Wedding Day Timeline | Getting Ready | Virginia Wedding Photographer | Audrey Rose Photography

September 24, 2015

Wedding Day Timeline | Getting Ready

planning your wedding day timeline | getting ready

So I sat down yesterday to write a blog post about how to create your wedding day timeline. I started outlining the “getting ready” portion of the day, and by the end of it, I had a whole blog post in and of itself! So instead of writing a novel explaining how to schedule your entire wedding day, I decided to turn this into a series of blog posts outlining how to create a wedding day timeline that will allow for a smooth and stress-free wedding day!

Every bride dreams of having an effortless wedding day where they are able to sit back, relax and really enjoy their day without having to worry about any little details on the day of the wedding! One of the most important factors in ensuring that happens is having a well-planned wedding day timeline! By allotting the appropriate amount of time for each part of the day, you can ensure that you will never have to feel stressed or rushed and the wedding day will just flow smoothly from one event to the next!

Your wedding planner and photographer will be able to help you put together a detailed timeline that covers from the moment you have your hair and makeup done all the way until you leave the reception! Your planner will help plan the times for all the major events like the ceremony time and reception events. And your photographer will be able to help you plan out the beginning portion of the day (like when everyone should be dressed and ready) and allot the appropriate amount of time for portraits later in the day. It’s important to get all these details sorted out long before your wedding day arrives so that you aren’t cramming trying to figure out your timeline the week of your wedding! So to start off this series, here is an outline of how to plan the getting ready portion of your wedding day!planning your wedding day timeline | getting readyThe “getting ready” portion of the day covers getting hair and makeup done and getting dressed. This also includes when your photographer will be capturing your bridal details (dress, shoes, bouquet, etc.). This particular part of the day is where you will definitely want to add a good amount of “padding” time! By this I mean, you will want to allot more time than you may think you need! planning your wedding day timeline | getting readySo let’s work backwards going over each part of this section of the day. Say you are doing your first look at 2:00. This means that you will want to be all dressed and ready to go at least by 1:45. From 1:45 and 2:00, your photographer will be scouting out the best location for your first look and grabbing the groom to set him up. Then we will be grabbing the bride right on time at 2:00 for the first look! So if you need to be all ready at 1:45, then you will want to start getting dressed (stepping into your dress) at 1:00. I know you may think that 45 minutes is a crazy amount of time for simply getting dressed, but let me explain! First of all, the getting ready portion of the day is more often than not running behind. Hair and makeup is running late, bridesmaid Betty can’t fit into her dress, mom of the bride is MIA- you get the idea. There are a lot of things during this part of the day that you can’t really plan for, which causes it to often be running behind. So by having 45 minutes to get dressed, you won’t be running too behind should you not be able to get dressed right at 1. Secondly, there is actually a lot more to do than just “get dressed” during those 45 minutes. We will take the actual “getting dressed” part very slowly so that we can capture all those sweet moments! Mom zipping up your dress, your Maid of Honor putting on your jewelry, a bridesmaid putting on your garter and so on. And after your are fully dressed, we’ll do a few posed shots of you and your bridesmaids in the getting ready space to capture the joy and excitement of the day beginning! Some other things that may occur during this time would be reading a letter from your future spouse, a first look with your dad, etc. And then after all of this is done, you will hopefully have a little bit of time to regroup before heading out to your first look! So I hope that explains why you need a good amount of time just to get dressed! planning your wedding day timeline | getting ready Then working backwards from you getting dressed is your bridesmaids getting dressed! It’s best to have everyone dressed before you so that they are in their full wedding attire for the photos of you getting dressed. So if you are getting dressed at 1:00, you will want all bridesmaids (and moms!) dressed by 12:45. Then before that is hair and makeup. In this scenario, hair and makeup should be complete for everyone by 12:15. And if you are having it done offsite, then you will want to be back at the getting ready location at 12:15. In my experience, hair and makeup is more often than not running behind schedule. So by having that little bit of cushion time between hair and makeup and getting dressed, there is a little bit of wiggle room should things be running late.

And we can’t forget about the groom and groomsmen! Getting ready for guys is a little less elaborate, so it doesn’t require quite as much planning! In this scenario, you will want all the groomsmen and groom dressed and ready to go by 1:15. Gotta have that wiggle room!

Another thing to consider for this part of the day is flower delivery. You will want to have your flowers (bouquets and boutonnieres) delivered to the bride’s getting ready location at least a half hour before the photographer plans to arrive. This way they will be available to your photographer to use in your bridal detail photos! planning your wedding day timeline | getting ready

You’ll also want to consider any travel time involved during this part of the day. This scenario assumes that getting ready and the first look are occurring in the same location. So if there is travel involved between the getting ready location and first look location, you’ll want to take that into consideration and add it into your timeline!

planning your wedding day timeline | getting ready

So to recap, for a scenario with a first look at 2:00 (that is in the same location as getting ready), here is a timeline for the getting ready portion of the day!

11:15 Flowers delivered

11:45 Photographer arrive

12:15 Hair and makeup complete

12:45 All bridesmaids dressed

1:00 Bride gets dressed

1:15 Groom and groomsmen dressed

2:00 First look

Sorry for the information overload! There really is a lot to take into consideration when planning your timeline! The next post will be about the first look, portraits and ceremony! 

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  1. Rachel Word says:

    These posts are so helpful Audrey! Thank you SO much for taking the time to lay all of this out!!

  2. […] my last post about creating your wedding day timeline, I outlined the “getting ready” portion of the day. So […]

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