Last week we talked about the traditional wedding timeline, something that every bride should have in her corner. It is the best way to make sure that nothing is overlooked and important parts of the day are not too rushed. This week we will help out those couples having their ceremony later in the day. This is a great option for weddings at any time of the year, especially in the winter months. Since the sun goes down early in the colder months hosting your ceremony in the late afternoon or early evening allows you to have your ‘formal’ photos taken in the perfect golden light of the early afternoon.
Late Ceremony Timeline
Again your ceremony is what your day will revolve around. Lots of later ceremonies will start around 5:00 pm. This allows you to have your cocktail hour right after the ceremony and then head right into the rest of your reception. Since we now have our new ceremony time we will work backwards again to get the time frame in which the rest of the day will unfold.
Hair and makeup for the bride could start about 11:00 am. Even though the couple is getting married later in the day the bride will still be getting ready in the morning. Talk to your hair and makeup team to nail down the best time for you to get ready. Some hair styles and makeup applications take a little more time than others. Next you will be getting into your dress and checking for any last minute details. The best part of a timeline like this is the ability to have a ‘first look.’ This is when the bride and groom will see one another for the first time on their wedding day, prior to the ceremony. This is such a beautiful moment for your photographer to capture. It is also one of the only times you will have alone together until the end of your busy day. It’s great if you can have around two hours for the ‘formal’ photos and the family photos. With this type of timeline you have the option of either having your family photos before the ceremony or after. Just keep in mind that if you have the family photos afterward, that the sun will have gone down and your photographer will most likely need to use flash. The ceremony will then take place, running about 20 minutes. Lots of times the ceremony and the reception will take place in the same location, allowing you to have the cocktail hour start immediately afterward. The reception timeline will then follow, just like it does in the traditional timeline we posted last week.
Again, this timeline is only a suggestion and the timing may be moved around and customized to how your day will work best. We have outlined the above information in an example with an hour by hour breakdown.
11:00 am – Bridal makeup and hair
12:30 pm – Put dress on
1:00 pm – Leave for first look
1:15 pm – First look
1:30 pm – Photos with wedding party and just the bride and groom
4:00 pm – Family photos
5:00 pm – Ceremony
5:30 pm – Cocktail hour
6:30 pm – Supper
8:00 pm – Toasts
8:30 pm – Cake cutting
9:00 pm – First dance
10:30 pm – Bouquet and garter toss
Have something that you would have scheduled differently? Let us know! firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo Credit: Nicole Gerhardt Photography