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Wedding Day Timeline Tips

Embarking on the journey towards your dream wedding involves much more than just picking out the perfect dress and venue. Enter the unsung hero of wedding planning: the wedding day timeline. It's not just a schedule; it's your compass for a day that flows seamlessly, ensuring every cherished moment is captured and savored. In this concise guide, we'll navigate the world of wedding day timelines, offering essential tips to guarantee your special day unfolds with grace. From collaborating with vendors to accounting for unexpected delays, each tip is a brushstroke on the canvas of your unforgettable day. So, whether you're a meticulous planner or someone who loves to go with the flow, these insights will empower you to create a timeline that guides you towards the wedding day you've always envisioned – smooth, joyful, and filled with love.


As we walk through this guide, we will discuss each part of your wedding day and how we can create a smooth guide to keep your wedding running smooth and on schedule.


TIP #1: GET EVERYONE ON THE SAME TIMELINE

This may be the MOST IMPORTANT tip throughout this whole blog. Ensuring that we all work as a team is extremely crucial in guaranteeing your day runs effortlessly smooth. Hiring a wedding planner or even just a day of coordinator is essential to ensure that every detail is flawlessly executed, allowing you and your loved ones to fully immerse yourselves in the celebration without the burden of logistics and stress. If you don't hire one, your photographer becomes that person resulting in your photographer not being able to do what they were hired to do. You will end up with less photos and chaos.


As your photography team, we, at LeyRe Photography, will help you create your wedding day timeline for photos. We are experts in knowing how long it takes to take photos of specific events. We highly recommend having your planner join our timeline meetings so we are all on the same page. Sharing your timeline with every vendor is pivotal in creating a seamlessly ran day.


TIP #2: FOLLOW THIS GUIDE ON SPECIFIC MOMENTS THROUGHOUT THE DAY






1. FINAL HAIR AND MAKEUP TOUCHES & GETTING READY PHOTOS:

  • We, as your photography team, typically wait until you’re about 99.99% complete with hair and makeup before we start taking photos. Let's be real, no one wants a photo of half an eyelash on! Once you're complete, the "final hair and makeup touches" photos take like 5 minutes. We always recommend telling your Hair and Makeup Artist to be complete with EVERYONE'S hair and makeup about 30 minutes before we arrive. Doing this not only gives them a buffer in case things are running a few minutes behind, it also gives them time to tidy up so when its time to take the "final hair and makeup" photos there won't be any unwanted distractions in the background. You, as the bride, should be the LAST one to be complete, that way once photos begin everyone is ready to go and we aren’t waiting for anyone.



  • “Getting ready photos“ can be a fun time to enjoy with your girls. Whether it’s Laughing on the bed, toasting Champagne, or doing party poppers its for sure a great time to capture. These photos usually only take 10 minutes tops. Most of these photos are staged, but we still have blast. Make sure that before the photographers arrive that you’ve all had a good snack and drink. Staying hydrated on your day is crucial! This Florida heat can kick our booty’s if we don’t stay hydrated.





2. Detail Photos:

Detail photos can be such an amazing way to look back on your wedding and remember all of those tiny choices you made when planning your wedding. From the color scheme you chose for your bridesmaids dresses all the way down to the font choice for your wedding invites. During the ”detail photos” time slot we will capture your wedding day ’flatlay’.

{What is a flatlay? you ask. A wedding flatlay is a type of photography arrangement where various wedding-related items like rings, invitations, flowers, and accessories are artistically placed on a flat surface and photographed from an overhead angle to create visually appealing compositions that capture the essence of the event. This style aims to showcase the intricate details and thematic elements that contribute to the overall narrative of the wedding.}

A wedding flatlay, along with taking photos of THE dress and your bridesmaids dresses take about 30 minutes to capture. This gives us time to set it up as well break it down to clean up after ourselves.


Tips for successful detail photos:

have a BRIDE BOX. The box totally doesnt matter. An amazon box will suffice. In this box you should include: wedding invite suite, rings (his and hers), jewelry, shoes, special ring box (if you have one), anything sentimental (ex: grandpas pocket watch, grandmas pearls, moms wedding hair piece, etc.), perfume, garter, extra flowers (flowers that will not need to be used anywhere else. We tend to take the flowers apart to create a beautiful flatlay), ribbon or fabric (that coincides with your wedding color scheme), etc. You don’t have to have all of these items, you can also include more. Either way, we will create a timeless wedding flatlay with the items you provide. When it is time we will ask for your details box, we will take it and go create the magic!

STEAM THE DRESSES. This is HUGE. We ask that you have ALL dresses steamed before the photographers arrive. This helps alleviate any last minute steaming holding up one of your bridesmaids from join in on getting ready photos, or getting ready themself.

have the same type of HANGERS. This is not a ‘make-or-break’ it type of thing. Having the same type of hanger for your dresses creates a seamless classic look for your dress photos. They totally don’t have to be the wooden hangers with everyones name engraved on it. Although those are gorgeous, and such a great gift to your girls, they aren’t necessary. As long as everyone has the same ‘type‘ of hanger, it will look nice. EX: all white plastics, all black velvet, all clear plastic, etc.

Have the BRIDESMAIDS GET DRESSED during the detail photos. While we are creating your amazing flatlay, have all of your girls go ahead and get fully dressed and ready. That way, when its time to do your first look with your girls, they will be ready to go!








3. Bridal Shots:

As we are getting you ready, we recommend having one or two special people there to help you in your gown. Have them join you at a bridal fitting so they know all the workings of how your dress is designed. They will be the person/people to help bustle your dress later when its time to party. We love capturing these shots with an empty, clean room. This ensures there are no unwanted distractions in the photos. We will capture the zipping up of your dress, you putting on your earrings, and some beautifully staged bridal portraits. This usually takes 15-20 minutes MAX.



4. First Look With Your Girls:

Don't let your girls slip away after they get dressed. As soon as we get you into your gown, we will set you up for a first look with your girls. The first time they get to see you all dolled up in your wedding attire is such a special moment and definitely on to be captured.






5. Bride and Bridesmaids Photos:

Once we finish the first look with your girls, we typically do photos with all of your girls Fully dressed and ready. These are usually staged but so much fun! We will do group shots as well as you with each individual bridesmaid. Make sure to have bouquets ready to go for these photos. We will either do them in the bridal suite or outside. If we arent able to capture them outside due to harsh lighting circumstances, dont fret. We will capture outdoor shots later during full bridal party photos when the sun is much lower in the sky and more flattering for everyone.




6. First Look with Parent/Groom:

This tip is pretty obvious but I will say it anyway! Have your Parent or Groom arrive to the venue/getting ready location dressed and ready 30 minutes before we actually need them. This ensures we are able to stay according to the timeline and accounts for any traffic or lateness that could ensue. When we do first looks with a parent, whether it be dad, mom, or a grandparent, we will clear the room to make it more private unless you advise otherwise. This usually takes 10-25 minutes.





7. Groom and Groomsmen Portraits:

Have your Groom and Groomsmen Arrive to the designatedd locations 15- 30 minutes EARLY. Make sure they know to be dressed and ready to go. Once the photographers get to them, we will include some staged shots of them getting ready. We will have the groom adjust his tie, take his jacket off and put back on, fix his hair, toggle his watch, etc. We will also capture group shots and individual shots. These shots take anywhere between 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the bridal party.


8. Cooling off period:

LETS BE REAL, Its Florida, so its always hot. Hence the title. But really this timing right before the ceremony. We include 15 minutes in this timing. This is a great time for any of the bridal party to use the restroom if the need to, get lined up for the ceremony, or even the photographers to grab detail shots of the ceremony space. This timing allows for everyone to get ready for the ceremony. It is also a great buffer if things are running a few minutes behind!



9. Ceremony:

The time is FINALLY here! You are about to marry your best friend. but you cant…becasue not everyone has shown up yet. What a bummer! The best advice we can give you is to put 15-30 minutes earlier on the wedding invite so there are no last minute stragglers.




10. Family Photos:

THIS IS SOOOOOO IMPORTANT. In fact, this is the only thing we BEG for during the planning process. and that is a FAMILY PHOTO SHOT LIST. We want you to thin of every family combination you want and add it to the list. Get as specific as possible!

(Example: Bride and mom

Bride , mom (Tammy) , and dad (Michael)

Bride, Groom, Mom (Tammy) and Dad (Michael)

Groom and mom (Debbie)

Groom, Mom (Debbie), and Dad (Dennis))

Obviously your list will be much longer than this, but we ask for every combination so you wont have to think on your wedding day. The more you have to think the longer it will take. We will go directly down the list and boom through family photos so we can move on to the next event. Make sure everyone on the list knows to hang around for family photos. I would also have your DJ/Officiant make an announcement at the end of your ceremony for family to hang out around the ceremony site after everyone else is dismissed. This will help in wrangling everyone in one location. I would also included any grandparents or people who struggle standing for a long period of time at the top of the list.





11.FULL BRIDAL PARTY PHOTOS:

During this time we will guide your full bridal party on some posed but also organic shots. This is a fun time to be with your full bridal party! The only tip we have for this time is to encourage your bridal party to cooperate with the photographers. If they arent cooperating, it makes it very difficult to capture so many people. This timing usually takes 20-30 minutes depending on the size of your bridal party. We usually take large groups and just the girls, then just guys.




12. Bride and Groom Portraits:

This is OUR FAVORITE time of the day. This is first time of the day that you are finally alone with your new spouse (and photographer;) ). We try to time it out correctly so that you have the beautiful golden hour photos for your bride and groom portraits. Whether your getting married during daylight savings time or not, we will guide you to the best time to take these photos! Usaully 30 minutes before sunset is the best timing.




13. Entrance into the Reception | First Dance | Parent Dances:

We don really have advice or tips for this beside have fun! These items usually take 15 minutes total. We recommend doing them first to get them out of the way so the party can begin after dinner:)






14. Dinner:

We recommend leaving 45-60 minutes in your timeline for dinner. This gives everyone time to get through the line, sit down, and enjoy their meal. No one wants pictures of themselves eating, so this is usually when your photographers will take a break and eat. Once dinner is coming to a close, the DJ will read the room and begin the next event.



15. Toasts/Speeches | Cake Cutting | Open Dance Floor:

The biggest tip we have for speeches is to tell your speakers to keep it to a maximum of 5 minutes and to write it out beforehand. As a photographer, we will be there to document whatever happens, but when they keep it short, you can then get to the fun part. We recommend doing speeches right after dinner because everyone will still be seated. Once speeches are done, go for the cake cutting so if people want to get up and watch, they can. after you get the formalities out of the way, then you can party the night away!




16. Special Exit:

There are so many different types of ’exits’ you can do: Sparklers, bubbles, wands, etc. No matter what you choose we recommend starting the exit process and dismissing poeple from the reception 15 minutes before it ends. This gives you plenty of time to get everyone out, lined up and ready to go. In the meantime, you and your new spouse can share a private last dance.

If your photography coverage doesn't extend until the end of the evening, there are a few different options you could do:

-If you want to do sparklers, you could grab just your bridal party to do a faux exit 15 minutes before your photographer leaves. If you want more people in the photos but dont want to bring all of your guests out there, have each bridal party member grab one person to come out and do the exit. OR Just do sparklers with you and your spouse. We can always get a lot more creative with just two people.

-If sparklers are not in the budget, go with bubble! They can be a fun exit as well. TIP: Get a few bubble guns and hand it to a few people throughout the exit line. This creates the look a way more bubbles being blown.

-If you don't really care about doing an exit at all, we recommend doing at least one unique shot. Whether its a backlit photo with just your spouse, or a large dance floor group photo. we recommend getting one unique shot before your day comes to a close and your photographers dismiss.


I trust that these wedding day timeline tips have provided you with valuable insights into crafting a seamless and memorable journey for your special day. By considering the flow of events, allocating adequate time for each aspect, and allowing room for flexibility, you're well on your way to creating a wedding day that unfolds with grace and joy. May these suggestions contribute to a beautiful and stress-free celebration that you and your loved ones will cherish forever.


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