Where Does the Time Go? | Wedding Timeline Planning

By, August 22, 2017

From the first pre-ceremony Bellinis with bridesmaids, to the last traditional event you’d like photographed, the wedding timeline can fill up quickly! So how do you fit in all of the memorable activities you will want to look back on, and ensure you have photographic coverage? We are here to help!

A very general timeline may look like the following (of course every wedding is different):

  • 3:00pm-3:45pm: We arrive onsite to photograph final getting ready shots. Bride should be 90% ready, with exception of dress being put on. Bridesmaids should be 100% ready.
  • 3:45-4:15: Photograph bridesmaids
  • 4:15-4:45: Photograph groomsmen
  • 5:00-5:30 Photograph ceremony
  • 5:30-6:30: Capture Cocktail hour (one photographer will head to cocktail hour, and the other will photograph the room details)
  • 5:30-6:00: Photograph family. This is one of the most important parts of the day! During this time, it is vital that all family know where to be, and are present. If we are chasing after an uncle that went to cocktail hour by accident, there is a domino effect and it takes time away from the couple’s photos. After the pics, the family heads to cocktail hour.
  • 6:00-6:15: Photograph bridal party. To get everyone quickly and efficiently, the bridal party needs to stick around, and not head to cocktail hour until after the pictures.
  • 6:15-6:35: Pictures of the wedding couple. If more time is needed or requested, we will pull you out during salads, and get a few more portraits
  • 6:35-10:00: Photograph dances and traditional reception events

To ensure the most success with your wedding timeline, it is beneficial to remember that all the little in-between times (getting to and from) really add up, and need to be cushioned. If you create a “perfect” timeline, then you have to be totally perfect, down to the second. That can be a bit stressful with all the moving parts of the wedding day. Let’s make a “not perfect” timeline, and allow windows of time to get from point a to b ;)

Here is a breakdown of each event paired, with the typical amount of time it takes for each activity. This will help you visualize the time the in-between moments can take up, so you can successfully plan your day.

Hair and make-up for brides and bridesmaids can take 1.5 to two hours per person. For bigger bridal parties, multiple artists/stylists make this time more efficient. If 1:45 is the goal for being done with hair and make-up, we suggest telling the beauty team that they need to be done 20 minutes before the actual cutoff. Also, bridesmaids need to arrive and be ready for hair and make-up early (for example by 8:40 rather than 9), and to be ready for portraits by 1:30. This way, they are dressed and ready to help you with your getting ready shots.

As bridesmaids are and heading towards the next destination, it can take 5-10 minutes to leave the “getting ready” area. This is true whether the bridal party pictures on site, or everyone is piling into a limo.  This time buffer should be accounted for, and built in, so you have the full amount of planned time at the next event. Bridesmaids chat while bride gets her makeup done. Bride gets her makeup applied. Bride and bridesmaids have fun while getting ready.

Clearing out the ceremony area and gathering family for portraits can take about 10 minutes. So, if the ceremony ends promptly at 5:30pm, family portraits are likely to have an actual start time more like 5:45. A piece of expert advice is to have someone assigned to help move the guests towards the cocktail hour. Likewise, if there is any other activity after the ceremony, it will take time to gather guests and make sure they know the plan.Newlyweds kiss beneath arch of swords. Family portrait taken on wedding day.
When planning a wedding that requires any travel time, leave room in the schedule so that people can find parking and settle in. For example, if your ceremony is in a different spot than your “getting ready” location, and ten minute cushion to get settled should suffice. If you leave for portraits after the ceremony, and then travel back to the reception venue, the same buffer will be needed. The same is true when walking is involved from one place to another, like at a large hotel property. Whenever walking is involved, always plan for more time than you think you will use!Bride and groom kissing while driving. Bride and groom kiss each other in the
According to our sample timeline, the cake cutting would be at 6:55pm, so having it announced at 6:50 covers the 5 minutes it takes to gather people to watch.The actual cutting of the cake itself lasts around 5-7 minutes with photos and guest interactions factored in.

Similarly, the 7:30pm bouquet toss, which is likely to be followed by a garter toss, can use a five minute pre-event announcement.
Happy bride laughs as she cuts her cake. Newlyweds laugh during hora Groom entertains his bride during garter toss. Entering a reception with sparkler entrance.No two weddings are exactly alike, so consider any factors relevant to your specific plans. For example, at a beach wedding, walking through the sand will slow people down. Ultimately, the day doesn’t have to be perfect to reduce stress, it just needs some room for time flexibility!


Beachfront Wedding at the Scripps Seaside Forum with I Do Weddings

By, May 29, 2012

Whether you’re planning an intimate affair or an elaborate gala, you deserve to have a consultant that will assist you every step of the way. With I Do… Weddings!, we’ll keep you organized and ensure nothing gets overlooked.

We recently had the chance to work with Stephanie and Mike on their wedding at the gorgeous Scripps Seaside Forum. The groom was based here in town, with the bride based in LA. I served as their eyes and ears, and also helped them select all of their key vendors.

My favorite part about working with this couple was their laid-back approach. They had a strong attention to detail, but also had a flexible and fun-loving attitude during the entire planning process. I knew they would roll with the punches on the big day, and guess what? Everything went exactly according to plan.

Bride and Groom at Scripps Seaside Forum wedding with I Do WeddingsWedding at Scripps Seaside Forum with I Do WeddingsWedding at Scripps Seaside Forum with I Do WeddingsFather and Bride at Scripps Seaside Forum Wedding with I Do WeddingsBride and Groom on the beach at Scripps Seaside Forum Wedding with I Do Weddings

I loaned the bride and her girls these parasols, and it was a stunning shot!

Bridesmaid on the beach with umbrellas at Scripps Seaside Forum wedding with I Do Weddings

A go-with-the-flow attitude for the bride and groom really sets the tone for a relaxed and fun day.

Beautiful and romantic wedding photo of bride and groom at Scripps Seaside Forum wedding with I Do Weddings

This was a really great group! They had a blast, and it definitely shows in the photos.

Great wedding party photos at Scripps Seaside Forum wedding with I Do WeddingsGroomsmen at Wedding at Scripps Seaside Forum with I Do WeddingsWedding Party during Wedding at Scripps Seaside Forum with I Do Weddings

The Scripps Seaside Forum is a beautiful beachfront location. Fabric draping and lighting is key for this venue! I really believe it makes the space.

Modern wedding reception at the Scripps Seaside Forum with I Do WeddingsIndoor sheer draping at Scripps Seaside Forum wedding with I Do WeddingsCandy Bar at Scripps Seaside Forum Wedding with I Do Weddings

Most importantly, Stephanie and Mike wanted a really, really great party! We focused on giving the couple and their guests lots of time to dance, drink and enjoy, and keeping the scheduled activities to a minimum. We really enjoyed letting the latter portion of the evening flow organically!

Live Band at Scripps Seaside Forum with I Do WeddingsBride and Groom Dacing at Scripps Seaside Forum Wedding with I Do WeddingsCheers at Scripps Seaside Forum Wedding with I Do Weddings

This photo is a such a great evening shot of the couple! The morning was raining and gloomy, so when the cloud cover burned off at the last minute and we lucked out with a clear night…I was so happy!

Outdoor string lights at Scripps Seaside Forum wedding with I Do WeddingsBride and Groom Kissing during beach wedding at Scripps Seaside Forum with I Do Weddings

Coordinator: I Do Weddings
Photographer: True Photography
Venue: Robert Paine Scripps Seaside Forum
Linens and Rental: White Wedding Day Events
Lighting and Décor: White Wedding Day Events
Gifts and Favors: Candy Warehouse
Caterer: Culinary Concepts
Bakery: Sweet Cheeks Baking

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