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The Friday Five

5 Key Moments in a Wedding Day Timeline

Welcome back to The Friday Five!!

In case you’re just tuning in to the series, TFF is a weekly blog series written for brides and newlyweds! The goal is to help you prepare for your wedding day and to set you up for some key post-wedding events! We’re over halfway through the series now, but we still have SO much to chat about!

Today we’re talking about 5 key moments in the wedding day timeline and how much time you should set aside for each moment. Planning this schedule is not easy, so let’s chat timelines!!

1. BRIDE + GROOM PREP.

This is the time on the wedding morning when the bride and her girls are getting their hair and makeup done for hours, and the guys are drinking beers and playing golf, right???

…haha…well that’s probably not far from the truth, but from a photography perspective we’re talking about setting aside ~2h of photography coverage. This breaks down to 30 minutes for coverage of the guys getting ready (tying their ties, pinning their boutonnières, adding cufflinks, etc.) and around 60-90 minutes for the girls.

So why is bride prep 3x as long as groom prep? : the details. This is the time of day when your photographer will style and document the invitation suite, the rings, the necklace, the shoes, the dress, etc., as well as you getting in to your dress, adding your jewellery, and hanging out with your girls.

2. BRIDE + GROOM PORTRAITS.

Most photographers ask to have at least 30 minutes with the Bride and Groom for portraits on their wedding day. If you’re doing a first look, that will usually mean starting these romantic portraits immediately after the reveal. If possible, consider setting aside another 15-20 minutes after the ceremony or at sunset for some ‘just married portraits’, once you’ve officially said ‘I Do’!!

3. CEREMONY + RECEPTION DECOR.

Want to remember how the fresh flowers looked at your ceremony? How your centrepieces showed off your tablescape? How the linens all perfectly matched? Consider setting aside 15 minutes for your photographer to document the ceremony space and 15 minutes for the reception room before guests start entering. Missing details – like the escort cards being removed or coats being thrown on the back of chairs – can spoil detail photos, so building these minutes into the timeline is key!!

4. FAMILY FORMALS.

I recommend setting aside around 30 minutes for average-sized families, or 2.5 minutes per grouping. Remember: there are a ton of different family combinations to consider and it can be time consuming to coordinate a large group of people.

5. BRIDAL PARTY.

Bridal party portraits always seems to take the full half hour: group shots of the guys; group shots of the girls; group shots of both sides together; individual photos; detail shots. Consider setting aside 30 minutes for this time in your day.


Building a wedding day timeline is not easy, my friends! It takes time and patience, but creating a timeline that lets you breathe, have some wiggle room in case things run behind, and lets you enjoy the day is what it’s all about! Best of luuuck!! xo, A.

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