Wedding Day Sample Timeline | Wedding Photography | Lindsay Stayton Photography

April 30, 2019  •  1 Comment

One of the biggest questions I get when I am working with a wedding client is, "How do I figure out my day of timeline?!?!"

Majority of people have never planned a large party, let alone a wedding for all of their closest family and friends. I get it, it is intimidating! You want to be sure everything goes just right, everyone is having fun.

There are a lot of resources out there from Wedding Wire, The Knot, A Practical Wedding, and so on. However, I don't feel these help you plan your timeline. The timelines online are so long that you delete things, sometimes you don't even know what they are for. Or it is so long it is intimidating and you think to yourself "Am I not doing enough?", "Am I missing something?". 

My simple trick to keeping things organized is COLORS.

To me, as a visual person, colors are immensely helpful. Have the items that are pending or you are unsure of, in RED when the information is set, say your ceremony and dinner time, turn it BLACK.

As you continue your planning, anytime you sign a contract or determine a new time, add it to the schedule and turn it BLACK immediately! Then you know it is set. Additionally, this allows you to plan along the way and keep track of timing instead of trying to do it all at once.

Below I pasted a sample schedule for anyone to use. I have used this format from day one of wedding planning and photography and tweaked it to make it just right over the years. I hope it helps you keep your day of schedule on track!

Of course, the one below is a "small sample" of what is needed for weddings. Don't forget to include other vendor arrival and tear down times per the venue, contracts etc.

I keep this in a Google Doc and send it to my couples so we can all edit it together or anytime new information arises. What is great about the Google Doc, is you can send the link to your vendors and you can prevent them from editing it. You can select this option in your specific document settings. You can also email this to your family and wedding party. 

If you want me to send you the sample in a Google Doc or Excel Doc to help you continue the amazing progress on planning your wedding, just contact me HERE.

Happy Planning!

-- Lindsay Stayton Photography

PLEASE NOTE: The schedule below is best viewed on a computer, so, if you are looking on your phone, be sure to come back when you have a computer near by :)


Day of schedule variables:

  • Hours of coverage
  • 1st Look
  • Photos prior to ceremony
  • All photos take place on site or do you have to travel to different locations
  • How many family members do you have in family photos (time could take 15-30 min pending how many people)


        Couples Name:  
        Ceremony Location/Address:  
        Reception Location/Address:  
Date of Wedding:  
Guest Count:   
Date Time Details  
Sat 04/27/19 12:00 PM Hair and Makeup   
Wedding   Hair and Makeup Address:   
  1:30 PM Lindsay Stayton Photography Arrival at first getting ready location @  
    getting ready photos @   
  2:00PM Photographer departs for 2nd getting ready location @  
  2:30 PM Potential First Look Time  
  3:15 PM Arrive at Ceremony Venue for photos  
  3:30 PM Into Dress/Attire/ 2nd Getting ready photos @ ________                                     1st Look to follow @___________ (if doing 1st look)  
  3:30 PM Music Starts for Ceremony and to entertain guests  
  3:55 PM Guests seated  
    Line up for ceremony - Family included  
  4:00 PM Ceremony   
  Immediately following Ceremony Family photos at:__________ - include rain site if outside  
    Point person for Family Photos: ________  
    See printed document (next page for family photo list)  
  4:30 PM Cocktail hour begins  
  5:15 PM Bridal Party Photos - Following Family Photos - New Location  
  5:30 PM Depart for photos around town  
    Outdoor: (Insert locations)  
    Indoor/Weather: (Insert locations)  
  6:30 PM All guests seated for Grand March  
    Bridal Party downstairs/lobby for Grand March  
    Insert Grand March Order Below:  
    Straight to tables for dinner  
  6:45 PM Welcome Speech by:___________ , Prayer by:__________________  
  NOTE: Serve dance floor dinner tables first to ease dancing  
  Last Plate Served Speeches Start  
    1st (Maid of Honor) Name:_______________  
    2nd (Best Man) Name:______________  
    Couple Thank you  
    Cake Cut  
  NOTE: Remove dance floor tables for dinner  
  7:45/8 PM First Dances (list in order with songs for DJ)  
    1st Dance Song: __________________  
    2nd Dance Song: _________________  
    Couple Dance Song:_________________  
    Open dance floor/ Song: _________________  
  8:15 PM Final evening photos(weather and time permitting)  
    Want photos with skyline/lights/looking back to inside (pending weather)  
  8:30 PM Lindsay - Photographer departs  
  11:45 PM Last Call at Bar  
  11:55 PM Last Dance / Song: _________________  
  12:00 PM Event Over / Clean up begins  
  12:30 PM Clean up Over / All out / Venue Closed  
Family Photo List
Best to order from Largest Group to smallest and eldest and youngest first photos

Immediate Family Pictures:






Photos are amazing! So creative.
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