Timeline Builder

What is a Timeline?

A timeline is simply a schedule for your day. It lets us know when everything is happening and is a super important element of any wedding day. This is what we'll follow on the day of to make sure we stay on time and know what's happening next.

 

Unless you're one of those people who's been planning their wedding since they were 5... you probably haven't even thought of the logistics of your timeline yet. No need to freak out though, we've got you! Let's figure this out together, shall we?

 

It's important to get this sorted out earlier than later so when your florist + hair and makeup artists say, "Hey Kaycie, when do I need to be there?" You'll be able to refer back to the timeline you created to make sure everything runs smoothly. Below, we've put together a worksheet that will walk you through creating your timeline from the time we arrive, through to the time we leave to make sure you're getting all that you want covered in the the time that you have us! 

 Step One

Knowing what time the sun will set on your wedding day is a huuuuuuuge must. We recommend starting the ceremony 1.5 - 2 hours before sunset. Reason being, we need light for family formals and any other portraits you may save for after the ceremony. We also recommend this time frame because if it rains or is a really cloudy day, it will get darker earlier.

 

The link below is linked to sunset times in Dallas THIS MONTH - if your wedding location + month are different, click the link and search your wedding location city + month to see the sun set times projected for there/then.

Google Sunsets on your date.

Step Two

**Both scenarios below are based on a 20-30 minute ceremony.

Doing a first look? If so, we can get most of the portraits out of the way before the ceremony. With a first look, we recommend beginning your ceremony 1.5 hours before sunset.

No first look? We recommend starting your ceremony 2-2.5 hours before sunset because we will need the sun to be up long enough for full wedding party photos, couples portraits, as well as family photos after your ceremony. 

 

Take Note Of Your Chosen Sunset Time
 

How Long Does Everything Take? 

I've put the average amount of time it takes for us to capture each portion of your day on our coverage calculator (below). You'll use this to put together your timeline. If you don't have a wedding party, for example, you don't have to include time for wedding party portraits in your timeline.


COVERAGE CALCULATOR
*IDEAL AMOUNT OF TIME FOR EACH PORTION OF THE DAY

Details (invitations, dress, etc.): 15 minutes 
Getting ready: 30 minutes each
Putting on the Dress: 10-15 minutes | This is the last thing we do before either the first look or wedding party photos.
First look: 25 minutes 
Couples portraits: 40-60 minutes 
Side #1 of Wedding Party Photos: 10 minutes
Side #2 of Wedding Party Photos: 10 minutes
Full Wedding Party Photos (BOTH SIDES): 10 minutes
Pre Ceremony (Hide from guest, we get details): 45 minutes
Ceremony: 30-60 minutes
Family formals: 30 minutes, 45 minutes for larger families
Dinner: 45 minutes
Reception: 60-90 minutes not including dinner... keep your exit time in mind!

Some other things people include in their timeline that you might also want to include!
Father's First Look: 15 minutes
Bridesmaid Reveal: 15 minutes

 

First Look Or Nah?

We would never want you to feel pressured into doing a first look. It is amazing for photography and your timeline, however, we believe in first looks because they're so much more than that.

 

Personally, we did one for our wedding for three main reasons... we wanted lots of photos of the two of us (hello we never look that good ever), because we heard it calmed the nerves for the ceremony, and because we had a small guest count and wanted to get straight to the reception / have more time to talk with everyone who was sharing our day with us. We also figured we'd be super freaking hungry by that point and oh my goodness that was soooo true.

 

If you're having trouble deciding, we made a list of pros and cons as well as put some reviews below from our own couples who did or didn't do a first look. *low-key screeching because all of their profile photos are photos we took! <3

Create Your Timeline

Having a first look or not having a first look will change the structure of your timeline entirely. Because of that, we've put templates below of both a timeline made for a first look and one made for no first look. Make sure you use the correct template when working out your timeline!

 

We recommend splitting it up into two portions while working it out: Pre-Ceremony and Post-Ceremony. 

Start with the ceremony time and work backwards and forwards from there with the examples + template.

 

NOTE: WHEN CREATING YOUR TIMELINE, ONLY LIST THE STARTING TIME IN THE PARENTHESIS. (ex. "4:00p") 

DO NOT LIST TIME BLOCKS. (ex. 4:00p-4:30p)

 

There are two timeline templates below to help you get started: one including a first look, the other not. Make sure you use the correct one. The timeline templates are built for a 9 hour day. If you have less coverage, some cutting will have to happen so pick what you prioritize capturing! If you have more than 9 hours of coverage, we can take things a little slower :)

 

Father First Looks + Bridesmaid reveals aren't included in the templates. If you want those captured, leave about 15 minutes for each of those things!

With First Look

Copy and paste the full day template below and customize the times to create your own timeline! Examples with times input are below to help!

(larger free-response box)

FULL DAY TEMPLATE / WITH FIRST LOOK

***This is the one you copy if you're doing a first look.

(our arrival time): Photographers Arrive + Capture Details

(30 minutes later): Bride/Groom "Getting Ready"

(30 minutes later): Bride/Groom "Getting Ready

(30 minutes later): First Look + Couple's Portraits

(45 minutes later): Full Wedding Party Portraits

(15 minutes later): Bride/Bridesmaids or Groom/Groomsmen Photos

(30 minutes later): Bride/Bridesmaids or Groom/Groomsmen Photos

(30 minutes later): Tucked Away (hidden from guests)

(30 minutes later): Ceremony Begins

(ceremony end time): Ceremony Ends | Family Formals Begin

(30-45 minutes later): A Few Sunset Couple's Portraits Begin

(20 minutes later): Announced into Reception + First Dance

(10 minutes later): Dinner Begins

(45 minutes later): Speeches / Toasts

(10 minutes later): Cake Cutting

(10 minutes later): Parent Dances

(10 minutes later): DJ Invites for Open Dancing

SKIP TO THE EXIT TIME!

(45 minutes before exit): Bouquet + Garter Toss then Open Dancing

(10 minutes before exit): Private Last Dance

(exit time): Special (sparkler, bubble, etc) Exit

 

PRE-CEREMONY EXAMPLE / WITH FIRST LOOK

Take your exit time and subtract our hours of coverage from there to see when we arrive. Example: If your exit is at 9:30pm and you have us for 9 hours, we'll arrive at 12:30p.

(12:30p): Photographer/Videographer Arrive + Capture Details

(1:00p): Bride/Groom "Getting Ready"

(1:30p): Bride/Groom "Getting Ready

(2:00p): First Look + Couple's Portraits 

(2:45p): Full Wedding Party Portraits

(3:00p): Bride/Bridesmaids or Groom/Groomsmen Photos

(3:30p): Bride/Bridesmaids or Groom/Groomsmen Photos

(4:00): Tucked Away (hidden from guests)

(4:30): Ceremony Begins

 

POST-CEREMONY EXAMPLE / WITH FIRST LOOK

(4:30p): Ceremony Begins

(5:00p): Ceremony Ends | Family Formals Begin

(5:30p): A Few Sunset Couple's Portraits Begin

(5:50p): Announced into Reception + First Dance

(6:00p): Dinner Begins

(6:45p): Speeches / Toasts

(6:55p): Cake Cutting

(7:05): Parent Dances

(7:15): DJ Invites for Open Dancing

SKIP TO THE EXIT TIME!

(8:45p): Bouquet + Garter Toss then Open Dancing

(9:20p): Private Last Dance

(9:30p): Special (sparkler, bubble, etc) Exit

No First Look

Copy and paste the full day template below and customize the times to create your own timeline! Examples with times input are below to help!

(larger free-response box)

FULL DAY TEMPLATE / WITHOUT FIRST LOOK

Copy and paste the full day template below and customize the times to create your own! Examples with times input are below to help!
(larger free-response box)
FULL DAY TEMPLATE / WITHOUT FIRST LOOK
***This is the one you copy if you're not doing a first look.
(our arrival time): Photographers Arrive + Capture Details
(30 minutes later): Bride/Groom "Getting Ready"
(30 minutes later): Bride/Groom "Getting Ready
(30 minutes later): Bride/Bridesmaids or Groom/Groomsmen Photos
(30 minutes later): Bride/Bridesmaids or Groom/Groomsmen Photos
(30 minutes later): Tucked Away (hidden from guests)
(30 minutes later): Ceremony Begins
(ceremony ending time): Ceremony Ends | Family Formals Begin
(30-45 minutes later): Full Wedding Party Portraits Begin
(15 minutes later): Couple's Portraits Begin
(40 minutes later): Announced into Reception + First Dance *without a first look, cocktail hour is about 1.5 hours and if you shorten it, you have a shorter couple's portrait time. Never ever have less than 20 minutes for couple's portraits. Less time = less photos / footage and it can affect your gallery versatility and the length of your film.
(10 minutes later): Dinner Begins
(45 minutes later): Speeches / Toasts
(10-15 minutes later): Cake Cutting
(10 minutes later): Parent Dances
(10 minutes later): DJ Invites for Open Dancing
SKIP TO THE EXIT TIME!
(45 minutes before exit): Bouquet + Garter Toss then Open Dancing
(10 minutes before exit): Private Last Dance
(exit time): Special Exit (sparkler, bubbles, ecofetti, etc)

 

PRE-CEREMONY EXAMPLE / WITHOUT FIRST LOOK

Take your exit time and subtract our hours of coverage from there to see when we arrive. Example: If your exit is at 9:30pm and you have us for 9 hours, we'll arrive at 12:30p.
(12:30p): Photographers Arrive + Capture Details
(1:30p): Bride/Groom "Getting Ready"
(2:00p): Bride/Groom "Getting Ready
(2:30p): Bride/Bridesmaids or Groom/Groomsmen Photos
(3:00p): Bride/Bridesmaids or Groom/Groomsmen Photos
(3:30p): Tucked Away (hidden from guests)
(4:00p): Ceremony Begins

 

POST-CEREMONY EXAMPLE /WITHOUT FIRST LOOK

(4:00p): Ceremony Begins
(4:30p): Ceremony Ends | Family Formals Begin
(5:00p): Full Wedding Party Portraits Begin
(5:15p): Couple's Portraits Begin
(5:55p): Announced into Reception + First Dance *without a first look, cocktail hour is about 1.5 hours and if you shorten it, you have a shorter couple's portrait time. Never ever have less than 20 minutes for couple's portraits. Less time = less photos / footage and it can affect your gallery versatility and the length of your film.
(6:05p): Dinner Begins
(6:50p): Speeches / Toasts
(7:00pr): Cake Cutting
(7:10p): Parent Dances
(7:20p): DJ Invites for Open Dancing
SKIP TO THE EXIT TIME!
(8:45p): Bouquet + Garter Toss then Open Dancing
(9:20p): Private Last Dance
(9:30p): Special (sparkler, bubble, etc) Exit

 

Are there any things you'd like to include but aren't sure where to put them? Do you have any questions or requests? If so, put them at the bottom! I am happy to review your timeline and make adjustments, we'll keep them in mind or do our best to make room for them somewhere. :)
 

YOU JUST DID THE DANG THING! Woohoo!

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Wedding and portrait photographer based in Seattle and available for travel Worldwide
11206 Des Moines Memorial Dr S #104 Seattle WA 98168