Complete Wedding-Day Timeline/Itinerary Help!

A question we frequently get from our brides is for some help for their timeline or itinerary for their wedding day. Not everyone is able to afford a wedding planner or coordinator, so it’s really up to them to plan out their whole day from start to finish. For someone who hasn’t been to as many weddings as we have or other wedding vendors have, this is usually a daunting task that many put off until the week-of their wedding. The itinerary is the last part of wedding planning, and in our opinion, is one of the most important and underestimated pieces of the wedding.

When you think about it, a wedding is a huge production that takes months of planning, delegating responsibilities, and then finally executing on that one big day. All the people of the production need to know their roles, responsibilities, and call times to have a smooth and magical day. This is why having a well thought-out and planned itinerary is important.

As a wedding photography team, we’ve been a part of many weddings and have seen many things go right and go wrong, so we’re here to try and help make your magical day the best it could possibly be.




Bride’s hair and makeup: According to our makeup artist friends, they suggest that bride’s should allocate about 1-hour for their makeup and another hour for hair. 

More often than not, we have had hair and makeup run longer than expected and it either cuts into the time the couple has reserved for their first-look photos, wedding party portraits, or have makes them late to their own wedding ceremony. Preparation is the beginning of the big day, and no one wants to start their day already running behind schedule. Hair and makeup is meant to last the entire day, so don’t be too worried about being a little early. Just think of it as more time to relax and take the big day in.

Bridesmaids’ makeup: Our makeup artist experts estimate between 40-50 minutes for each bridesmaid.

If you have a lot of girls who need makeup done, make sure your makeup artist knows exactly how many girls so they can bring extra assistants so they can accommodate and make sure they’re fully staffed for your big day. We’ve seen some makeup artist teams run behind because there are unexpected and last minute requests for hair or makeup for the flower girls, or moms, or grandmothers. How much time could it really take to add some curls to hair or some makeup on a little girl’s face? These makeup artists don’t ever want to rush anything, so have a headcount before hand and do your best to stick to it.

Be sure to plan with your hair and makeup team in advance to see who will go first. Some people like the bridesmaids’ to go first while others like to start with the bride, so even that small of a detail should be taken into consideration.

Photographer and Videographer Arrival: At least 1-hour before the bride is finished with her hair and makeup.

One-hour before the bride is finished with her hair and makeup is usually the best time for us and your videographers to arrive and be ready to start capturing the flattering moments. An hour is enough time for us to get detail shots of the wedding dress, shoes, jewelry, and any other wedding details while still able to capture the good vibes, energy, and emotions going on as things start to feel like they’re really happening.

What about the groom?

There are a lot of variables when it comes to preparation on the boys’ side. Are the boys getting ready in the same hotel? Are the groomsmen showing up already showered and dressed in their suits to the groom’s hotel room? Are they going directly to the wedding ceremony? The bright side is that the boys can get ready really fast – like 5-10 minutes fast if necessary! The groom’s preparation can also be mocked for a later time of day as well, which gives a lot of flexibility to take photos of the groom tying his tie, cuffing his links, putting on his shoes, and putting on his coat.

We also shoot in teams of at least two photographers, so it’s possible for us to split up to have one photographer hang out with the boys while the other photographer can photograph the girls. We would coordinate the week before the wedding to make sure we plan it out.



Pre-ceremony photos: Depending on how organized and punctual family members are, we would estimate about 2 minutes per photo. For larger groups, add in a couple more minutes to each photo to make sure the groups are arranged nicely for the photo. 

These can be photos of the bride with her bridesmaids, the groom with his groomsmen, the bride with her family, the groom with his family, and photos before the bride and groom see each other before their first look or the wedding ceremony.

The location of these photos can be at the hotel where preparation is being done at or at the ceremony venue.


First look: 10-20 minutes

The first look can be done before or after the ceremony, depending on the client. We are flexible and can work with couples who don’t want to see each other until they walk down the aisle but still want those type of portraits taken.


Now that we’ve prepared everything before the ceremony, all that is left is tieing the knot, taking some photos, and enjoying the night. Click HERE to read what should happen next!


Have any more questions regarding your wedding day itinerary? Feel free to contact us and we’d be happy to help!

Let us know if this was helpful for your big day!


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