Building Your Wedding Day Timeline

When it comes to booking wedding vendors, the venue is usually first and is immediately followed by the photographer. I like the fact that I’m second in that order and not third or fourth. This gives me the opportunity to work out a timeline that’s optimal for each of my clients. When it comes to weddings, with exception of a wedding planner, the photographer is going to be the most involved in your day. Typically we are there for every part of it. This means we have good insight into what each vendor does and how much time it takes.


I spend extra time with each of my clients to build out a timeline that’s tailored for their day. It starts with getting to know my clients and then a few solid questions that help sort out the rest. Here’s a list of timeline questions I ask when I first sit down with a couple.


  1. What time is the ceremony scheduled for?
    • You probably already have this set.
    • Additionally if there is a hint that it will be a catholic wedding I’ll ask if it’s going to be a traditional catholic ceremony.
  2. Are you going to see each other before the ceremony?
    • Are we doing a first look and how many formal photos can we complete before the ceremony. This one is huge, it’s shifts the timeline around an hour before or after the ceremony.
  3. How large is the bridal party?
    • Larger bridal parties take more time.
  4. How large are the immediate families?
    • Same as the bridal party but this one has a larger impact. The bridal party is usually in “picture mode” and ready to go, family members… not so much.


Next I ask what’s important to you. I love this question because it’s opened ended and usually little details of your dream day come out that may not have come up.


Now we build your timeline. First we start with the ceremony and allot time all the way back to getting ready. After that we work from the ceremony to the end of the night. Simple enough, right? So long as you have someone experienced to help guide you along the path, it kind of is.


In a future post I’ll put a sample timeline together so you can see what a finished one looks like.