies (Bride Prep - 60-90 minutes)
I know it’s no surprise but on the wedding day, women still take a longer time to prepare than men.
I’m not complaining though, it’s just amusing how this prepping habit seems to be ingrained to the women’s DNA!
So, if you’re still wondering how much time you would dedicate for shooting the bridal preparation, 60-90 minutes is the usual standard (60-90 minutes).
To maximize the allocated time, it is recommended to schedule your preparation in accordance with the photographer’s arrival.
Prep ahead to ensure that once the camera arrives, everything and every matter is at hand.
✅ Before the photographer’s arrival, make sure that the bride is just dealing with her final touches. Aside from being a time-saver, this tip ensures that the bride will be photographed in her last-minute ‘getting ready shots’ with her undone but already-fresh look!
✅ Ensure that the bridesmaids are done with their makeover but wait for your photographer before you all dress up. Capturing the bride and bridesmaids chilling in their pretty robes is a trend nowadays!
✅ Decide how you want your dress to be captured and hang it in a ‘picturesque’ part of the room. For those who want an outdoor hanging shot, inform your photographer about this preference.
✅ Layout all the bridal accessories and details (engagement ring, shoes, HER vows, etc.) on a clean surface before your photographer’s arrival.
Wedding Traditions (60-90 minutes)
Weddings become more colorful when there are cultural practices are at play!
Whether it’s a dance celebration, a henna party, or a tea-serving ceremony, we believe that these activities are worth documenting.
Aside from being Instagram-worthy, these unique pieces of your tradition will also invoke beautiful emotions among you and your guests.
As a standard, 60-90 minutes is already a manageable time for photographers to shoot these moments efficiently.
The Exchange of I Do’s (Ceremony - 30-60 minutes)
Here comes the much-awaited moment of all!
From the cute flower girls to the tension-filled waiting time, there’s just a lot of wonderful memories that occur prior to and across the whole ceremony.
But, of course, nothing beats the emotions that take place once the bride has started to enter the picture!
From the bride’s entrance to the groom’s reaction, these brief moments just proved that the long wait is worth it.
Of course, the magic doesn’t stop at the bride’s arrival!
There’s still the reading of the vows, the exchange of rings, and the couple’s first kiss as newly-weds.
Thus, for the ceremony’s time allocation, 30-60 minutes is already convenient.
✅ Choose your celebrant wisely by ensuring that your officiant has the skills that are significant for performing the rites over your ceremony.
For instance, a celebrant should know how to encourage engagement with your guests through his satisfactory speaking skills.
Aside from this, a sense of humor is a great bonus as well!
Formal Pictures (15-30 minutes)
After the ceremony, it is understandable that everybody already wants to get the party started (I know that you’re hungry, Greg).
However, the mandatory group picture-taking is always on the line. Don’t worry though!
This can only take 15-30 minutes as long as your family and guests are willing to cooperate.
Venue and Location Shoot (1-3 hours)
Aiming for that Pinterest aesthetic?
Leave it to us, we know the best spots for taking your couple portraits!
After 1-3 hours of shooting, we’re certain that you’ll have a set of wonderful and scenic couple images that’s good for your 3-month Instagram content!
Before the arrival of guests, it is a must to take several shots of the tables, the designs, and the overall setup of the reception.
Capturing the entire venue will just freeze all the hard work exerted by the couple, the wedding vendors, and the concept designer prior to the special day.
Once the guests begin to pour in the venue and the program starts, we will then start taking photos of all the beautiful moments that will unfold all through the night.
The usual factors to consider are the reception formalities, the speeches, the traditions, and the open dance floor so for the reception’s time allocation, we leave the decision to you!
✅ Invest in a professional and a dynamic master of ceremony! After all, your MC has a huge role to play in making your party fun and memorable, right?
Planning the timetable for your wedding shouldn’t be an overwhelming errand.
After all, its main purpose is to allow you to have fun during your big day!
If you’re looking for professional and savvy wedding photographers who can deliver fascinating shots while dealing well with your hectic schedule, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
Our team is looking forward to work with you and be a part of your special day!