Katie Jaynes Photography Blog





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For Brides

December 29, 2021

Making Your Wedding Day Timeline

Just in case you aren’t familiar with a wedding day timeline, let us explain. Your wedding day timeline is basically the master plan for the wedding day. This master document shows everything from the beginning of the day all the way until the exit.

If you don’t have a wedding planner or coordinator who will manage the wedding day for you, this timeline can be a LIFE SAVER. Not having a timeline can cause a lot of wasted time To help you craft your timeline, here are a few things to consider.

Your Major Vendors and Your Wedding Day Timeline

Your major vendors will play a role in your wedding day timeline – especially your photographer/videographer and makeup/hair artist.

Starting with hair and makeup, This is how you’re going to start the day. Photos won’t start until all the hair and makeup is done, so you want to guarantee you’re getting your day started earlier enough to leave extra time. A lot of couples try and delay the hair and make-up as long as possible (to avoid very early mornings), which is understandable, but if anything takes longer than you planned or there are any hiccups it can push back the whole timeline.

Are you Having a First Look?

Deciding on a first look isn’t easy. Will you go the traditional route and not see each other before the ceremony or do you want to have that moment before? Regardless of your decision, it’s going to have a huge impact on your wedding day timeline.

IF you decide to have a first look, it allows for more photography options before the ceremony. To save time, you can do bride and groom portraits, full bridal party portraits, and family portraits.

Otherwise, all of those photography combos will be after the ceremony. Neither way is “better” – but it’s something you have to consider when building your wedding day timeline. If you don’t have the first look, plan for more time after the ceremony for pictures.

Base your Timeline Around Sunset

For us, this is one of the MOST IMPORTANT things to consider when building your timeline. Why do we care so much? Because we LOVE sunset portraits with the bride and groom.

We encourage our couples to do sunset portraits because of the lighting. The golden hour before sunset provides the best possible lighting, so we love taking couples out and grabbing a few pictures 30 minutes before sunset.

Weather can Change Your Wedding Timeline

Much like the sunset, weather can play a role in your timeline as well. We all hope for perfect weather, but you never know what you’re going to get – make sure you account for that in your timeline.

How does weather influence your timeline? One example is pictures. If there is a chance of rain in after the ceremony, allow for more time before the ceremony for any pictures you can do.


The actual venue will play a role in your wedding timeline as well. There are a few practical reasons to consider while you’re making the timeline that could come back to haunt you.

For example – is there a kitchen with a refrigerator at the venue or the reception location? If not, then you’ll have to consider what time the caterers will get there and that could impact the reception.

Another example is the distance from the wedding location to the reception spot. If the ceremony and reception are at two locations, you have to account for travel time, but build in plenty of time for traffic, getting lost, etc. This shouldn’t be a major concern, but don’t have your timeline thrown off because of a missed turn.

How to Make Your Wedding Day Timeline

Starting your timeline can be exhausting and a little overwhelming. Thankfully, that’s why we are here to help. I will work with you through the timeline process and help ensure everything will flow from the very beginning all the way until the end.

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