Wedding Day Timeline

Nicola AndrewsWedding tipsLeave a Comment

So you’re getting married! Everything is booked. But really unless you’ve done it before – you don’t really know how the day goes!

Fear not. I am here to help you figure out your wedding day timings so that there is one less thing for you to think about. 

Morning Prep Photos

As a starting point for me, I generally arrive 2.5/3 hours before the ceremony time. This then gives us plenty of time for prep photos. 

I love to capture all of the little details of your day – so this is when I capture photos of your dress, shoes etc. I can also grab some amazing makeup and hair photos!

One of my second shooters will go to groom prep, and they can then capture photos of the boys all getting ready together and any little details there too. 



Pop all of your accessories together in one place on the morning of your wedding, ready for them to be photographed.

Wedding Ceremony

The majority of weddings have a ceremony around 1:30pm. If it’s a winter wedding, I would recommend having a ceremony starting no later than 1pm (being slightly obsessed by daylight – these things matter!)

Civil ceremonies tend to last around 20-30 minutes. Church ceremonies are more 45-60 minutes. 

Photo Session – “The Formals”

With my standard shot list (around 10-12) groups with parents etc I would allow 30 minutes. These tend to take place during the drinks reception. 

Then for bride and groom portraits, I would allow around another 30 minutes. 

COUPLE PORTRAITS – Relaxed, informal and fun posing sessions to capture the most beautiful wedding photos.

Wedding Breakfast

With a 1:30pm ceremony, sit down for wedding breakfast tends to be at around 4pm. 

The wedding breakfast on average lasts up to 2 hours (of course this will be dependent on guest numbers etc). 

Speeches, I always think shouldn’t last much longer than 20-30 minutes. Sometimes less can be more!

This should take you to about 6:30pm. This is a great time to have a little freshen up before the evening guests arrive! With a summer wedding, I love this time to grab the couple for 10 more minutes for hopefully some lovely evening light photos.

WEDDING BREAKFAST – Time to sit, eat and raise a glass.
Wedding speeches always create some fabulous photos for your wedding gallery.

Evening Reception

Evening guests arrive around 7pm. 

Cake cut is normally at 7:30pm and then straight into your first dance. You don’t need to leave a gap between these two things. 

Once the DJ/band has managed to get everyone ready for the cake cut, it’s great that they are still all together for the first dance too!

Then get your flip-flops on and dance the night away!!!

Evening food is around 8:30pm. 

When the clock strikes midnight, it’s normally time to hang up your dancing shoes and collapse into bed!

I hope you found this guide to timings useful x

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