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  • Writer's pictureChris Thompson - CRT Weddings


Updated: Jun 14, 2023

bride and groom, gothic pose

Your Wedding Day can be incredibly busy and beautiful day! In between all the fun, there’s lots of things to consider, but that should not take away from what the day is about… you and your partner! So, how do you go about planning the perfect wedding timeline?

Firstly, it’s important to focus on what you want from your wedding. Work out what traditions you want and what events you want to happen. This will give you a good idea of what you need to fit into your day. Once you have the list of things, slot them into an order starting with your ceremony (important that’s in there).

first kiss next to blossom tree

When you have the ceremony time pinned down, work backwards (it seems counter intuitive but trust me on this), planning in time for people to get ready. (Ladies get plenty of time in for hair, makeup and a few glasses of fizz!) Plan in travel time to the venue if you’re not getting ready in the same location. This is also a good chance to speak to your suppliers about their timelines and what they need for their services too. Make sure you get a chance to eat something as well, as it helps settle the nerves! For the lads, get your suits on and get a cheeky beer in!

bridal hair being done

As for your photographer, they won’t start at 5.00 am when the first bridesmaid is getting their makeup done. (Let’s be real ladies do you want your pictures snapping at that time?) Usually, they arrive to cover a couple of hours of the morning preparation before heading over to the ceremony. (This can change depending on if you have a second shooter.)

charcuterie  board

Once you’ve had the ceremony, and enjoyed the getting married part, you now have to feed all of your guests! (Well, I guess you don’t have too, but it is polite.) Before you feed everyone, you want to leave a 2-hour gap in the schedule. During these two hours you can add in a number of things!

bride and groom confetti photo

For example, confetti shots. Big family photos. Cute couples’ photos. You can serve drinks and canapes if that’s your thing. It’s also worth considering things for your guest to do while you’re off getting those shots. Lawn games, music, pic’n’mix, anything that can generate a buzz and create a time for people to chat and catch up!

bridal party with smoke bombs

Then we get to the wedding breakfast. Are you doing or having speeches? If so, are they going to be before or after the food? (My recommendation is before – means that the speeches are over, people can relax and enjoy their food!) Your photographer will usually take a break at this point and eat while you do.

bride and groom cheers drinks

Wedding breakfasts can take a couple of hours if you have speeches and 3 courses. You can be tempted to stick to the three-course approach but make this your own! Food vans are great. Banquet style feasts can also be a lot of fun. There is no need to be so formal here, it’s your day, so make it special.

Finally, we enter the evening. This is usually when the evening guests are asked to arrive to join the rest of the wedding party. It is also when people plan time to cut the cake and the first dance, these two events usually happen straight after each other.

bride jumps on groom dancing

After this tell the band or DJ to crank up the tunes and dance the night away. These days you can have guests recommend songs ahead of time so you can create a personalised playlist! Your venue will also dictate your curfew.

bride dancing with light trails

As a wedding photographer I ALWAYS help my couples plan a successful timeline. The couple put together the important aspects of the timeline, like the ceremony start time, food service, the evening guest arrival, and the first dance.

I then work my magic and add in all the fun stuff throughout the day. I will advise on the best time for group photos, and plan in time for a couples shoot. I even squeeze in time at sunset to go spray some champagne with the bridesmaids and groomsmen.

wedding cake flat lay

On the day, I will help to keep the wedding on track and coordinate the day without any pressure. Its important that the day be as stress free, and enjoyable as possible.

If reading that has piqued your interest, and you haven’t booked your wedding photographer yet, check if I’m available on your date here.

Blog Writer - Jon-Jo Armstrong

Photographer - Chris Thompson


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