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Wedding Timeline Calculator

This wedding timeline calculator aims to help build the perfect timeline.
It complements deeper information on each element you should learn before (see here).
It will also answer complicated questions by giving you Taylor-made solutions to those questions, such as:
How many hours of wedding coverage does it need?
How many hours before the ceremony should I start to get ready?
How much time do I need for the group photos?
Because the answers always start with “It depends on what you want to do.”

Disclaimer: Limits of this tool

For many couples, this tool should be a precious help in constructing their timeline. But like every tool, it has some limits.
I listed the more common events on the typical mid-west wedding day. This means that if you have a specific micro-event and cultural tradition, it might be excluded here. For instance, this timeline builder might not be appropriate for other cultural weddings, such as Indian and Chinese, just to name a few.
It also assumes that you would do a first look before the ceremony.
Again, if you are planning something different, you can adjust.

The typical wedding day I am using as a base.

The typical wedding looks like this :

  • Preparation 3h00
  • Bride and Groom 1h00
  • Group 1h00
  • Buffer time 30 min
  • Ceremony 30 min
  • Cocktail hour 1h30
  • Dinner 2h30

How to use this tool

1/ Enter the duration desired for each mico event of the day

For each part of the day, add the time of each micro-event you plan. You will notice that I give recommendations. Adjust regarding your common sense. For instance, if your bridal party is composed of only one member on each side, you will need less time than if you have a total of 20 members.
You must match the time your caterer offers for the Dinner and the Cocktail time.

For instance, if you have a 2-hour cocktail hour, but you only need a few specific events, match this 2-hour time by adjusting the time allowed for candid shots during cocktail hour.

Important: Do not be overoptimistic, greedy, or petty about the time allowed for each element, or you will end up with a timeline that is too short, which means a bad day.

Result: you can see a table telling you how much time you need for each part

2/ Enter your ceremony starting time

By default, I have set the ceremony time at 4 PM (or 16:00). Please adjust it to your desired time.
If you have no idea your ceremony time, be aware that it’s often between 15 and 17 hours, depending on the season, your dinner time, and how long you wish to mingle with your guests during the cocktail hour.

NB: depending on your browser, the time entered will be in US format (AM. PM) or international format 24H.
The result of the table will always be in international 24H Format.

3/ Generate your timeline.

You can generate two tables: one generalist for clarity and one for surgical planning.

4/ Record your timeline


My informatics skills could be improved, and I am still determining how to save all this information for the future. So, for now, it’s your job to save it, and you have a couple of options! 😀

Click on the COPY Button; it will copy/paste all the tables generated.
You can also simply select what you want, copy it, and save it somewhere precious.
Click on Send By email: You can send the detailed timeline table by email (for some computing reason, I can’t send everything with the sending button).
Click on Print the Page
You can print the entire page in a .pdf document (click on the print button, and when you need to choose the printer, click “save as a .pdf”).

Share your timeline with your photographer for his feedback.

Let’s Go!

Micro Event Recommended duration Slider to select Selected Value

Preparation : 0 minutes

Bride’s Preparation
Details pictures: dress, ring, jewels, stationery 60min 0
Candid shot during preparation 20-30min 0
Robe/Pajama 10min 0
Bride opens the Bottle of Champagne 10-15 min 0
Bride Reveals the Dress to Bridesmaids 10min 0
The Bride Offers Gifts 10min 0
The Bride Discovers the Bouquet 5min 0
The Bride Reads the Groom’s Letter and Receives His Gift 5min 0
The Dressing of the Gown, shoes, jewels 15-20min 0
Bride playing game with bridesmaids If any 0
Bride’s First Look with Parent / Gd Parents 5-10min 0
Bride Individual Pictures 10-15min 0
Groom’s Preparation
Packing, moving to groom’s room, unpacking 5-10min 0
Groom’s Attire 15-20min 0
Candid Shot while Getting Ready 30min 0
Groom Reads Letter 5min 0
Groom Sharing a Glass with Friends 10min
Groom First Look with Mom / Pinning boutonniere 5min 0
Playing a Game with Groomsmen, ex Beer Pong 5-10min 0
Groom Individual Pictures 5-10min 0
Buffer Time* 30min 0
*Consider all kinds of delays: someone being late, going inside/outside, elevators, issues with an outfit, something forgotten, etc.

Driving Time during the day (if any): 0 minutes

Driving to photo session location If any 0

Bride & Groom photos : 0 minutes

Bride & Groom First Look 5-10min 0
Bride and Groom Photo Session 60min 0
Photos with Kids If any 0
Photos with Dog If any 0
Driving to the group photo location If any 0

Groups :

Bridal Party
Photographer needs to set the Flashes and Scene for Group Pictures 10min 0
Bride & Bridesmaid 10-15min 0
Groom & Groomsmen Photos 10-15min 0
Entire Bridal Party Photos 15-20min 0
Family photos
Different location? Photographer needs to set the Stage for family 0
Number of Group Pictures less than 8 individuals 2min per group 0 groups
Number of Group Pictures 8 to 15 individuals 4min per group 0 groups
Number of Group Pictures >15 individuals 6min per group 0 groups
Driving to ceremony location If any 0
Hiding Time Before Ceremony 20-30min 0

Ceremony : 0 minutes

Ceremony 20-30min 0
Signature of Marriage Certificate 5min 0
Other thing during ceremony If any 0
Driving from the ceremony to the venue If any 0

Cocktail Hour : 0 minutes

Receiving line 20-60min 0
Photographer takes Details of the Venue 10min 0
Reveal the Venue to Bride and Groom 5min 0
Group Picture with Everyone 10min 0
Enjoying your guests & Candid Shoot During Cocktail Hour 60min 0
Other event during cocktail If any 0

Dinner : 0 minutes

Grand Entrance 5-10min 0
Bride and Groom Thank You Speech 5min 0
Blessing 5min 0
Guests Toast 10-20min 0
Slideshow/Surprise Video 10-20min 0
Sunset Pictures 10min 0
Game (Shoes, Twelve-Month) 10-15min 0
Eating 30min 0
Cake 5min 0
Other event during dinner If any 0

The Party : 0 minutes

First Dance Bride and Groom 3min 0
First Dance Father-Daughter 3min 0
First Dance Mother-Son 3min 0
Special Dances such as $dance, Couple Dance 3min each 0
Bouquet & Boutonniere Toss 5min 0
Sabre-Swallowing Champagne 5min 0
Fireworks 10-15min 0
Creative Night Images 10min each 0
Other event during Party If any 0
Grand Exit 15-20min 0

Summary of Each Section With the Allocated Time

Preparation Time: 0 minutes
Driving Time: 0 minutes
Partners session: 0 minutes
Family Group Time: 0 minutes
Hiding Time: 0 minutes
Ceremony Time: 0 minutes
Cocktail Time: 0 minutes
Dinner Time: 0 minutes
Party Time: 0 minutes

Total Time of Photography Coverage:

0 hours and 0 minutes

Step 2: Let’s Calculate your simplified timeline

Step 3/ Let’s Generate your Detailed Timeline

Step 4/ Save your Timeline




Black and White Portrait of Alexandre Mayeur, photographer at French-Touch-Photography

Born and raised in Paris, I am now a proud Wedding Photographer in Rochester, MN serving MPLS.

I don’t only capture emotions in candid pictures, I also create timeless images and artful photographs.
Recognized as one of the best photographers in the Twin Cities.

I’m serving Duluth, and also far beyond the 10,000 Lakes State (Wisconsin, Iowa and destination). I am more than happy to discover beautiful landscapes and new horizons.

Have a look on our previous reportages to learn more. As an experienced professional photographer, I don’t limit my field to lifestyle, family or event photography! I invite you to visit my portfolio and discover my photography, and my personal work out of the studio.

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