Creative entrepreneur, dog mom, brewed beverage aficionado, and your personal journalist.

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The wedding timeline. A word that can induce panic in even the most Type A amongst us (and there is no feeling but fear for those of us Type B-ers that feel winging it is best).

Whether you like it or not, timeline is vital to your wedding day. I teach economics, and one of the most important lessons I go over to my seniors is that we can always make more money, but we cannot make more time. As the genius Dave Ramsey says, we don’t tell our time where to go we will wonder where it went. You are paying your photographer for the time they will be with you; it is important to know that you are spending that time wisely.

But trust me, creating a wedding day timeline is easy and completely doable for couples of all personalities.

There is just a couple things to think about:


Don’t worry, your photographer will no doubt capture everything. But what is most important? Do you want a ton of gently posed couples portraits, or do you want more candids of everyone? You do not need to be filled with lies from Pinterest that you need a million of this, that, or the other. How do YOU want to remember YOUR day? Starting there will help you know how to schedule your day accordingly. Remember, your wedding is a live event where momentum can shift at any time; knowing what you want will be sure that it gets done.


This is where keeping in contact with your photographer will be the most helpful. It is easy to think that because you have a large wedding party or family that those photos will take forever. I can tell you that from my side of the camera, that is simply not true. If everyone is organized and ready to rock and roll, family formals can be done in a half hour (even with the largest of families). Same is true with the wedding party: As long as they are all ready to go at the same time, we can work through those quickly, too.


I get it: You are dropping a ton of money on this, and you want to be sure that everything is absolutely perfect. But trust your professionals. Let them do their thing–that’s why you hired them. If nothing else, be sure to consult with them before the big day to work out any lingering questions. We are here to love and serve you, so let us know how to do it best to make you the most comfortable. 


Feeling a little overwhelmed or have no idea where to start? This is my standard timeline I provide my couples for an eight-hour wedding day that includes a first look and is in one location.

  • 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm: Details + Getting Ready
  • 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm: First Look + Couples Portraits
  • 2:00 pm – 2:30 pm: Wedding Party 
  • 2:30 pm – 3:00 pm: Family Formals
  • 3:00 pm – 3:30 pm: Into Hiding + Ceremony Details
  • 3:30 pm – 4:00 pm: Ceremony
  • 4:00 pm – 4:30 pm: Receiving Line
  • 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm: Cocktail Hour + Reception Details
  • 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm: Grand Entrance, Dinner + Toasts
  • 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm: Cake Cutting, Dances, + Reception (and more portraits)

Enjoy this post about timelines? Check out the other educational resources from Kayla Lee!




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