We are Cleveland wedding photographers for the couple that values legacy and authentic moments captured. We love telling wedding stories in a way even your grandchildren will feel like they experienced your day with you. We also photography a select number of senior pictures and information can be found on our SENIOR PHOTO page here. Dragonfly Photography is based in Cleveland, Ohio with destinations world wide.
Wedding Morning Sample Timeline
Buffer your time (plan for more than you might think)
One of the most important tips when planning the morning of your wedding I can give you is to buffer your time throughout your morning. There are so many unknowns on your wedding day that having a buffer is the safest and easiest way to keep your morning stress-free. If you have something run super late in the morning it can throw your whole timeline off for the rest of your day, unless you have added time as a backup. How does that look? Just give yourself 5-10 minutes longer than you think you’ll need for pretty much everything. Trust me, you’d MUCH rather be running ahead of schedule than running behind schedule on your wedding day.
Savor your time (you only get one shot at this morning)
If you spend more than two seconds with me you’ll hear me talking about savoring and being present. I think we all know that it’s easy to be in a room and yet somewhere else in our mind, it can happen easily when we’re stressed or distracted. Don’t let that happen on your wedding day! You’ll be spending your morning with the people that matter the most in the world to you, specifically the women who you love and have been your support, you want to be present with them. This is another reason to have that buffering time in-between moments. You really have no idea how you’re going to feel the day of, if you have an unexpected teary moment with mom or a hysterically laughing moment with a maid of honor, you don’t want your planner to have to tap you on the shoulder because you’re running behind. Those are the moments that your day is all about, make sure you leave room for them.
Design your time (include special moments)
Speaking of special moments, remember you get to design this day. Think about what you want to include in it. A brunch with the girls? Gifts or letters to see them open together? Will you be opening a gift from your fiancé? A special prayer time? The sky is the limit in creating a beautiful morning that reflects the type of day that you want to have, but I would highly encourage you to think it through. Design it with intention.
Choose professionals who get it (emphasis on PRO)
Choosing a team of wedding professionals who have the talent and skill to bring your wedding vision to life is going to be really important. I’m passionate about helping couples know how to choose the right team around them and if you need more information on that please do reach out, I’ve seen one too many brides devastated because they weren’t working with the right people. I think that your early morning team is pretty high on the choose-the-right-professionals-so-your-day-is-perfect list. Your hair and makeup artist set the tone for a lot of your day, both in their demeanor and professionalism, but also their timing.
- Let me explain, on your wedding morning you’re probably going to be nervous! Having a team of people around you that day that are true professionals, who know how to be a calming presence, and help keep things running beautifully can do wonders for your overall start to the day. I’ve unfortunately seen things like a bride and her mother having a super sweet emotional moment (tears flowing) when the makeup artist jumps in and stops them from talking because she wants to get a “quick selfie” with the bride. Yikes. You want someone who knows he or she is there to serve your moment and help guide you through the process.
- Secondly, your hair and makeup will be your look, all day long. You need professionals who can do an incredible job creating a look that can hold up through hours of crying, hugging, and sweating on the dance floor! I interviewed a makeup expert on this here, if you’d like to read more.
- Lastly, you need professionals that understand punctuality. When we have a makeup artist that says she’ll need an hour, but actually takes closer to two hours it’s now 10 am and our entire day is a full hour behind schedule. This sets a frantic pace that is so frustrating to catch up on and puts the whole day at risk. With the right team, I can assure you it’s possible (although not easy) and we have recovered these days without the bride ever even knowing how far behind we were… Great wedding vendors that work early in the day understand how much depends on them and take it very seriously. They’re amazing to work with!
Talk to YOUR professionals (we’re all a little different)
It’s also important to speak with your own wedding professionals. Every hair and makeup artist is going to need a different amount of time for their services and it’s so important that you speak with your team and see what they need. Letting them know that you’d rather over plan than be short on time can be helpful. The same goes for your photography team. We work with our couples to prepare a custom photography timeline, so if you’re our bride you don’t have to stress about this! But if you’re working with another team you’ll want to check in with them and see what sort of timing they’re comfortable with for different aspects of the morning. The biggest takeaway here is this, although a true professional can work under an extremely crunched timeline, that’s not where our best work is produced. Design your day so that your professionals can deliver their absolute best work for you. It’s so much better, in the end, for the overall feel and stress level of your day.
Here is a sample of what an ideal morning might look like working with us, of course, this would change depending on a number of factors but it gives you an idea of how much time we like to have for events and when they might be placed in the morning.
Wedding Morning Sample Timeline:
- 9 am, 1- 2 hours
BRIDAL HAIR BEGINS
- 10:30 am, 1.5 – 2 hours
BRIDAL MAKEUP BEGINS
- 11:00 am 1-2 hours
DETAILS & GETTING READY PHOTOGRAPHED
- 12:15 pm
- 12:30 pm
GENTLEMEN GETTING READY
- 12:30 pm 20-30 min
BRIDE IN DRESS & SPECIAL PORTRAITS W/ MOTHER
- 1:00 pm 45 min
GROOM & GROOMSMEN PORTRAITS
- 1:00 pm 10 min
BRIDE FIRST LOOK W/ LADIES
- 1:15 pm 30 min
BRIDE & BRIDESMAIDS PORTRAITS
- 1:45 pm
HEAD TO FIRST LOOK
Hopefully, this gives you a glimpse into some great ideas for how to plan your wedding morning. The number one takeaway, don’t miss how beautiful of a moment this is with the ones you love. It’s such a special time on the wedding day, make sure you’re planning to enjoy every second.