Planning Your Wedding Day Timeline


February 23, 2022

This part of the wedding planning process can be a bit intimidating, but after successfully planning out your wedding day, you will feel MUCH more accomplished and at ease.

Like most couples that are getting married, you’ve never done this before. So it almost seems impossible to pinpoint where to start. There are so many things to consider when planning that it soon starts to overwhelm most brides.

Trust us when we say this is normal. That’s why we are going to give a sample timeline to use when planning for your wedding day.

To start, we are going to separate the timeline based on seasons, because daylight savings time most definitely impacts how you plan! We break the timeline down into the separate events that occur throughout the day, and give some buffer time because as we all know, NOTHING ever truly goes according to plan. So first, let’s start with an ideal timeline for Spring/Summer weddings!

2:00pm – Bridal Details

The first thing Tara and I start with at EVERY single wedding is bridal details! This is all of the meaningful pieces you’ve put together that will set the tone when telling the story of your wedding day. We usually contact the bride ahead of time to have everything together before we arrive so that we aren’t scrambling around searching for all the pieces!

Virginia Wedding photographer bridal details

3:15-3:45 – Bridal Prep

Now it’s time to start getting in the dress. We instruct all of the other bridesmaids to get in their dressed first so that they look nice in the photos we take of them helping you into your amazing wedding dress!

Quick Tip- When planning with your MUA, simply tell them that you’d like everyone to be done by 3:00pm. This helps give them a good idea of when to start!

Virginia Makeup Artists
Virginia Makeup Artist Blushtones did an awesome job with makeup!

4:00pm – First Look

By far one of our favorite parts of the wedding day! (Click here if you want to know more about what a first look is!)

Having a first look makes your time SO much easier. You get to have an intimate and magical moment with you significant other, as well as complete the majority of your bridal party photos in a much more controlled and relax atmosphere. There’s no rush and everyone is much more at ease! We absolutely recommend having a first look for you wedding day.

You can also have a first look with Dad!

4:15-4:45pm – Portraits

The most anticipated photos for most couples, your bridal portraits! The photos you’ll most likely be sharing with everyone on Social media to celebrate your union!

Virginia Wedding at Harley's Haven
Virginia Bride at Harley's Haven
Gala 417 wedding photos
April and Anthony’s amazing wedding at the Gala 417

4:50-5:20pm Bridal Party Portraits

Time to get your friends involved! Tara and I get shots of both the girls and guys separately, then together! Check out the bridal party photos at Virginia Wedding Venue Fort Monroe from Sam and Jason’s wedding!

5:30pm Bride in Hiding

Here’s a great time to re-group, collect yourself, and get some quiet time before you walk down the aisle.

Historic Post Office wedding Venue in Virginia

6:00pm Ceremony

Time to get married! Most ceremonies only last about 20-30 minutes. We’ll adjust in other parts of the day if you plan on having a longer ceremony time.

Luray wedding in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

6:40-7:10pm Family Portraits

It’s best to save all of the family formals until after the ceremony be- cause ALL family members will be present at that time. I recommend shooting portraits outdoors if possible so that they resemble more natural family portraits, especially if the ceremony location is dark!

Gala 417 Wedding Photos

7:10-7:30pm Just Married Portraits

7:00pm is the BEST time of day for portraits in the late spring, summer and early fall! This is when the sun is glowy and golden. I love having a few extra minutes with the bride and groom to take a few “Just Married” portraits right after family formals! Check out Katie and Brendan’s amazing Luray wedding in the Blue Ridge Mountains at Stoneyman Valley Ranch.

7:30pm Reception Begins!

By this part of the day, the timeline isn’t as strict and you can truly enjoy yourself! Tara and I document all the wonderful parts of your reception. The dances, the speeches, and all the unexpected moments in between!

Virginia Wedding Venue Historic Post Office.

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned and subscribe to the blog for our winter timeline!

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