Sample Wedding Timeline (Without a First Look)

Hello bride-to-be! Today I want to share a complicated topic, but one that is soooo necessary: WEDDING DAY TIMELINE. I know you have questions, and I’m here to help!!

The number one suggestion I have when you begin planning your wedding day timeline is to check when the sun sets. You can simply type your wedding date into Google to find out when it is for your day. Trust me, you are going to want those pretty cotton-candy skies in your photos!!



While every wedding is unique, they all tend to follow a similar flow of events. I have outlined a sample timeline below for a summer wedding day where you see each other for the first time at your ceremony. (Having a first look – check out this post instead!) (Don’t know what a first look is? Start HERE)


We like to begin coverage approximately 2.5-3 hours before you walk down the aisle. This gives us time to capture your details and getting ready candids before tucking you away for your ceremony. Remember, if you don’t want to bump into guests, you should to arrive at least 30 minutes before ceremony time. Also, don’t forget to include any extra travel time needed to get between locations if necessary! We whole-heartedly suggest if you aren’t doing a first look to extend your cocktail hour by at least a half hour. It hurts our hearts to spend so much time on family formals that we have to rush through portraits with the two of you!

Whew, I know, it’s A LOT. But I promise it’s not nearly as scary as it sounds. Check out this sample timeline for inspiration:

{Sample} Wedding Day on July 14th

Getting Ready 2:30pm

Ceremony 5:30-6pm

Portraits/ Formals 6-7:30pm

Cocktail Hour 6-7:30pm

Introductions 7:35pm

First Dance 7:40pm

Toasts 7:45pm

Dinner 8pm

Sunset 8:15pm

^^definitely sneak away for portraits here^^

Cake Cutting 8:40pm

Parent Dances 8:45pm

Dancing until 11pm

You got this, girl! When creating your own, I suggest starting with your ceremony time (as that is usually the first thing you schedule) and working forward/backward from there. Other helpful resources: Our Most Asked Timeline Questions – Answered!How to Plan a Photo-Friendly Timeline

And remember, you aren’t planning alone!! Talk to your wedding planner, your venue, your photographer, your band/dj… I’m sure everyone is more than happy to help out. We’re all on the same team with the goal of giving you the best wedding day ever. I’m always available to answer any questions you have at

– Happy planning! –