Tips For Perfecting Your Wedding Day Timeline

5 Important Tips (you don’t want to miss) To Help Perfect Your Wedding Day Timeline

Being a wedding photographer, I’ve photographed many weddings. I have photographed weddings with detailed timelines, and others with a “looser” timeline. I have seen quite a bit! Part of the Boswick Photography experience is HELPING my couples plan their perfect day. I want to help you have the most stress free timeline and being someone who has been a part of countless weddings, I have complied this list to help your wedding day timeline! Keep reading below!



    This is one is number one on the list because this is the MOST important.

    If I had to pick the most important part of the day to take note of where the time buffer will be in your favor is… bride/groom prep. I have found that the getting ready part of the day is more often than not running behind schedule. Between getting everyone’s hair and makeup done to all the little last minute details, time can really get away from you! Don’t fret, it totally happens! But this is why your reading this, to be prepared!

    Brides, always give yourself a makeup time buffer, as makeup can run behind, especially with a large amount of bridesmaids. If they makeup artist quotes you at 30 minutes per bridesmaid, give yourself 45 minutes per bridesmaid; always better to have extra time to relax, then be running late.

    When leaving your hotel (or location getting ready at) PLEASE add additional time to allow for gathering people, any last minute running back to the hotel if something was forgotten, and unexpected traffic. If its a FRIDAY wedding, ALWAYS add extra traffic buffer. I have had a few Friday weddings get stuck in rush hour traffic because they forgot rush hour can back up main routes. Its a total BONUS because if you leave early with that extra time buffer, you will have down time at the venue when arriving early to take a breather or time for a quick snack.



First things first, what IS a first look? Traditionally, couples will wait until the ceremony / vow exchange before seeing each other for the “first look.” However, it’s becoming very popular to see each other before the ceremony for a number of reasons. It is arranged with the photographer (hey, thats me!) in a private, intimate place away from any guests to have that first moment with yourselves and get a private photo session instead of the typical crowded and hectic cocktail hour.

By doing your first look earlier in the day, and having you and your partners portraits done, all we will need to do is those family photos during cocktail hour. By having that first look done earlier in the day (and taking advantage of beautiful daylight) and out of the way, after the family formals are done, you can go off and ENJOY cocktail hour! YIPEE!!

I always recommend a first look to any couple that wants to have a more stress free wedding day. Who doesn’t want a wedding day with less stress?



After saying I DO, you exit down the aisle and are greeted by your guests. Be it at a church or venue, it is called a “receiving line”. The receiving line is often not included in the timeline and can end up eating time real quick. Guests will want to hug you, talk a bit, snap a selfie with the new married couple. I totally understand its an exciting time, but if you are pressed to still do bridal party, family formals and your own portraits, this can eat time quickly.

If you want to have a receiving line, that is totally fine but please account it in your timeline. The general rule of thumb is for every 100 guests, it will take around 20 minutes. If you have 200 guests, account for 30 minutes.

If you want to skip the receiving line, and save the hellos for cocktail hour/reception, let the guests know kindly that you are on your way for portraits and will say hello later when the time allows.



You have all your family together at the wedding in their best of best outfits, the family formals are important!

During your month check in, I send a Family Formal List for you to fill out. You put those important people on that list. This way as I am shooting, we won’t forget anyone on the list! I always ask to remember when making your list to keep it to your immediate family members only. This is because the longer the list, the more time it takes away from you portraits. I always do family formals first so they can go off and enjoy cocktail hour when they are done in the photos. After the family formals, we do your portraits with your newly married other half. This is why I ask for a limited list so it does not eat away your portrait time. If you already did the first look, you will have more time during this time frame to do additional family photos since your portraits would of been earlier during the first look. See why I recommend the first look?

Any additional family members (aunts, uncles, cousins etc) that are not on the immediate family list, we can TOTALLY grab them during the reception and snap the photos then!

Give a family member (or friend) who knows both sides of the family an important job- the family wrangler! Of course I have a list to call people up, but won’t know people by their faces. By giving someone this job, they can help grab the immediate family members that will be needed during these photos.



Photographing the moments during a wedding day is important but the absolute most important part of the entire wedding day is… THE COUPLE. You may of guessed right! Getting amazing portraits of you and your other half is my favorite part of the day! I ask for a full hour of portrait time to allow for MAXIMUM photos and a relaxed time. I really want to enjoy the time with my couple to photograph you on your big day. It can be hard to do family formals, bridal party and your portraits in the full cocktail hour time if anything runs behind, so remember, a timeline to follow is SO important.

Allow the extra time in the morning getting ready, allow for travel time between locations, don’t forget to add time if doing a receiving line and remember to allow time for you guys!


I hope you enjoyed these important Wedding Day Timeline tips! If you are a Boswick Photography couple, don’t fear about your timeline. I always stay in close with my couples and make sure your timeline is FLAWLESS, going over all these points above.

Here are some other posts with helpful tips for couples planning their wedding day!

12 Tips From Your Wedding Photographer

Why Should We Do a First Look?

Why You NEED Engagement Photos

-----------> If you have decided that you want to have amazing wedding photos taken, I would LOVE to be the one to help check that off your list for you! Click here to fill out my contact form.

I will get back to you right away to talk about your wedding plans!