Reality Checking The Wedding Day!!!

Windsor Photography

Are you going to get there on time?????

The following is a realistic time sequence of a typical Wedding Day. Emphasis has been placed on the time needed for a Traditional approach to the Photography. The purpose of our creating this schedule is to help you prepare for a busy and somewhat hectic day. We do assume that by hiring a Professional Wedding Photographer, that you expect quality recording of your Wedding Day. Professionally produced photographs are archival quality and about as permanent as you can get. We certainly don't want to take a bad picture of you so we suggest that you expect the unexpected. If you allow yourself to get upset over something that has already happened, it will affect the way you feel and also how you look. How you look is how the camera sees you.

An absolutely perfect day rarely ever occurs, but if you're prepared, you will be able to put on that great smile, no matter what happens and your photographs will be so much nicer. We have put a line next to our example " times " for you to insert your actual times. The amount of time for, and between, each event will usually stay the same. This example uses a 2:00 PM ceremony start time. Insert your actual times. LET'S ALL HAVE A GREAT DAY TOGETHER!!!!!!

____________ 11:30 - - Have flowers for Bride, Bridesmaids, Flower Girl/Ringbearer and Bride's Parents arrive at house. Other flowers for the Church/Synagogue, Groom, Groomsmen, Groom's Parents, Grandparents and Readers should at the Ceremony site 45 minutes to one hour before the Ceremony starts. (Check with their coordinator )

____________ 12:00 - - Photographer arrives at Bride's for pictures. It is extremely important for the Bridal Party and Bride's Parents to be ready. Please remember that the Photographer has to arrive at the Ceremony much earlier than the Bridal Party to take pictures of the Groom, Best Man and be back outside to photograph the Bride's arrival. Time also has to be allowed for travel to the Ceremony and loading and unloading of equipment.

____________ 1:00 - - Photographer leaves Bride's for Ceremony. Bridal Party gets a chance to relax before Limo/Transportation arrives.

____________ 1:15 - - Limo/Transportation arrives at Bride's. Driver will put flowers and those items that go to the reception in trunk. This example allows for 15 minute drive time to Ceremony.

____________ 1:25 - - Groom, Groomsmen, Groom's Parents, all Grandparents and Readers arrive at Church/Synagogue and receive flowers, etc.

____________ 1:30 - - Photographer arrives at Ceremony to photograph the Groom, Best Man and, if time permits, the Groom with his Parents but must be back outside to photograph the Bride's arrival and/or exiting the Limo/Car.

____________ 1:45 - - Bride, Bridesmaids and Bride's Parents arrive at Ceremony.

____________ 2:00 - - CEREMONY STARTS. Catholic, Episcopal and some Lutheran ceremonies are approximately one hour long, especially if a Eucharist service is planned. Most other Protestant denominations are about 1/2 hour long. Jewish ceremonies are also about 1/2 hour long but will be longer if Veiling and Ketuba ceremonies are planned. (Check with Officiate for actual times.)

____________ 3:00 - - CEREMONY ENDS. (?) Since most ceremony providers restrict times you are allowed to use the Sanctuary area for formal pictures, we suggest having receiving lines later. (Please see note below.) We suggest asking the Officiate to announce that formal photography will be done before the Wedding Party exits. Our reason for this is twofold. One, if you are planning birdseed, rice or bubbles, etc., anything that falls in your hair or on your gown will be in the formal photographs. Two, some Churches will not allow you back in if trailing litter into Sanctuary. If you follow this suggestion we will start the photography with the Bride, then the Bride and Groom, B & G with Bride's Family, B & G with Groom's Family, Groom with Parents (if not done earlier), B & G with Grandparents and then the Wedding Party. This order of shooting allows the families to mingle with guests as quickly as possible. This whole sequence will take between 30 - 45 minutes depending on family size, Wedding Party size and the level of cooperation of all those involved. If we are ready to take a picture and those who are supposed to be in it aren't there, we all lose time. IMPORTANT!!! You must know what time you have to be out of the Sanctuary area. There may be other Weddings scheduled after yours. If you're having a Catholic ceremony, and are scheduled around 1:30 and 2:00 PM, you will need to know what time Confession and/or Mass starts. Photography is usually not allowed once Confession starts.

____________ 3:45 - - Wedding Party exits, guests greet or toss and then all get in cars.

____________ 4:00 - - Wedding Party leaves for the outdoor location shoot. The outdoor photography can be completed in 20 - 25 minutes if there is good cooperation on the part of the entire Wedding Party. At this point you will also need to calculate in driving time from ceremony to outdoor shoot (20 min. ?), 20 -25 min. for the shoot and driving time to Reception (20 min. ?) If this example is approximately the way you expect your time frame to be, the total time will be 65 minutes.

____________ 5:05 - - Arrive at Reception. If Cocktail Hour is 5 - 6 and Reception is 6 - 10, perfect. You will have had the Limo for 4 hours.


If you have 100 guests come to your Ceremony and are planning a receiving line and each guest takes 30 seconds (1/2 minute) to go from the beginning of the line to the end, the time elapsed will be 50 minutes. If you could run them through in 15 seconds (1/4 minute) it will take 25 minutes. If you have more than 100 guests, it gets worse. This is probably the least thought out part of a Wedding Day. With the increasing demands placed on Ceremony providers to hold two, three and sometimes four Weddings a day, it is becoming more difficult to include receiving lines immediately after ceremonies. If you do manage to get a receiving line in after the Ceremony, the approximated amount of time noted here has to be added in after the Ceremony and before the outdoor location shoot. Also plan on 10 - 15 minutes getting those needed for pictures back into the Sanctuary. Also, extend the Limo time and plan on possibly missing the cocktail hour. If you need alternate suggestions on how to deal with this situation, please feel free to call and pick our brains. Take advantage of the experience.


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