planning your wedding day timings

The most common question I get is 'what time should we do...?'

Weddings often run behind or were planned too tightly, so having a good timeline is key. I recommend setting the time you enter the reception first, then work from there.

getting DRESSED  ~  variable


Allow 45 minutes for suits. If you're wearing anything like cufflinks, a tie (or bow tie), suspenders etc - give them a test run before the day to make sure you know how it all fits together.


Talk with your hair stylist & makeup artist to know how much time they need. Before the wedding, prepare a playlist to run during this time, it helps pump up the vibes and get excited!

For a dress, give it a try before the wedding and time yourself. For most dresses it's up to whoever is helping you to do most of the work, so they should do the trial run with you. Many dresses are 'easy' when you have the professional helping, but can take longer if you forget the way it buttons or laces together.

photos  ~  10 mins

Before we leave for the ceremony I love to grab a few photos. These include solo shots of you, some with your attendants, and any family who are around.

travel to the ceremony

Take what you expect and add a chunk for traffic / delays. If you're in a vintage car, Hummer, limo, Kombi etc - they'll travel even slower. Ideally you want to plan your wedding with as little travel / distance between locations as possible.

ceremony  ~  30 mins

If the ceremony is particularly religious or cultural, this may be longer. Chat to your celebrant / marriage-maker to confirm. If you're in a church, ask if they have photography restrictions.

hugs & congrats  ~  15 mins per 100 guests

My favourite part of the day! Everyone is keen to congratulate you, but if you wander away from the ceremony guests will be unsure if they're meant to follow. Find a shady spot and get the first hugs rolling yourself. If you have a wedding party, use them to encourage guests over towards you.

family photos  ~  2 mins per group

I usually shoot around 10 groups (20 minutes). I've written about organising this part of the day here.

PORTRAIT photos  ~  60 mins plus travel

I like to only use one location - travel time is dead time. I recommend ~30 minutes for you two, and another 20 if you have a wedding party. I shoot the wedding party first, so we can ditch them for couple's portraits.

It can be nice to add time for a drink and a snack - usually the only time you'll have to yourselves the entire day.

sunset photos  ~  15 mins

Making sure you're available at sunset is the best thing you can do for your photos.


Receptions usually start around 6PM, but sunset isn't until 7-8PM - you'll have to block out some reception time. Googling 'newcastle sunset october 20' will give you an idea, although talk to your photographer (hopefully me) for venue-specific details. Let your MC know about sunset photos so they can adjust speech timings if necessary. I love listening to speeches, but they can happen at any time - if you miss the sunset, it ain't coming back.


Sunset shots will be combined with your portrait photos.


Most venues will provide their own timeline. If you're planning it yourself, chat with your caterer to see what they need.

- If you're having more than 4 speeches, break them up into parts.

- If you're running your own music, have someone assigned to manage it. Audio issues with music and speeches can easily bring down the vibe of the evening so I strongly recommend a DJ if possible.

- If your reception is outdoors, add as much lighting as you can. It helps your guests out, and I don't have to pop my flash right in guest's faces. Think about heating options like open fires or portable gas heaters.
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