Suggested Wedding Day Timelines

    Wedding Day Timelines

    So you’re getting married, and the reality that you now have to plan a wedding has dawned on you. The excitement temporarily takes a back seat. Fear sets in…I’m joking! Fuck! Imagine if I were like that haha. But the reality has set in and you now need to start thinking about how to plan and coordinate a wedding, without ever having done one before. A solid wedding day timeline is going to be the best helping hand you will ever get. So here are my two most common wedding day timelines for you to pinch and use!

    The Early Sunset Wedding Day Timeline

    This is what I would consider the ideal timeline for an early sunset. Here on the East coast of Australia, that would see the sun set approximately 5.30pm. So I will build this timeline around that time. This is also built on the assumption of a cocktail style food service. If you are having a sit down, you will need to slightly change times to fit in the food service. But working off this timeline, your venue coordinator will be able to set you up easily. Feel free to change things a little bit here and there, but in my experience this timeline works perfectly for the flow of the day as well as ensuring the best photography.


    Getting Ready – 1pm – 2.45pm

    Pre-ceremony Portraits – 2.45 – 3pm

    Ceremony – 3pm – 3.30pm

    Family Portraits/Canapes/Mingling – 3.30 – 4.30pm

    Bridal Party Portraits – 4.30pm – 5pm

    Wedding Portraits – 5pm – 5.45pm

    Reception Entry – 6pm

    Speeches/Cake Cut – 6pm – 6.30pm

    First Dance – 6.30pm – 6.40pm

    Food – People start to eat around 6.45/7pm

    Dancefloor – 7.30pm – Whenever you get kicked out!

    The Late Sunset Wedding Day Timeline

    This wedding day timeline works off a summer wedding, so let’s say the sun sets at 7.30pm on the East Coast of Australia. This is more common as most people tend to get married between the months of September – April. This timeline also works on the assumption of a cocktail style of food. If you are not going this route, speak to your venue coordinator, they can easily work with this timeline! This will look a little different, as regardless of season, venues will usually require a reception to commence at 6pm, so this requires a bit of changing, so stick with me.


    Getting Ready – 2pm – 3.45pm

    Pre-ceremony Portraits – 3.45 – 4pm

    Ceremony – 4pm – 4.30pm

    Family Portraits/Canapes/Mingling – 4.30 – 5.30pm

    Bridal Party Portraits – 5.30pm – 6pm

    Reception Entry – 6pm

    Speeches/Cake Cut – 6pm – 6.30pm

    First Dance – 6.30pm – 6.35pm

    Food – People start to eat around 6.40

    Wedding Portraits – 7pm – 7.45pm

    Dancefloor – 7.30pm – Whenever you get kicked out!

    bride and groom enjoying first kiss as the sun sets across a field behind them in the gorgeous hunter valley

    Wedding Day Timeline Headaches

    Things that can disrupt your wedding day timeline generally tend to include the timing of food. Get this information as soon as you can off your venue. If you are eloping for example and are in charge of the timing, go with the timing above.

    Another of the most common headaches is slow family/friends. What I mean by this is when your one dickhead mate who you knew would be a nuisance, runs to the bar right as you’re about to start wedding party portraits. Getting in their ear early and letting them know the timeline usually helps to set an expectation. They can run to the bar in 30 minutes!

    Going off the timelines above pretty much ensures you will have a smooth, easy flowing day, and you will get the absolute best of the lighting for your wedding photos! However, let’s be honest…this might not work for you, and that’s ok! My job is to ensure I work with whatever timeline I get given. This is just an ideal situation, to give you inspiration for your own wedding day timeline.

    If you want help organising one, or to discuss wedding photography, get in touch with me now for a chat! 


    james white
    September 16, 2019




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