Creating Your Wedding Timeline: A Photographer’s Perspective

Hello, lovely couples planning your special day in beautiful West Michigan! I’m Aliscia Marie, a West Michigan-based wedding photographer, and I’m excited to help you create a wedding day timeline that ensures we capture all the precious moments that will fill your hearts with joy. Let’s embark on this journey together.

I would love to help you design your timeline! See why we may be a good fit!

Morning Preparations

Groom getting ready before his wedding day ceremony in the woods.

The hours leading up to your ceremony are filled with excitement and anticipation. When planning this part of your day, consider the following:

  • Begin your day early to allow for candid getting-ready shots.
  • Allow ample time for hair and makeup for both the bride and bridesmaids.
  • Have flat-lay items gathered and ready for your photographers arrival.
  • Plan for family and bridesmaid photos as part of your morning preparations.
  • If the groomsmen are getting ready in a separate location, your photographer will need extra time. Consider a second shooter!

Create a checklist for your wedding with my guide!

The First Look

The moment you see each other for the first time on your wedding day is incredibly special. Think about:

  • Consider a first look with the father of the bride, a tender moment filled with emotion.
  • Give yourselves time for an intimate first look between the bride and groom.
  • If you prefer to keep it a surprise, explore the option of a “blind first look” for the groom.
  • Exchange vows, say a prayer, or spend some quiet time together in reflection.

Recharge with a Meal and Snacks

Amid the excitement, don’t forget to nourish yourselves. Make sure to:

  • Schedule time for a relaxing lunch or snacks to stay energized throughout the day.
  • This break allows you to enjoy a moment of respite before the ceremony and reception.
  • Consider having an adult beverage on hand to ease some of the stress of the day.
  • Put your feet up! You’ll have a long night of dancing to get through, sit down and take a load off before then.

The Ceremony

Whether it’s a church ceremony, a garden celebration, or a beachfront exchange of vows, your ceremony is the heart of your wedding day. Here are some points to consider:

  • The ceremony’s start time may vary; be sure to build in a buffer for any last minute adjustments.
  • Allow time for your photographer to get their bearings in the space.

Group Photos

Gathering your loved ones and wedding party for photos is a must. To make this process smooth, consider:

  • Organize your group photos efficiently to save time.
  • Have a shot list planned out for your photographer and wedding planner so they can move things along efficiently.
  • Allow for about 30-45 minutes for this part of your day.

Check out my guide to picking wedding vendors!

Golden Hour Couples Portraits

The enchanting golden hour offers a unique backdrop for your portraits. Keep these things in mind:

  • Schedule a generous amount of time for golden hour portraits, usually when the sun is low in the sky.
  • This time is perfect for capturing your love and the natural beauty of West Michigan.
  • Try to schedule this at a time when your guests have something else happening to keep them occupied.
  • Remember golden hour is at different times throughout the year, check when it is on your ceremony date!

Reception and Cocktail Hour

Celebrate and enjoy your reception. Make sure you have time for:

  • I advise my couples to schedule things so they can attend the second half of their cocktail hour. Give your guests a chance to visit with you before the evening events and dinner so that you have more free time later.
  • Include time for special moments like toasts, cake cutting, and dancing.
  • Buffer extra time for dinner. Don’t stress out the chef with a tight timeline.

Your wedding day timeline is your canvas to paint the beautiful story of your love. It’s essential to make sure there’s ample time for all the moments you want to cherish while keeping the day relaxed and enjoyable. Remember, this is a flexible guide; feel free to tailor it to your unique vision. Your wedding day will be a chapter in the story of your love, and I can’t wait to capture it for you. Happy planning!

Let’s connect to discuss your wedding!

October 25, 2023

Aliscia Marie Photography

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