Real Wedding Timelines From Real Weddings

Real Wedding Timelines From Real Weddings

As an additional service, I create each of my wedding couples a custom, recommended wedding day schedule. If the couple doesn’t have a planner, they usually just go by my solo recommendation. If the couple has hired a wedding planner, I will work with him/her to create this timeline.

This works better for everyone because I have a good idea of how long I need for certain things in order to do justice to the day. And that’s one less thing the couple needs to plan.

In order to create a custom timeline recommendation, I ask the couple the below questions:

  1. How long does it take to go from the getting ready location from the ceremony location?
  2. How long does it take to go from the ceremony location from the reception location?
  3. Are you doing a first look?
  4. What time does your reception start & end – the venue usually lets the couple know they have the place for a certain number of hours, so couples usually have an idea about this.

Once I got those answers, I’d look up when the sun was setting at that time of year via a quick google search & then I draft a custom schedule recommendation.

Here are a few real examples of wedding timelines from real wedding days. If you don’t know what to expect during each part of the day, please check out this series:

  1. Details
  2. Getting Ready
  3. First Looks
  4. Couple Portraits
  5. Venue Photos
  6. The Ceremony
  7. Family Photos
  8. Wedding Party Photos
  9. The Reception
  10. Exits

Timeline with a first look + 1 location:

  • 12:30 – 1:15 Detail Photos
  • 1:15 – 2:00 Getting Ready
  • 2:00 – 3:00 First Look & Couple photos 
  • 3:00 – 3:30 Wedding Party Photos
  • 3:30 – 4:00 Couple rest/hides while photographer/videographer capture the venue decor
  • 4:00 – 4:30 Ceremony
  • 4:30 – 5:30 Family Photos & Cocktail Hour/Mingling (couple got to mingle for a part of their cocktail hour because they did a first look and all couple & wedding party photos before the ceremony)
  • 5:30 – 10:00 Reception
    • 5:30 Guests Invited to take seats
    • 5:40 Salad served & welcome speech given by bride’s parents
    • 6:00 Dinner entrees served
    • 6:25 More toasts
    • 6:45 Cut the cake & dessert table opens
    • 7:00 First dance, Daddy+daughter, Mother+Son
    • 7:15 Bouquet & garter toss
    • 7:25 Dancing
    • 9:50 xit

Timeline with a First Look + Getting Ready at a Hotel then Driving to Separate Ceremony & Reception Location

  • 1:00pm – 1:45pm Detail photos at hotel
  • 1:45pm – 2:30pm  Getting Ready at hotel
  • 2:30pm – 2:45pm  Drive to Venue
  • 2:45pm – 3:30pm First Look + Couple Photos
  • 3:30pm – 4:00pm Couple rest/hides while photographer/videographer capture the venue decor
  • 4:00pm – 4:30pm  Ceremony 
  • 4:30pm – 5:00pm Family Photos
  • 5:00pm – 5:20pm Wedding Party Photos
  • 5:20pm – 5:30pm Just a few more couple photos in golden light <3 
  • 5:30pm – 9:00pm  Reception

No First Look + Getting Ready, Ceremony & Reception all at Different Locations

  • 12:00 – 12:45 Detail Photos at AirBnb
  • 12:45 – 1:30 Getting ready
  • 1:30 – 2:00 Depart for Ceremony Location
  • 2:00 – 3:00 Ceremony
  • 3:00 – 3:30 Family Photos
  • 3:30 – 4:15 Couple Photos
  • 4:15 – 4:45 Wedding Party Photos
  • 4:45 – 5:00 Drive to reception location
  • 5:00 – 5:30 Bride & Groom rest while Caili photographs venue decor
  • 5:30 – 11:00 Reception
    • 5:30 Guests arrive at reception & mingle
    • 6:30 Guests invited to find seats
    • 6:45 Grand Entrance
    • 6:50 Welcome speech by bride’s parents
    • 6:55 Buffet opens
    • 7:25 Speeches
    • 8:00 Cut the cake
    • 8:10 Last call for buffet
    • 8:25 First Dance
    • 8:30 Father/daughter dance & mother/son dance
    • 8:35 Dance floor opens
    • 9:00 Bouquet & garter toss

–> Planning a wedding can be overwhelming! But I gotchu 😉 After going to so many events as a photographer, I’ve got plenty of recommendations and experience with everything wedding-related. Click here to learn more about the Caili Chung Photography Wedding Experience <3

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Real Wedding Timelines From Real Weddings

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