September 17, 2019


Emily Pottiger



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Sample Timeline For the Wedding Day

Planning your wedding can be hella hard & hella confusing. There are so many resources out there and where do you even begin? Half of the time the day looks nothing like yours & you’re left even more confused than before. One of the top questions I get from brides is, “is this normal?” Well 1st, it doesn’t matter if it’s normal or not, it’s your day. But just for some peace of mind, I’ve decided to share what I believe is the standard, nay ideal, wedding day of timeline.

This timeline specifically will be made for couples doing a first look. Why? Because at this point first looks benefit everyone (but mostly the couple) and I totally believe they are the savior of weddings.

Want to know more about why I encourage everyone to do a first look? Read on here: A whole blog post on first looks.

1:00 – 2:00


Every detail you so carefully planned out I will capture. I know you poured your very heart into this day & these details will not be overlooked. I’ll shoot your dress, shoes, rings, flowers, anything sentimental or special during this time. Believe it or not, all of these pieces tell the story of your day and are important for me to capture and for you to remember.

2:00 – 2:30


After the details are done, it’s time to get ready. By this time I’ll ask the bridal party and other of the bride to be dressed. This way everyone will look nice in these images. The last thing we want is someone’s hair half done. After the bride is in her gown she will put on her shoes, ear rings, veil etc. and be ready for some extra bridal portraits.



My favorite part of the day! The first look. We love when our couples opt-in for a first look because not only does it make their schedule flow, it becomes one of the only moments the couple is alone together all day. If you’re not doing personal vows, this is a great time to read letters to one another or just breathe. This is also a great time to get some of the tears out and still have time for a touch-up before the ceremony. 😂


3:00 – 3:45

This is the time for your portraits! Right after the first look we’ll pull you both to a few locations (depending on time) at your venue and snap a few photos. We like to move around and get a lot of variety of you during this time. Your bridal party will start making their way outside to do bridal party portraits before the ceremony (even more time to party afterwards! WIN!)

3:50 – 4:20


Is it becoming obvious why we love first looks? During this time we’re going to get through all of your bridal party portraits. It helps to make sure your groomsmen have their boutonnieres on BEFORE they get to the photo location.


4:30 – 5:00

It’s almost ceremony time! We reserve this time as a buffer for you to hide, but also to detail shots of your ceremony and reception spaces. If we’re running behind, no problem! We’ll use the extra time during cocktail hour to get what we need.

5:00 – 5:30


It’s officially time to get married! Congratulations. Soak it all in – this is going to go by SO fast. Most ceremonies are max. 30 minutes. If your ceremony extends 30 minutes let us know and we’ll adjust your timeline. Also please specify in your questionnaire any special elements to your ceremony we should know about. (unity etc.

5:40 – 6:10


We will send you a wedding day worksheet for you to fill out with your family’s information and photo groupings. Try to keep the combinations to immediate family ONLY. Any other family can be photographed during cocktail hour or reception.


6:15 – 6:30

If time allows we would love to do a few portraits closer to golden hour of the two of you in your “just married” bliss.

Feel satisfied with what we already captured? Go enjoy your cocktail hour & save a pan fried dumpling for me. 🙂



It’s party time! Many couples line up and start with introductions. At this point of the day, my natural light fades out and I set up my flashes and light up the dance floor! My timeline relaxes at this point as I follow along your reception events. The reception is when time really flies by, don’t forget to have the time of your life and oh… eat dinner! But seriously…

Also, you’re going to want to make sure you have a good DJ since they will make or break this part of your wedding.

6:40 – 8:30


This is the sandwich of your ceremony where all of your traditional things happen. Some things may include;

  • The first dance
  • Father-daughter dance
  • Mother-son dance
  • Speeches
  • Blessing
  • Cake Cutting
  • Bouquet Toss
  • Garter Toss
  • Dancing!



Our 8 hours is over and it’s time to head out – if your reception isn’t over until later don’t freak out. Usually the people who are going to dance are the ones on the dance floor from the beginning to the end. If you’re interested in having your exit photographed – there are many options with this! You can either add additional coverage or plan a faux exit with just your bridal party. We’ve done this ourselves and it worked perfectly. Email me if you’re interested in more information.

Have more questions? Want to chat? Email me!


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A lot of moving pieces go into planning a wedding day timeline and we know it's easy to feel like a hot mess! Grab our free guide to plan the perfect timeline for your day. 

the wedding day Timeline guide


A lot of moving pieces go into planning a wedding day timeline and we know it can be overwhelming! Grab our free guide to plan the perfect timeline for your day. 

Grab Your Guide