Every couples wedding timeline look a little different, so don’t stress about what others are doing.
Just focus on the things that are important to you first and then fit them into your day one by one.
From a photographer’s perspective I can tell you that the time during the late afternoon hours is most beautiful for your couple shoot. The light is soft and warm, the sun is starting to set and the overall feeling is very romantic. That’s why I strongly recommend having your photoshoot done rather later than earlier. Now, I know that might collide with dinner, so the way I’ve done it with my couples in the past is we had the photoshoot during the day at a time where it naturally fit into the timeline.
But then once the light was perfect in the evening, I snug out with them (sometimes even during starters and the main course for a quick 15-20 min shoot in romantic sunlight. Works perfectly fine!
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to determine what the perfect timeline for you could look like:
- Would you rather keep the Getting Ready short and move right on to the ceremony? Or would you want to invite your bridesmaids and your Maid-of-Honor, sisters and/or mother to it and have a little “Pre Wedding Girls Party”, popping bottles of champagne while getting your hair and make-up done?
- How long is the drive from the Getting Ready to the ceremony?
- How long will the guests be congratulating? (I always estimate about an hour for 100 guests)
- When would it be time to drive to the venue? How long is the drive?
- When should dinner start at the venue?
- Do we want speeches? If so, how many? How long would they be? (I recommend asking people to stick to 3-5 minute speeches due to the concentration of the guests)
- Do we want other´s to perform things or play games with the guests in the evening? If so, how much, how long?
- When would we like to open the dance floor?
- Would you like the cake to be rolled out as part of desert in the evening or during coffee time in the afternoon already?
Once you’ve determines all those things you’ll get a pretty good idea of how your wedding day could look like!
Here´ s an example of what it could look like:
9.00 am Hairdresser and Make-Up Stylists arrive for the getting Ready of the Bride
9.30 am Photographer arrives for the Getting Ready of the Bride
11.00 am Girls time for the Bride and her friends/sisters/Mom with Champagne, including pictures
11.30 am Photographer shoots the Getting Ready of the Groom
11.45 am Everyone drives to the Location of the Photoshoot
12.00 pm Photoshoot (starting with a First Look)
1.30 pm Bride and Groom leave for the Ceremony
2.00 pm Ceremony starts
2.45 pm Ceremony ends, guests congratulate Bride and Groom
3.30 pm Get together with Champagne and a few snacks
4.30 pm Group Photo of everyone and smaller groups (Families, Friends)
5.15 pm Everyone leaves for the Venue
5.30 pm Opening speech of the bride and groom at the venue
5.45 pm Speeches of the fathers
6.00 pm Dinner; Starters
6.20 pm Short Photoshoot in evening light
6.45 pm Main course
7.30 pm Evening Programm
9.00 pm Wedding Cake and Desert
9.30 pm First Dance and opening of the dance floor
Whatever you do, make sure you plan enough time for the different things happening. There’s no harm in noticing that you have more time than you need but it will stress you out if you planned to little time beforehand and might even end in having to cross things off completely! So rather be super conscious and plan in too much time!
I hope this helps!