Planning your wedding day schedule can be a daunting task. Chances are this is the first time you’ve ever done this, or it has been many years since you last planned a wedding. Discuss your schedule with your photographer. Even if you have a wedding planner, go over the schedule with your photographer as they will be able to point out any changes needed from their part of the day. They have done this several times, and they know the flow of a wedding day. Trust their judgement on how long things take.
Let your photographer know how your dress does up. A zipper does up much faster than a lace-up gown. And, in my experience, a lace-up gown often takes longer to get just right than you expect. Plan extra time for getting ready into your schedule around the style of your dress.
The length of a ceremony varies from 10 minutes to as long as an hour (yes, I’ve been to weddings that long) depending on traditions, readings, musical numbers, candle lightings and so on that you choose to include. As well, after the ceremony, whether you plan for it or not, a receiving line tends to form as your guests want to congratulate and hug you. On average, I would anticipate the ceremony portion of your day to be 30 minutes.
portraits first, then take the bridal party portraits. Plan on at least two minutes for each family group you want photographed. If there are 30 groupings you wish to have, you need to plan for one hour for your family portraits. The most important portraits are, of course, are the bride and groom, so plan a good portion of your formal portrait session dedicated to you. As well, if you plan on shooting to more than one location, remember to include travel time to each destination into your plans.
Plan out when dinner will be served, what time you will cut the cake, give time limits to those you ask to give speeches, and decide when you will have your first dance. If you have a special exit planned, decide when you want to leave your reception as well. Give all of these times to your photographer so that she can anticipate the important moments of the evening while capturing those great candid moments of your celebration.
Discuss these with your photographer well in advance of your wedding day. He or she will be able to guide you on any conflicts or challenges they anticipate. The better prepared you both are, the more worry-free your wedding day will be.