Let's chat about wedding timelines. Your timeline is so important to the flow of your day. It provides an outline and base for how your day will progress and at the very least its an easy way to determine what's supposed to happen next.
Your timeline should be shared with your photographer prior to the wedding day far enough in advance for you to suggest and make some changes.
Here are a few things to consider when determining your timeline.
You can have a first look with your groom or you can have one with whoever is walking you down the aisle. You can also opt to get dressed only with your matron/maid of honor and then have a first look with your bridesmaids.
Communicate with your hair and makeup artists the time you want to be DONE with your glam so that you can plan your start time accordingly.
The first look itself only takes about 2-3 minutes so once you are ready this is a great time to plan portraits with your bridal party. If you do first look with your groom then we can also get your couples portraits done as well which leaves valuable time for after the ceremony.
If you don't opt for a first look or time does not permit you to your portraits should be scheduled during the time your guests are enjoying cocktail hour. Portrait hour will consist of both bride and groom portraits as well as bridal party portraits and family formals.
Bonus tip: Hire a second photographer. This is a great way to maximize the use of this time with a divide and conquer approach.
It is a good idea to get all of the usual reception events out of the way including first dances, cake cutting, garter and bouquet toss.
Once you and your hunny are introduced after the bridal party your timeline could look a bit like this...
Bridal Party Introduction
Bride + Groom introduction
Bride + Groom first dance
Dinner is Served + Toasts
Open Dance Floor
This gets to be a very interesting time of the night because sometimes everyone wants to say something. But let's be honest not everyone needs to tell their cute or embarrassing story of the two of you. Choose 2-5 people who will speak and give them a time limit. Don't worry about hurting feelings your vendors are hired and on a time limit plus its typical for the bride and groom to make their rounds at the reception in which all your guests can share their love for you.
My biggest tip: Work with a planner who will make sure that your timeline is executed properly and promptly.