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If you are searching for a wedding day timeline template you will be greeted with lots of search results with timelines mostly from American wedding blogs for American weddings. If you look at those templates, you will quickly discover that the Americans conduct their weddings a little differently than to us here in Australia.
Also depending on which coast of America you are on, the wedding day structure can differ. On the Californian coast where they have beautiful weather all year round (by the way they are the ones responsible for introducing Australia to the idea of the first look), they typically have a first look session, their wedding party portraits and sometimes even family photos, all before the ceremony. Now Im not suggesting that’s a bad thing, because it’s actually a smart way for the couple to spend the afternoon mingling with their guests during cocktail hour. Hmmm maybe they have something there … haha
But for you Aussies getting married, I have put together the ultimate wedding day timeline template for an Australian wedding. Generally speaking, most weddings in Australia follow this template. With the exception of those couples deciding to include a first look session.
Whether your choosing to get married in the afternoon and having a night time reception or possibly planning a daytime garden party, your timeline will be different. But your in luck, we have put together two separate wedding timeline templates to cover both a day/night wedding and an all daytime wedding.
The structure of weddings on a country property tend to be laid-back and might have a more relaxed timeline too, so we have created this timeline especially for you folks planning a wedding in the country.
GROOM PREP // 1 HOUR
This allows time for photos of the grooms details, the groom and his groomsmen to get ready in their suits as well as a few relaxed portraits. There is also time for the groom to open a gift from his bride, and a great opportunity for natural photos of the groom as he reads his bride’s love letter.
Allow for travel time here if you both aren’t getting ready at the same location.
BRIDE PREP // 1.5-2 HOURS
This allows time for candids of the bride and her bridesmaids as they have hair & makeup, as well as the brides details, the bride getting ready as well as a few relaxed portraits. There is also time for opening gifts and the bride to read the love letter from her groom.
Allow for travel time here if you aren’t getting ready at the ceremony location.
PRE CEREMONY // 30 MINUTES
This allows time for photos of the ceremony details as well as candids as guests are arriving and the groom is waiting for his bride to arrive.
CEREMONY // 1 HOUR
Most ceremonies last around 30 minutes. During the ceremony a variety of angles of the bride and groom, the bridal party as well as guest reactions along with key moments of the service. If you are having a traditional church wedding, your ceremony might go longer, anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour , in that case allow 1.5 hours. We have included some tips on planning an outdoor ceremony … click here.
Weighing up whether to have an outdoor ceremony in a garden or an indoor ceremony with the security in case it rains on your wedding day? We weigh up the pros and cons of both outdoor and indoor ceremonies.
Following the ceremony, allow around 30 minutes for your guests to congratulate you both. You truly get some great candids amongst all the hugging and kissing.
FAMILY PHOTOS // 30 MINUTES
The amount of time required will depend on whether you having just immediate family members or the extended family, possibly even friend groups. Generally 20-30 minutes is sufficient time to cover the important people like immediate family. If you work to a rule of 2 minutes per group, that should give you an indication of how much time is required for family photos. It is recommended to work from a list given to your photographer prior to the wedding day. We recommend nominating a family member from each side to assist with finding people to make the family photos run smoothly and efficiently.
Allow for travel time here if you aren’t having your photo shoot at the same location.
WEDDING PARTY PHOTOSHOOT // 1.5 HOURS
For the wedding party photoshoot which includes the couples portrait session, it is recommended allowing at least 1 hour but 1.5 hours is preferred. Its best to start with the wedding party photos, capturing a variety of fun and beautiful portraits taking advantage of natural light before moving onto the couples portraits. The wedding party can then relax away from the couple, that way the couple can have time alone together as these photos are more intimate. The best time for your bridal portraits is 45 minutes before sunset and finishing 15 minutes after sunset, what’s called ‘golden hour’.
Allow for travel time here if there is any travel required to get to the reception.
RECEPTION DETAILS // 15 MINUTES
This section is included separately as it’s often forgotten about when planning. The best time to capture all the lovely reception room details, from table settings to floral arrangements, is before the guests enter the main reception room. Usually this is during sunset and the prime time for the couples portraits. Here you will have to decide what is most important, details or your photos! There are a few solutions, you can add a second photographer to your package (and there are other benefits to having a second photographer), we can head back to the reception before the guests enter however you will most likely miss sunset photos, or if your ceremony is at the same venue as your reception, the photographer can duck in either before the ceremony starts or after the family photos. Just make sure whatever you decide, you discuss it with the venue to ensure they will have finished setting up the tables. They may not have lit the candles (usually thats done 20 minutes before the guests enter) but the reception details can still be taken and in fact its perfect to get some photos in daylight and then a few more once the candles are lit to capture the night time ambience.
RECEPTION // 1-5 HOURS
Depending on what parts of the reception are important will determine how much of the reception you want covered. With 9 hours of coverage that generally allows 3 hours of reception coverage to include all the formalities; speeches, cutting the cake and the first dance as well as some candid dance floor action.
If you haven’t secured a wedding venue yet or even if you have, you might want to run your eyes over our suggested questions to ask the wedding venue.
Now you have the day of timeline sorted, why not read our 12 Month Wedding Planning Timeline.