Wedding Timeline Guide

I ask every Bride to work on a Wedding Timeline. Whether or not she has a coordinator or wedding planner, having a timeline that someone can follow is essential for the day going smoothly. And it becomes easier for everyone if we all work together to outline the day. The wedding planner and I can easily give advice on how much time photography sessions will take. This is my way of making sure you get the photos and moments that you want captured.

So where to begin? I'll start with the typical/ideal times needed to capture the main details of a wedding and then we can talk about logistics.

Details (rings, dress, shoes, etc) ~ 30-45 minutes
Getting Ready (candid photos & putting on the dress/suit) ~ 30-45 minutes
Bridal Portraits ~ 30 minutes
Groom Portraits ~ 30 minutes
First Look ~ 30-45 minutes
Wedding Party ~ 60 minutes
Ceremony Details (before guests arrive) ~ 30 minutes
Ceremony ~ 30-90 minutes depending on your affiliation
Family Formals ~ plan for about 3 minutes per group photo
Couples Session ~ 60 minutes
Cocktail Hour ~ 30 minutes
Reception Details (before guests arrive) ~ 30-60 minutes
Reception ~ Depends on the activities and events taking place!

Logistically there are a couple of things to notice. If there is no first look, I typically recommend a longer couple's session after the ceremony. If I am working with a second shooter for the big day, there are things we can both cover simultaneously that make the system go smoothly.

Hopefully, this helps give you some ideas about ideal timelines in a wedding day. Let me know in the comments below what is the most important part of the day for you!
 

Limoneira Ranch Wedding | Andrew & Lindsey

Driving out to the sleepy town of Santa Paula, CA, I pulled up to Limoneira Ranch. Nestled in the valley between some outstanding mountains, this lemon grove boasts a bace ball court. It was on the court that Andrew and Lindsey decided to make their vows of love and get married. It was a bright, hot and sunny day as the ladies prepared themselves in the small house on the grounds.

How adorable are these rings, seated stately upon their custom ring box.

How adorable are these rings, seated stately upon their custom ring box.

This grandma was the epitome of awesome. She carried around two disposable cameras, and when someone tried to take a photo of her with it, they couldn't figure out how to crank the thing! My favorite quote from her: "Honey, your short because you grew up with thorns. The most beautiful flowers grow with thorns and weeds that stunt the growth. But when you pull the weeds away there's the most beautiful creature ever."

This grandma was the epitome of awesome. She carried around two disposable cameras, and when someone tried to take a photo of her with it, they couldn't figure out how to crank the thing! My favorite quote from her: "Honey, your short because you grew up with thorns. The most beautiful flowers grow with thorns and weeds that stunt the growth. But when you pull the weeds away there's the most beautiful creature ever."

How stunning is this bride?!

How stunning is this bride?!

Hello handsome groom!

Hello handsome groom!

Look at these awesome groomsmen.

Look at these awesome groomsmen.

He waits for his bride patiently. 

He waits for his bride patiently. 

The setting for the ceremony was at the end of the court, right before a small field. The field had all of the reception area. But look at those mountains!

The setting for the ceremony was at the end of the court, right before a small field. The field had all of the reception area. But look at those mountains!

A great DIY: painted mason jars vases!

A great DIY: painted mason jars vases!

How cute is this cake surrounded by cupcakes?!

How cute is this cake surrounded by cupcakes?!

And then there was this cutie! 

And then there was this cutie! 

And to finish my night, I met a mutant ninja turtle! I don't think he was teenage yet. 

And to finish my night, I met a mutant ninja turtle! I don't think he was teenage yet. 

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Anaheim Purple Wedding | Sandie + Mike

Sandie sat in her beautiful flowered robe as she opened a card from her husband-to-be. As she read it, her eyes lit up and a large smile touched her lips. "Happy 1-day Anniversary" it said, with the '1-day' words handwritten by the groom. The change over her entire being as she read it is something I will never forget. It was a calming movement, a relaxing of the shoulders. Everything was going to be okay. She was getting married to an amazing man.

Bridal prep

I was so blessed to photograph this couple's wedding. There was a deep emotion that could be felt between them, and it was noticed by their whole family. The hotel room in the Hyatt Regency of Orange County was hushed, even though it was crowded with ladies. As the excitement built over time, the quiet voices began to grow to loud giggles. Soon she was ready to put on her dress (Alfred Angelo's Cinderella Bridal Gown) and conquer this wedding.

Bridesmaid helping get dress on

After a short trip, we arrived at the St. Boniface Catholic Church in Anaheim. It was a beautiful ceremony. Even when the priest led them through a strange order of events (he accidently announced them wed, didn't ask them to kiss, and then realized he forgot the offering to the Virgin Mary), no one was phased.

I absolutely adored the reaction of the groom when he saw his bride. His face lit up and a massive open smile took over.

I absolutely adored the reaction of the groom when he saw his bride. His face lit up and a massive open smile took over.

How amazing was this Catholic church ceremony? 

How amazing was this Catholic church ceremony? 

The happily married couple!

The happily married couple!

A quick releasing of balloons, and it was off to take photos!

The photos were taken at the Crystal Cathedral in Anaheim. It was an extremely HOT day, and I was sweating bullets in my all black wedding attire! But we muscled through and got some amazing group shots.

Did I mention the bride and groom stopped into Starbucks on their way back into the reception? Gotta have your coffee girl!

Did I mention the bride and groom stopped into Starbucks on their way back into the reception? Gotta have your coffee girl!

Finally, the reception was back at the Hyatt. Everything was purple, the color of royalty. And these two certainly were the King and Queen of the ball! I'll never forget the toasts, they were some of the funniest speeches I've heard yet!

How adorable are these cake toppers made of wood people?!

How adorable are these cake toppers made of wood people?!

Time to dance the night away! Congrats Sandie and Mike!

Time to dance the night away! Congrats Sandie and Mike!

Culver City and Valley Wedding | Sandra + Tony

The day started out beautiful. I remember thinking how wonderful it was that the sun wasn't that hot. I arrived at Core Church in Culver City with a smile as the children ran about being chased by the mothers. The groom and his groomsmen gathered for a prayer before he wrote a love letter to his bride-to-be.

I love this greeting. The bride and groom left a bible out in front of the ceremony, asking guests to highlight their favorite passage. 

I love this greeting. The bride and groom left a bible out in front of the ceremony, asking guests to highlight their favorite passage. 

Sandra and Tony wrote each other love notes before the wedding. And each prayed together with their wedding party over the messages.

Sandra and Tony wrote each other love notes before the wedding. And each prayed together with their wedding party over the messages.

Wedding time! I loved the two signs on the doors leading into the church. 

Wedding time! I loved the two signs on the doors leading into the church. 

The wedding then moved from Culver City and into the Valley. We took photos at Lake Balboa Park in Van Nuys, CA. 

Sandra + Tony-15.jpg

We then told the wedding party to go chill out while we took romantics of just the bride and groom. 

How awesome was this thank you photo set to send cards to their guests?!

How awesome was this thank you photo set to send cards to their guests?!

Now it's time to party!! The reception was at the Olympia Banquet Hall in Van Nuys. And it was a grand affair. I especially loved the ceilings filled with clouded skies. 

The couple were able to sit on these two thrones that looked so luxurious. 

The couple were able to sit on these two thrones that looked so luxurious. 

Good night sweet lovebirds!

Good night sweet lovebirds!