How to Create A Wedding Timeline - secondshootersociety.com

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We're best friends, business partners and completely obsessed with Bath and Body Works Candles. We LOVE photographing weddings and can't wait to teach you #allthethings we've learned over the years!

How to Create A Wedding Timeline

The best way to photograph a photography friendly wedding day is to help the bride with her timeline! If you want to avoid only having 15 minutes for bride and groom portraits and zero time for details, then here’s all the info you need to create a timeline for your bride and groom.

First, you’ll determine the sunset time (just Google “sunset time + the wedding date + your area”). Take special note of this during winter, when the sun sets between 4-6pm! A common mistake is to schedule portraits after sunset when the light is already gone. Next, determine the ceremony time. Be sure to ask your couple if they have an exit that they want photographed (sparklers, etc.), and what time that will be.

Double-check all locations and account for travel time to and from each location. Finally, write down the ceremony time, sunset time, and coverage end time (if there is an exit that will be photographed), and then plug in the rest of the wedding day elements along with any travel time for multiple locations! Here’s an example of how to do this:

STEP ONE: Start with the times that are already determined.

4:30 — CEREMONY START
6:30 — Sunset
9:00 — SPARKLER EXIT

STEP TWO: Build outwards from the ceremony time to determine bride in hiding, family portraits, reception start time, and your own arrival time based on the number of hours in your package.

1:00 — PHOTOGRAPHERS ARRIVE
4:00 — Bride in Hiding / Prep for Ceremony
4:30 — CEREMONY START
5:00 — CEREMONY END
5:00 — Family Portraits
6:00 — RECEPTION BEGINS (see DJ event schedule)
6:30 — Sunset Bride & Groom Portraits
7:00 — Sunset
9:00 — SPARKLER EXIT

STEP THREE: Fill in the gaps with everything else that needs to happen (#1-9) during the day!

1:00 — PHOTOGRAPHERS ARRIVE / Bridal Details / Girls Getting Ready
1:45 — Guys Getting Ready
2:15 — Bride in dress
2:45 — First Look / Bride & Groom Portraits
3:15 — Bridal Party Portraits
4:00 — Bride in Hiding / Prep for Ceremony / Reception Details
4:30 — CEREMONY START
5:00 — CEREMONY END
5:00 — Family Portraits
5:30 — Bride & Groom Enjoy Cocktail Hour
6:00 — RECEPTION BEGINS (see DJ event schedule)
6:30 — Sunset Bride & Groom Portraits
7:00 — Sunset
9:00 — SPARKLER EXIT / PHOTOGRAPHERS DEPART

STEP FOUR: Review your finished timeline with your couple! Once they’ve signed off on it, send them a copy along with all their vendors! You’re well on your way to a smooth & stress-free wedding day.

For a more detailed look into crafting wedding day timelines, check out our freebie all about creating a photography friendly timeline for your brides! It includes detailed recommendations for each part of the wedding day as well as a few bonus tips. We hope that you can use this to create a timeline that will allow you to do your very best work.

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