Putting together the perfect wedding day timeline for a day that runs smoothly, efficiently and with as little stress as possible can be a HUGE feat. But the good news is, I have to put together a guide to help you craft a run sheet for your wedding that will help every aspect of the day from the preparation, family portraits, the reception and more.

So if you’ve been struggling with how to structure your day, wonder no more!

PREPARATION

The biggest piece of advice I can give you when it comes to the prep side of things is to chat to your vendors for advice on how long different things will take. Then include some buffers just in case something goes a little longer than expected, and so that your whole timeline for the day doesn’t go too far off course to soon.

Other tips to consider are to be ready for your photographer when they arrive so that you don’t have to waste time getting or doing things, plan to be ready to go a little earlier than you need to be so you’ve got a bit of time to relax before you have to leave, and consider travel times between where you’re getting ready and where your wedding is. Try not to make things to far away!

FAMILY PHOTOS

If this portion of the day isn’t well planned out, it can be as hard as trying to round up cattle! If family photos are important to you, write a list in advance of all the combinations you want so that your photographer or a family/friend can call out names and round people up. This will save you so much time and stress, so don’t skimp on this part!

WEDDING PARTY & COUPLES PORTRAITS

The truth is… You don’t need as much time as you think! A couple of mine recently knew exactly what they wanted for their day, including how much time you want for photos. It’s not that photos weren’t important to them, but spending as much time as they could with their friends and family (lots of which came all the way over from the UK) was more important.

We took some quick photos with their wedding party as they were having cocktails after the ceremony, and we snuck out for sunset portraits for 15 minutes just before they ate dinner. And it was ENOUGH. We captured some fun, candid shots that they love and it was the perfect amount of time for them.

The point is, think about what’s important to you, and if a shorter portrait session sounds appealing to you, do it. You’re not missing out and you can still get gorgeous photos and a shorter amount of time.

RECEPTION

Get all the formalities out of the way sooner rather than later! The sooner you get things like speeches, cake cutting and your first dance done, the less stopping and starting you’ll have to do and the sooner you can hang out with your guests and PARTY!

Things you can do:

  • Cut the cake as soon as you enter, while you’ve got everyone’s attention! It can then be taken away and cut, ready to bring back out later
  • Get a few speeches out of the way before dinner so that it’s not one huge chunk, and so that half of them are done nice and early
  • Try to have the dance floor starting as early as possible (anytime after 8pm) to maximise your time at the venue and time to dance the night away!

So when it comes to putting together the timeline for your wedding day, refer back to these tips and hopefully it’ll help you nail the timings, setting you up for the most PERFECT and fun wedding day!

Amy Allen

March 1, 2024

WEDDING TIMELINE TIPS FROM A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER

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