Being one of Adelaide’s top-tier wedding photographers, I hear one question again and again: “How do I craft the perfect wedding day timeline?”
Let’s be real, organising your big day can feel like piecing together a beautiful puzzle. Maybe it’s your first time orchestrating such a grand event, and hey, even seasoned pros need a hand every now and then!
Picture this. You’ve just sealed your vows. The world stopped when you locked eyes with your partner. Maybe you even spotted a hint of a tear in your dad’s eyes for the very first time. Just when you thought things couldn’t get more Aussie, a cheeky kookaburra decided to join your ceremony right before that magical ring moment. And as if on cue, a rainbow heralded your first kiss as a married couple.
Yet, amidst this magic, you suddenly realise the sun’s slipping away, and you didn’t carve out those golden moments just for the two of you and your photos… Oops!
Timing is everything, and while it might slip down the priority list, that’s okay. Remember this: “Extra time for photographs never hurts!”
Keep scrolling and let me guide you through crafting that flawless wedding day timeline.
Firstly, here’s a little secret: two popular ways to time your day revolve around the “Golden Hour” and the “First Look”.
GOLDEN HOUR With this approach, anticipation builds as you and your partner avoid seeing each other until that pivotal ceremony moment. Visualise the exhilarating feeling, the collective gasp of everyone present, and the sheer emotion of the moment – akin to how I felt when I first glimpsed my wife, Laura. It’s an experience that’s both profoundly touching and, trust me, a memory cherished by all. And who knows, it might just become one of those epic, fun, and emotive shots Time With Alex is renowned for!
The “Golden Hour” isn’t just a poetic name; it’s a photographer’s dream. It’s that magical time of day when the sun nestles low, casting a warm, gentle glow that brings out the best in every frame. This soft luminescence elevates your wedding photos from memorable to absolutely breathtaking.
Now, once the vows are exchanged, it’s usually time to assemble the family for those cherished formal shots. You know the ones I’m talking about: the photos that’ll find their way into family albums and be shown to generations to come. Pro tip from Time With Alex? Get these shots in right after the ceremony. It’s the one time you’re almost guaranteed to have everyone in one place. And trust me, rounding up Aunt Judy later in the evening after she’s had a few might be a task!
Once the family snapshots are secured, it’s on to the bridal party. Share a few candid moments, some hearty laughs, and create memories that’ll last a lifetime. And then? It’s your time to shine, just the two of you in front of the lens, basking in the golden Adelaide sun, enjoying your first time together a newly married couple!
Meanwhile, your guests are probably indulging in delightful canapés and toasting to your newfound marital bliss. After your own brief respite, perhaps with some tasty treats and a drink or two, it’s time to make your grand entrance into the reception. Ready to dance the night away under the South Australian stars? Time With Alex has got every moment covered.
In my humble perspective (with a sprinkle of bias, of course), this segment of your day stands out as the golden pause. It’s that sliver of time when you and your partner can genuinely absorb the gravity of your union, free from the delightful chaos of loved ones. Just two souls in the midst of boundless joy, holding onto each other, reliving the memories freshly etched.
While planning your timeline around Golden Hour is no stranger to Adelaide weddings, it isn’t without its nuances.
While the allure of the Golden Hour schedule is undeniable, it does come with its set of challenges.
Your Golden Hour Blueprint
Consider this a sample timeline for a wedding planned around the Golden Hour, with a sunset at 5.44pm on a sprightly September day in Adelaide. The couple, ceremony, and reception – all share a single locale.
All in all, you’re looking at a wholesome 9 hours of photographic coverage, ensuring every laugh, tear, and dance move finds its way into your wedding album.
Tom seeing Peta for the first time!
The “First Look”: What’s the Hype?
Imagine a moment where time pauses, and it’s just the two of you – taking in the realization that you’re about to embark on the most beautiful journey together. This is the essence of the “First Look”.
In layman’s terms, the “First Look” is a heartfelt, private rendezvous between the couple before the ceremonial pomp and pageantry kick off. Instead of the traditional aisle reveal, you get to see each other in an intimate setting, sans the watchful eyes of the wedding congregation.
Gaining traction over recent years, the “First Look” is no longer a novel concept. I have been privy to numerous such moments, and trust me, they’re pure magic. From tearful smiles to giggles to overwhelming emotions – it’s raw, genuine, and incredibly touching. Though it might call for a quick makeup touch-up, many couples I’ve worked with often list it as one of their day’s top highlights.
The scene usually plays out in a secluded spot, ensuring utmost privacy. While it feels like just the two of you in your own world, trust that your photographer (hello from me!) will be there, discreetly capturing these fleeting moments from a distance.
Six Gentle Whispers for Considering a “First Look”
Why the “First Look” Might Not Be for Everyone
Crafting a “First Look” Timeline: A Glimpse into the Day
For those enticed by the idea of a “First Look”, here’s how a typical wedding day might unfurl, especially with an anticipated sunset at 5.44pm on a delightful 10th September, springtime in Adelaide:
All said, this timeline maps out a comprehensive 11-hour photographic journey, capturing the essence of every pivotal moment.
Guiding You Through Wedding Day Preparations: Time With Alex Tips
1. Location, Location, Location:
Opting to prepare at the same or nearby locations comes with many advantages. It minimizes travel, reduces stress, and ensures smooth transitions. Making this choice can set the day off on a comfortable and timely foot.
2. Home Sweet Home or Hotel Elegance?
Both options offer distinct perks so let’s run through those here.
A hotel exudes a streamlined elegance, often free from the clutter that homes naturally accrue. It’s a flexible space and can comfortably accommodate both sides of the bridal party. However, getting ready at home introduces a sense of familiarity and narrative depth to the photographs. Despite potential clutter, it can lend a genuine touch, reflecting your personal story. Any time I’m in a family home I often find myself seeking out household items or specific examples that showcase a couples personalities and values too. Getting ready in your home is the best way to add an extra special storytelling element to your day.
3. Embrace the Glow of Natural Light:
Lighting stands as the cornerstone of photography. It breathes life into every snapshot, bestowing a distinct charm that’s unparalleled, enhancing every image.
Natural light, with its innate beauty, not only flatters but adds a depth and quality to photos that’s sure to elicit joy.
Midday, with its blazing sun casting sharp shadows, is often considered a challenging time for capturing moments. It’s best to sidestep this period for ceremonies, preventing guests from squinting into the bright light.
To navigate this, plan your wedding day timeline thoughtfully before finalizing any bookings. This ensures you’re clear on the ceremony’s start and the reception’s commencement, allowing for ample photography sessions in between.
4. Gifts and Letters: A Touching Gesture:
A budding tradition amongst modern couples is the exchange of heartfelt letters, often accompanied by a thoughtful gift. Shared just before their first look, this gesture is not obligatory but offers a delightful element of surprise to the festivities. These intimate moments, frozen in photographs or filmed, become treasured keepsakes.
Reflect for a moment – when did you last receive a handwritten note? The wedding day provides a beautiful occasion to pen down your feelings for your soon-to-be spouse.
5. Sharing the ‘First Look’ with Loved Ones:
Another popular idea in the world of weddings is the heartfelt “first look” with parents. It’s a moment where they see their child, all dressed up, ready to embark on a new chapter. Speaking from a father’s perspective, the day my daughter says her vows will undoubtedly be a whirlwind of emotions for me.
Imagine the depth of love your parents hold for you. The sheer joy and pride they’ll feel watching you step into marital bliss. Why not bestow upon them this unforgettable experience, a memory etched in their hearts forever?
6. Stay True to You/Be Adventurous:
When the day comes for us to present you with your wedding album, our deepest wish is to hear you exclaim, “WOW WOW WOW!” Not just because the photos radiate beauty, but because they resonate with your essence, painting the tale of your day precisely as it lives in your memory. Prioritise moments that tug at your heartstrings and craft moments for yourself that will bring you the most joy.
If a visit to your grandmother at her nursing home is what you desire, because she can’t attend your wedding, make it happen. If you want to go for a skate on your skateboards while chowing down on an ice-cream cone, let’s do it! If capturing moments at that cherished local cafe, where you had your first date, feels right, then embrace it.
I urge you to look beyond mere aesthetics. Reflect on what truly matters to you, and let those emotions guide your choices so that your photographer can capture who you are on every other day that’s not your wedding day.
7. Embracing the Unpredictable:
Sometimes, despite our best intentions, unexpected twists find their way into wedding days.
Plans might veer off course, or certain moments may not play out as envisioned. But you know what? It’s all part of the journey and it’s perfectly okay!
The day is all about you, so if you’re late, then everything else will have to wait until you’re ready!
Thought we were done? Not quite yet! Over the years, a common query I receive is regarding the duration allocated for each segment of the wedding day. Drawing from my experience and understanding what works best, I’ve crafted a guideline to assist you in planning your schedule.
Keep in mind, these durations are foundational suggestions. For a more relaxed and seamless flow, consider adding a bit of cushion time to these estimates. Let’s dive in!
Girls Getting Ready – 1.5 hours
Boys Getting Ready – 45 mins
Ceremony (depends if its a civil or church) – 30 to 2 hours
Family Photos – 15mins to 30mins
Large Group Photo – 10mins
Bridal Party Photos – 30mins
Couple Photos – 60mins
We’ve journeyed to the end of this piece, and I genuinely hope you found value in the “7 Simple Wedding Day Timeline Tips” from Time With Alex.
Still grappling with the intricacies of your wedding planning? No worries. With over 200 weddings under my belt (and having navigated the whirlwind of my own big day), I understand the challenges.
For further insights, dive into these additional articles I’ve crafted. They’re tailored for those tying the knot in Adelaide, and I’m confident they’ll offer you more clarity and guidance. Cheers to making memories!
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If you would love to chat more about your wedding photography, I’d love to hear from you. Just reach out to me here and we’ll make it happen.