How to Create Your Best Wedding Day Timeline!
Real advice from Winston-Salem photographers with over 10 years in the business!
If you are wondering how to create the best wedding day timeline, this post is for you! This is a little advice from your photographers with over a decade in the wedding business. We have seen it all – and I do mean it all! The most important thing about planning your wedding day is to know what you want to prioritize. If sunset portraits are a must have for you, or if you are looking forward to that private, sweet first look – those are the keystone moments that you want to include in your timeline and plan everything else around them! Creating your wedding day timeline is going to make completing the rest of your Wedding Day Checklist a breeze.
So what does a great timeline look like? For Kyle and Tiffany, a skyline portrait of downtown Winston-Salem from the rooftop of the Millennium Center was very important to them. Tiffany did not have a planner, so we worked closely with her to create a timeline that would run smoothly and incorporate all of the special moments she had been dreaming of! Her wedding was in February, so sunset was very early here in North Carolina, right around 6 PM. Knowing what time sunset was going to be, we worked backwards to set things in place. I will be sharing their timeline in this blog as an example of what a perfect wedding day timeline looks like!
Bridal Prep & Details
*Best Wedding Day Timeline tip: The wedding party should be ready 2 hours before the ceremony is scheduled.
Your best wedding day timeline starts here. As photographers, we like to arrive just as the wedding party is about to finish getting ready. During this time we will be photographing all the important details. Shoes, jewelry, invitations, and groom details. We will also be capturing candids of the bride, groom, and wedding party preparing for the day. We will also get the most important detail, the bride putting on her dress.
First Look & Portraits
*Best Wedding Day Timeline tip: If you are planning a first look or pre-ceremony portraits, it should begin 2 – 1 1/2 hours before the ceremony starts.
This time should be set aside for special traditions and portraits when you look your best. If you and your future spouse would like a First Look we will handle all the details. If you are more traditional, this is also a good time for a first look with your father or bridal party. This time is also important to capture any pre-ceremony photos of your bridal party and family. This is a perfect moment to relax, breathe, and savor all the important things happening around you!
*Best Wedding Day Timeline tip: Looking forward to beautiful sunset photos with your new spouse? You will want to make sure your ceremony starts approximately 2 hours before sunset.
This is the big moment you have been waiting for! You ceremony is the most important anchoring event for your perfect wedding day timeline. This event usually only takes about thirty minutes but may take longer depending on what traditions or religious elements you may include. The most important part of the day is often the quickest! Again, we encourage our couples to slow down and take in what is happening. Trust the professional vendors you have hired to make it happen flawlessly.
Cocktail Hour & Family Portraits
*Best Wedding Day Timeline tip: Be prepared to take 20-30 minutes to get all of these classic portraits you will be so grateful for later!
While your guests enjoy some light snacks we will coordinate formal family portraits based on the questionnaire you completed for us. We always ask each couple to provide a list of groupings of family members complete with names so we can find them easily. Ask your officiant to remind family members to stick around for photos when dismissing your guests to cocktail hour. Following family portraits we will also photograph the final wedding party photos. We will try to make this as quick and painless as possible, but providing your guests with something to do while they wait will keep them happy and you relaxed!
Bride & Groom Portraits
*Best Wedding Day Timeline tip: Run away with your spouse for just a few moments before the party starts! Try to schedule at least 30 minutes during golden hour for the most gorgeous photos!
This is our FAVORITE part! We will sweep you away for a little privacy to celebrate your romance. We will capture those quiet, intimate moments and give you and your new spouse a chance to enjoy some alone time. We can take as much or as little time as you would like to capture these moments. If you did not have a first look, we do recommend scheduling more time here for portraits.
Reception Details & Dinner
This is another important anchoring event for your perfect wedding day timeline, because nobody wants to eat cold food! Just before you and your new spouse are announced we will capture the details of your reception. After this you and your guests can relax and enjoy dinner. This is usually the time your vendors will also take a short break to recharge and prepare for the final events of the evening.
Reception Traditions & Party Time
*Best Wedding Day Timeline tip: Strategically plan your traditions to take place earlier in the evening.
Cake cutting, bouquet toss, first dances, etc. are all best done while your guests are attentive and present in the moment, so we suggest fitting those in at the beginning of this time. Afterwards you can dance the night away and enjoy being surrounded by family and friends.
*Best Wedding Day Timeline tip: Controlled exits let the party keep going!
You did it! You successfully made it through your wedding day and it’s time to head out to your honeymoon! (Maybe.) The exit can be the highlight of your reception if planned successfully. Whether it’s confetti, sparklers, or smoke bombs, this is your final opportunity to head out in style! We suggest that you plan your exit before most of your guests leave. This will give all your guests a chance to wish you farewell, even if the party isn’t over!
Want to see more from Kyle and Tiffany’s downtown Winston-Salem Wedding? Keep scrolling!
Kyle and Tiffany – Millennium Center Winston-Salem, North Carolina
All of the awesome vendors that made this day happen:
Venue and Catering: The Millennium Center
Florals and Decor: Ever Be Floral + Coordination
Hair and Makeup: I Do Style
Dress: David’s Bridal
Groom’s Attire: Men’s Warehouse
DJ: Beat House Productions
Cake: Edibe Artistry
Day of Coordinator: Lisa Coe