Planning your Wedding Day Timeline

Client Education

Planning your wedding day timeline

Planning your wedding day timeline is something I pride myself in. From the beginning of the In His Image Wedding Experience, I promise all of our couples that I will work with them and their planner (and other vendors) to ensure their wedding day runs as smoothly as possible! This week we’re going to dive into all the aspects of planning out wedding days. I’ll share how I strategically plan out the timeline to ensure my couples get the very best experience. If you’re not sure how much time you need for all the big things you want documented on your wedding day, download my free sample timeline here!

The Details

Planning your wedding day timeline

Every bride loves having those beautiful shots of her bridal details. It’s an important part of the story and I love having some time to shoot the dress, shoes, jewelry, invitations, etc. These shots allow me to get warmed up for the rest of the big day. Normally, I like to allow at least 45 minutes to an hour for this part of the day. While I’m shooting details, I’m also capturing some shots of the bride and her girls getting ready! If the groom is getting ready nearby, my second shooter will begin photographing his details and the guys’ finishing touches.

Getting in the Dress

After the details have been photographed, it’s time for the bride to get into her dress! This is a big moment! I usually ask the mother of the bride and all of the bridesmaids to be dressed by the time the bride is ready to get into her dress. This ensures that everyone will look their very best in those images. After the bride is in her gown, she can put on her jewelry, veil, shoes, etc. and I will shoot some additional bridal portraits!

First Look

Planning your wedding day timeline

If you’ve been following along during my wedding tip Wednesday series, you already know, I LOVE first looks. This is one of my favorite parts of the wedding day! I will find the perfect location for my couple’s First Look prior to the getting ready portion of the day! Don’t stress about that one bit! I will make sure the location is private and as secluded as possible.

Romantic Portraits of just the two of you

After the bride and groom take their time with the First Look, I will begin taking a few romantic portraits of the two of them while the initial excitement is still present! I will find all the locations for these shots as well! Remember, the LIGHT determines where we shoot and so I can’t decide on portrait locations until the day-of. As we shoot these portraits, the bridal party can start making their way to us for Bridal Party portraits!

Bridal Party

After portraits of just you two, we bring out the bridal party! I buffer in extra time throughout the day just in case we have some unexpected things that hold us up! One way to make sure we stay on schedule for bridal party portraits is to have someone put the boutonnieres on the guys BEFORE they arrive for portraits. During Bridal Party portraits, I will make sure to take some great shots of the guys and girls both separately AND together! After bridal party portraits are complete, the bride will go into hiding so that early guests don’t sneak a peek and the ushers will begin their duties.

The Ceremony

Now it’s time to get married!! Most ceremonies are 30 minutes long. If your ceremony is longer than 30 minutes, we’ll make those adjustments to the timeline accordingly! I’m here to remind you, cherish these moments! Your ceremony will pass by so quickly!

Family Formals

Family formals normally take place immediately following the ceremony. It’s best to save all of the family formals until after the ceremony because ALL family members will be present at that time. I typically only need about 30 minutes for family formals. I send a questionnaire before the wedding to allow my couples to list out every shot for this portion of the day. I recommend shooting portraits outdoors if possible so that they resemble more natural family portraits, especially if the ceremony location is dark!

The Party

This is when the bridal party lines up for introductions and the party begins!! By this part of the day, my timeline isn’t as strict. I work off of the natural light and so after the sun is set, my portrait time is over and I begin focusing on the reception events!

The Exit

Typical wedding day coverage includes 8-9 hours of coverage so that I can be present for the main events of the reception and about an hour or so of dancing! If you’re interested in having your exit photographed, there are several options for this! You can either add additional coverage or plan a faux exit with just your bridal party and a few family members. We have had GREAT success with this. The party never stops!

In the end, planning your wedding day timeline shouldn’t be hard! Trust me when I say that I’ve worked with tons of couples to ensure they get the best experience. If you feel like timeline planning is stressful, don’t forget to grab my free download. Never miss a blog post by signing up for the email list! Want to see another wedding tip Wednesday post? Click here!



  1. […] Sweet Baily is an incredible planner, coordinator, florist and friend. I love working weddings with her! It’s such a great feeling to help brides plan their weddings with people who love their job as much as I do. If you’d like to learn more about Alyssa B Events, click here! I highly recommend Baily and her team for any wedding or event. Never miss a blog post! Sign up for my email list here. Want to see another wedding tip Wednesday post? Click here! […]

  2. […] If you’re interested in purchasing a wedding album, you can contact me here. Never miss a blog post! Sign up for my email list here. Want to see another wedding tip Wednesday post? Click here! […]

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  4. […] If you’d like to learn more about Katelyn and Champagne Wishes, click here. Champagne Wishes is a Charlottesville Wedding Planner that serves all of Central Virginia. Never miss a blog post! Sign up for my email list here. Want to see another wedding tip Wednesday post? Click here! […]

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I'm a family girl at heart. Some might say I'm an old soul. My deep roots in both faith and family are what inspire me to document and preserve lasting legacies for each couple I serve.

I believe in serving well and building a lasting friendship that allows you to trust that I will document your memories in an effortless and romantic light.

And I can't wait to get to know you!

I'm Zoe

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