Wedding Timeline Planning Examples


Wedding Timeline Planning Examples

We know this might be your first time planning a wedding. After photographing and filming almost 100 weddings we have learned that timing is everything!

And if you have started to talk through timing to any vendor or even someone who has planned a wedding you can never plan for too much time for any particular moment.

When it comes to planning your wedding timeline there are two main ways that the schedule is formed and it really depends on if you are doing a first look or seeing each other the first time at the beginning of the ceremony.

First Look

Just in case you aren’t sure, a first look is when you see each other privately for the first time before the ceremony begins. This often happens earlier in the day, after you both are done getting ready. It is such an amazing private moment to share if this is what you decide for your day! We love to pick a quiet and more remote location so that you can cherish that moment just the two of you.

With everything there are pros and cons.


 1. You get to spend so much more time with your partner on your wedding day. Many couples have also shared that seeing each other beforehand helps with the nerves of the day as a whole.

2. Timeline wise to capture your wedding day we have a lot more flexibility and time.

3. There is little to no time in between your ceremony and reception. Often we try to capture almost everything before the ceremony, maybe just leaving a few bride and groom portraits for golden hour after. You can forgo a cocktail hour or join it most of the time.

4. When you are having a winter wedding where the sun goes down much earlier, a first look ensures we have light to capture all your portraits.


1. The day will start earlier in order for us to have time to capture all the photos before the ceremony.

2. We will miss golden hour, meaning for some photos lighting can be a bit tricky and the location of the photos may be a bit limited because of lighting. 

3. If you are wanting to follow the wedding tradition, of course this isn’t the way to go.

No First Look

When you are not going to do a first look ahead of time, this means the majority of your photos will be captured following the ceremony. It also means your first look will take place as the bride walks down the aisle.

This is very common and we are not ones to push for a first look but there are some things to consider when you decide against a first look.

We always try to grab groom and groomsmen portraits and bride and bridesmaid portraits but that is unfortunately all we are able to capture beforehand. Following the ceremony we always start with family photos, move into full bridal party and then we try to schedule bride and groom portraits during that golden hour sunset time frame.

The pros and cons are below.


1. It is tradition. And that moment is just as special as a first look.

2. The lighting can be beautiful but you will want to make sure you have your ceremony early enough that there is still lighting afterwards. In the summer, spring and early fall this usually isn’t a problem but when it comes to winter weddings sometimes this can be tricky.

3. Portrait time can be a bit more relaxing because the ceremony has officially ended.


1. The worst part about timelines with no first look can be the lack of time available for photos/video. Because timing is limited this can make photo time a big more rushed to capture family photos, bridal party and bride and groom portraits.

2. You simply won’t make it to your cocktail hour.

3. There isn’t much flexibility for weather purposes.

No matter what you do choose what works best for you! 



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