PA Wedding Photographer | Jess Palatucci Photography

Why A Wedding Timeline is so Important


August 17, 2022

Have you ever wondered how wedding photographers keep it together on a busy wedding day? Through all of the back and forth, the planning and running around? It can be exhausting at times! Well, it’s all thanks to a little thing we call a wedding timeline. Your wedding day timeline is the bread and butter of your wedding day. It’s essentially the thing that keeps everything organized and together and ensures that we are not riding the hot mess express. Knowing why a wedding timeline is so important will save you tremendously when it comes to being stress-free on your wedding day.

Your Wedding Timeline is Your Central Hub

On a wedding day, there can be so many moving parts. So many different vendors that you’re working with and trying to keep organized. It can be a lot! However, your wedding day timeline is essentially your central hub for everything. It allows for all contact information and vendor info to be put in one place, so in case you need to reach someone it’s right there! You want to make sure that everyone is on the same page as well. So ensuring that everyone has a copy of the timeline is key!

Keeps Everyone Organized

One of the most important components of having a wedding day timeline on your wedding day is to stay organized. It’s important as a wedding photographer to know exactly when you’re planning to get your hair & makeup done. That way I know exactly when I can start your photography coverage as well as when it will end. It also makes sure that all other vendors are on the same page as to where you are on the wedding day. It can be very easy to get whisked away to do something and everyone begins to lose track. So a wedding timeline is necessary in order to keep everyone organized.

Relieves Pressure

Your wedding timeline is the ultimate way to help relieve the pressure off the bride. Oftentimes, the bride is left tending to many last-minute decisions. You are having your hair & makeup done and trying to coordinate with the florist and trying to make sure everything is all in its place. This can be extremely overwhelming and if we’ve learned anything from this blog here, you want your wedding day to be as stress-free as possible.

Helps Avoid Any Delays

Let’s face it, we can’t control everything even on your wedding day. As much as we want to be in control of everything and anything, sometimes we just can’t. Hair and makeup run late, your dress loses a button, you get those pre-wedding jitters, you name it. With such commotion happening all at once on your wedding day, it can be easy for things to fall through the cracks. Your wedding day timeline should have what we like to call buffer times. This is to avoid such a backlog on some of your wedding day festivities! When creating your wedding day timeline, it’s important to discuss buffer time and leave little bits of wiggle room. That way if things fall behind or run late, you still have time for all of your fun wedding day festivities.

What to Think About When Building A Wedding Timeline

It’s important to have some things in the back of your mind when you start building out your wedding timeline. Whether you’re working with a wedding photographer, a wedding planner, or building the timeline for yourself, keep these things in mind.

  • Time it will take to get ready
  • Travel time to & from locations (getting ready to the venue, venue to the ceremony, ceremony to reception)
  • When your vendors need to arrive (florists, planners, photographers, videographers, caterers, etc)
  • When and where your flowers should be delivered to
  • What type of photos you’re wanting (mid-day, sunset) and for how long
  • How long is the actual ceremony
  • Are you doing a grand exit?

Example Wedding Day Timeline

This timeline is a reflection of 8 hours under the assumption that everything is at the same location, some couples may need more hours of coverage to account for travel time, a long church ceremony, or end-of-the-night coverage for a grand exit:

12:30-1:30pm Photographer arrives at getting ready location to photograph details
1:30-2:30pm Groom getting ready photos
1:30-1:45pm  Bride/bridesmaids robe & champagne “pop” photos
1:45-2:30pm Bride putting on dress / bridal portraits
2:30-3:00pm First Look & Couples Portraits
3:00-3:30pm Wedding Party Portraits
3:30-4:00pm Family Portraits
4:00-4:30pm Relax/Refresh before ceremony while guests arrive
4:30-5:00pm Ceremony
5:00-6:00pm Cocktails
6:00pm Reception Starts
7:30pm Golden hour/sunset/just married photos for 5-10 minutes
8:30pm Photography coverage ends

At the end of the day, the biggest tip I can give you to ensure a smooth wedding day is communication. You want to be able to communicate to your vendors what you’re looking for and how you want it executed. Your wedding vendors are there to make your wedding day dreams come true! Whenever I speak with my couples we set up meetings to go over your timeline. You are able to decide what you’re okay with doing and when you’re okay with doing it based on what you want to be photographed throughout the day.



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