Keys to the Perfect Day – Creating your Timeline

One thing we really hope to do is help prepare our couples to have a relaxing, joyful day where they feel comfortable that everything will be taken care of.


The most important, without a doubt, number one thing that will aid you in a stress-free day is creating a good timeline.  We give all our brides a suggested timeline and try to walk them through creating a solid plan – because your timeline will drive your day.  And just like everything else with wedding planning, it’s hard to create a timeline for something you’ve never had to do before!  That’s where your vendors come in.  Trust the people you’ve hired to walk you through what they need.  These are the people who’ve been to countless weddings and know how long things take.  Use your resources, friends!

We suggest you plan to allow (at minimum.. No photographer will be upset if you give more time for these things)

  • 1 hour and 30 minutes for details and bridal prep
  • 30-40 minutes for a first look and portraits
  • 30-40 minutes for bridal party
  • 30 minutes for family formals

Another huge thing that can help is to have about 30 minutes before the ceremony reserved for “room to breathe”.  This serves a couple of purposes.  First, these 30 minutes will help you have a little time to relax.  You will have just been walking around for at least an hour during your first look and bridal party pictures, so this will give you a little time to grab some water and relax before your big walk down the aisle.  Second, this will give you time for last minute touches. Maybe you need a makeup touchup or an extra bobby pin.  Finally, things ALWAYS run behind.  Seriously, we’ve never been to a wedding where the timeline was perfectly followed, and that’s OK.  We’re prepared if things run late, we have our own little tricks to get in the shots we need.  But this, creating 30 minutes of breathe time before the wedding, is huge in helping us out.

Here is one of our sample timelines, so you have an idea of what a solid timeline looks like.


Next time we will give our Top Ten Tips to create a perfect timeline. Leave us a comment or shoot us an email if you have any timeline questions you’d like answered and we will try to cover them all in our next post!

we're Michael & Laura


hey friends,

a husband and wife photography team based in Richmond, Virginia (though we LOVE to travel!). We hope you enjoy browsing some of our most recent work, reading our tips and tricks for brides, and taking a little peek into our life.  

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