Planning the Perfect Wedding Timeline

We hear way to often, how stressful wedding planning can be. From finding the right vendors to coordinating your wedding vision, it is a lot on your plate. Thankfully planning your wedding timeline doesn’t have to seem like the end-of-the-world task. Does the perfect wedding timeline exist? Maybe? But we’ve got something close enough.

When planning the details of your wedding day, it’s important to consider the following factors to ensure we make the most time for your portraits and capture all the essential moments.

1. Allow ample time for hair and makeup.

One of the biggest delays starts at the beginning of your wedding day. Hair and makeup often times take quite some time, so plan at least 30 extra minutes on top of what your beauty team recommends.

2. Have a 30-minute buffer.

Having a buffer for each event on your wedding day will mean more time for pictures and moments to be captured! This will take into account delays in makeup, traffic, family and wedding party arriving late or not ready. Often times, your time is taken out of your portrait time to accommodate for the delays. We know how important your couple’s session is and want to ensure you get the best without feeling rushed. With this crucial step, you’re on your way to a time-crunch resistant timeline.

3. Expect things to go behind schedule.

Real time and wedding time are never the same. Life happens. If everything went smoothly and according to plan, we would have less to worry about. However, that’s not how it works. But, you can be prepared in case things don’t go as planned. Whether your maid of honor is running late, catering got lost, or your mother-in-law is sick, don’t forget this day is about you. The wedding won’t start until you’re ready.

4. Determine if you want a first look.

What better way to celebrate your big day than to enjoy a quiet, private moment along with your soon-to-be? Most of our couples opt for a first look. We can dive into a couple’s session right after and finish with family and wedding party portraits. This timeline feels less rushed and allows more time for you to enjoy with the people you love. We plan your first look about one and a half hours prior to the ceremony.

5. Plan time around golden hour for the best light.

When planning your wedding, set the ceremony or reception around golden hour for the best light. The golden hues create the soft and dreamy look we’re all suckers for. Plus nothing like capturing the gorgeous sunsets we’ve been having the last few days.

6. Determine where the sun will be at ceremony time.

This is key! If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, be sure to keep the sun in mind. Note where the sun will be at ceremony time. Will it be overhead, blazing in front of you, or back-lighting your altar? We recommend having the sun either be covered by trees or in the least, back-lighting your gorgeous heads. This will avoid squinting eyes, less harsh, direct sunlight, and you won’t be too hot, especially if you are having a summer outdoor wedding.

7. Plan for a couple’s session immediately after the ceremony.

You just tied the knot!! Congrats! You literally have the newlywed bridal glow. Plan a couple’s shoot right after the wedding so you can moon over the fact that you’re officially Mr. and Mrs. How many private moments will you enjoy alone on your wedding day? Take in every second you can get, plus more images mean more options to choose from for your albums and wall art later!

8. The schedule may seem long, but don’t forget your wedding day will fly by.

Whether your hair and makeup starts at 5 am or 2 pm, your wedding schedule may look daunting from start to finish. You’d be surprised how fast your wedding will fly by. It’ll be over before you know it. It’s important to enjoy each moment so it doesn’t fly by in a blur.

9. Make ample time for wedding photography and cinematography.

We’ll take all the time we can get! Planning enough time for portraits and a couple’s session will ensure more images and video footage for you to choose from, and also mean you’re getting the most out of your wedding investment. More shooting time means great quality and quantity of the images and film delivered.

10. Relax. It’s okay to breathe.

When you take a step back and realize your wedding day is about you and your significant other, everything else seems so minute. You know the wedding won’t take place without either of you. So, relax. Breathe. Have some champagne. And enjoy your wedding, dance the night away, and soak up every moment.

Keep these tips in mind when planning your ideal wedding timeline. You’ll be surprised what extra cushion time and good light can do to your wedding images! Moreover, having the perfect wedding timeline will ensure you will have a smooth, stress-free wedding day.

Contact us today to start planning your wedding timeline.

Be sure to inquire about our photography and cinematography services for your wedding! You can email to see if we’re available for your wedding day!

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DSA Photography

We are a boutique wedding and portrait photography studio based in Orange County serving clients worldwide. We’re lucky to serve couples who are in love and understand the value of the moments in between. 

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