Planning Your Wedding Day Timeline
by NJ Wedding Photographer Melanie Cassie Photography
Planning the perfect wedding timeline is essential to make your day run as smooth as possible. There are so many things to consider when planning your day. When should your hair and makeup artists arrive? When do you need to be ready by? Are you going to do a First Look? Where should you have your bridal party photos done? Is there enough time to drive from Beach Haven to Barnegat Light before the ceremony begins? Should your family formals take place before or after your ceremony? Are you able to take sunset photos outside the venue without interrupting the reception?
Planning your timeline can help answer these questions. Below are my recommended coverage times.
My Recommended Coverage Times
The photographer should arrive 2 hours before the bride needs to be completely dressed. The second photographer should arrive 1-2 hours before groom needs to be dressed.
Details including shoes, dress (a nice dress hanger), a copy of the wedding invitation and any other details should all be together and ready to be photographed.
Hair and makeup need to be finished 1 hour before you need to leave.
Groomsmen, bridesmaids, mother of the bride, and father of the bride should be dressed at least 15 minutes before bride and groom.
Typically, your bridal party is invited to watch from a distance, but this is about you guys. After your first look, you will have the opportunity to soak it all in and take a couple minutes to yourselves.
Side note: First Looks are a great way to tackle your photos without missing much of cocktail hour. Another option without doing a First Look would be to take a gap between your ceremony and your reception.
This is subject to change depending on the location. Including travel time is a must to include in the wedding day timeline.
Wedding Party Photos
Bride with bridesmaids
Bride with individual bridesmaids
Groom with groomsmen
Groom with individual groomsmen
Entire bridal party
I highly recommend limiting family photo combinations and taking any extended family photos during cocktail hour or your reception. Remember, this is your day and you don’t want it to run into your cocktail or wedding reception time.