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Timings on the day

steve barber will help you plan your wedding day at your consultation to help take the stress out of your wedding planning 

Timings on the day

Every wedding is unique and so this time line might be completely out of sync with your plans but none the less will give you a very strong guide for timings on your wedding day. I have photographed few weddings that run on time and where timings are out it’s usually because of unrealistic timing expectations.

there are many factors that can impact on timings for the wedding from moving a large number of guests around, especially when they’ve had a glass or two of champagne to the time it takes to travel from one venue to the next. This guide should help give you a good idea of what to expect on the big day from the time it takes to get ready to your 1st dance.

Getting Ready:  2 hours approx

If you are having your morning preparations photographed, I would usually recommend your photography starting around 2 and a half hours before the ceremony. You will most likely be getting ready before I arrive but a good two hour window will allow enough time for me to photo your dress & shoes and all the bits in-between putting your dress on.

Soltan manor wedding photography

Getting dressed : 30 minutes approx

This can vary depending on your outfit. A dress with a lace up back or stacks of buttons or a 3 piece suit with shoes will take at least 30 minutes where as something a little simpler will take about 20 minutes. Its wise to give yourself a little more time than is required here as in my experience the last hour before you leave for the ceremony can be a bit crazy! 

Leaving for the ceremony: 30 minutes

This really depends if there is any logistics to consider from your bridal preparation location to the wedding ceremony. On arrival you will be required to spend 10 minutes with the officials to go through some paperwork before you are legally married.  It’s always a good idea to have a bit of a buffer, so that you’re not running around and getting stressed out before you walk down the isle. 

I like to leave a little before you do, to ensure I get to the ceremony in good time and capture your guest arriving and the love of your life who by now will be patiently waiting for you. 

Drinks after the ceremony: 10 – 15 minutes

If you are getting married outside and the venue allow confetti as you walk down the isle then this will save some time between the ceremony and wedding breakfast. Its this point I will blend into the background to capture the hugs, kisses as your quests congratulate you both over a glass of champagne. 

the knowle wedding photography

Group shots: 30 minutes approx

If you are sticking with my usual list of group photos then we can expect to turn these around in 30 minutes. This is assuming we’re able to get them done straight after the wedding ceremony.  I would strongly advise against leaving them until later as other factors will impact on the time they take to complete. Guests are harder to coordinate once they’ve had a drink and will be widely spread across your venue, you’ll find it stressful waiting for guests to be rounded up and this can be amplified if it looks like its going to rain or lose the available light before dusk. 

Portraits and romantic shots: 30 minutes - 1 hour

The more time we have to be able to relax and enjoy these shots the better! I like to make these fun and relaxed and mix these up between natural and stunning composed shots.

To make the most of the range of light I like to do another 20 minutes after dinner, around sunset and dusk. if you are going for my twilight package then we will grab another 15-20 minutes after your first dance.

Drinks reception & dinner : 2-3  hours approx

After the official photographs I will aim to get you back with your guests to enjoy a few drinks before you go through for dinner. The length of your wedding breakfast will vary depending on the number of courses or a decision to have a buffet or BBQ meal instead. It will take about 15 minutes for your guests to be seated and if you have a greeting line it's worth noting that a good 20 minutes is about normal to say hello to everyone as they make their way into the wedding breakfast.

Bradbourne house wedding photography

Speeches: 30 minutes – 1 hour

In my experience the speeches are one of the main events that will cause things to over run. In particular the best man speech, especially a drunk best man speech…

It's normal for the father of the bride, best man and the groom to say a few words, I have seen my fair share of speeches and feel that the best ones are either elaborated bullet points or straight from the heart, a long drawn out speech that covers everything from the groom at primary school to the present day can lose its magic very quickly.

Room turn around: 60 minutes 

If your evening reception takes place in the same room that dinner did then venue staff will usher you out for coffee or drinks in another area while they re-arrange the room to suit your plans. 

Cake cutting and first Dance: 10 minutes each

Cake cutting will take no more than 5 minutes to set up and if you choose to have your first dance to follow then 10 minutes will be as long enough for you to get on the dance floor and start proceedings, your song will last as long it takes to finish.

The first dance is one of my favourite parts of the day, but unfortunately  it's over in a matter of minutes, if you are planning on inviting your friends and family on to the dance floor, wait till at least half way through your song before you do so I can nail the shots of you enjoying the moment together.

London golf club wedding photography

Dad dancing: 30 mins – 1 hour

By this stage the Jeager and champagne should have you chucking some shapes, enjoy the company of great friends and family as you dad dance the night away :)

So that’s how it works most of the time.  This is only a general over view of how long things can take and how much time you should allow.