Darian Reilly

How to Build Your Perfect Wedding Day Timeline

July 5, 2023


If you’re looking for tips on how to build the perfect wedding day timeline, you’re in the right place!

Today I’m sharing all my tips on how to create your perfect day. Whether you consider yourself a Type A or Type B person, know that a good wedding timeline will become your best friend. Sometimes a wedding day schedule seems like one of those checkboxes that can wait until closer to the big day. Surprise, it’s not! Having a clear, seamless outline for your day changes the entire process leading up to “I do”. Not only will it be easier to book wedding vendors and give details to guests, it’s one of the best ways to keep you sane! 

Let’s start with the “why?”. Whether you have an unplanned, spontaneous wedding or a day organized down to every last detail, there will be many questions and “what ifs” that come up throughout the day. The difference is, having a timeline helps answer those questions and keep the day running smoothly.

Vendors need to know coverage time, delivery times, numbers of guests and more. Bridesmaids will ask about arrival time, hair, and makeup. Guests will inquire about gifts and venue. Your mom, grandma, mother in law, and cousin twice removed will be asking about when dinner is served… and don’t even get me started about the groomsmen. The simple answer, a wedding timeline.

When you have a thoughtfully laid out wedding outline, keeping everyone on the same page becomes almost effortless. So, now that I’ve convinced you to create a wedding day timeline, what’s next? Maybe you’re nervous about the “thoughtfully laid out” portion that I mentioned. Have no fear, that’s why I’m here! 

So, let’s break it down.

The key components to consider in planning are ceremony time, travel time, and whether you’ll have a first look or traditional look. First, you’ll decide if you want to see one another before the “I do’s”, then you’ll pick a ceremony time. If you plan to see your fiance for a first look, then most of the photos can be taken before you walk down the aisle. This allows for a later ceremony time. And of course that means a traditional look would require an earlier ceremony time for portraits afterwards.

Remember, portraits can take an hour or two. If you go the traditional route and take photos after the ceremony, keep in mind that sunset plays a role. Ensuring that we schedule enough time between the end of the ceremony and the sun setting is so important. We want to capture all the special moments with your loved ones!

Next, travel time. Will you be traveling to where you’ll get ready? Maybe to your ceremony or reception venue? Writing out how long it takes, with a little wiggle room, to get from point A to point B is crucial to keeping your day on track. Here is where I tell you a little industry secret; almost every wedding runs behind. No matter how on task we try to stay, running behind just seems to happen on wedding days! That’s why it’s so important to build in extra time, like making travel 30 minutes when it should only take 20. The odds are you’ll need that extra time throughout the day! 

Now it’s time to start building in the details.

When will you put on your dress, when does your fiance need to be ready, will you do a first look with your bridesmaids? This is where your photographer comes in handy. Depending on your unique wedding day, your photographer can help you determine how much time you should block out for each moment of your day! My biggest recommendation is to work backwards. When your ceremony time is set, decide when you’ll be dressed. Then, when hair and makeup should be finished. From there, everything starts to fall into place! I really encourage you to talk with your photographer as you work through the planning process. They truly know how weddings run behind the scenes, how to make the most of each moment, and how to help create a wedding day timeline perfect for you!


Darian Reilly Photography, Build Your Perfect Wedding Day Timeline
Darian Reilly Photography, Build Your Perfect Wedding Day Timeline
Darian Reilly Photography, Build Your Perfect Wedding Day Timeline
Darian Reilly Photography, Build Your Perfect Wedding Day Timeline
Darian Reilly Photography
Darian Reilly Photography, Build Your Perfect Wedding Day Timeline
Darian Reilly Photography
Darian Reilly Photography
Darian Reilly Photography
Darian Reilly Photography
Darian Reilly Photography
  1. […] talk a bit more in depth in my other blog, How to Build your Perfect Wedding Day Timeline, but these questions just skim the surface of all the considerations you may want to face prior to […]

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ABOUT Darian

A fine art wedding photographer serving those who live for the moment just as she does, Darian is a hopeless romantic, lover of light, travel, and the genuine colors brought to life on film.

Wife to an incredible husband and continuously inspired by her own love story, Darian seeks to live with intentionality, truly enjoying every moment, and with a touch of southern charm. Darian is a warm-hearted photographer who sees you for who you truly are.








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