Outdoor Weddings

Outdoor wedding timeline

I'm finally getting to plan our outdoor wedding for this upcoming spring. We know we want to do late afternoon/evening, but don't know a definitive time yet. I'd like to get some opinions/input on a timeline for doing photos and what-not. 

We plan on doing a "first look" before the ceremony, so that we can get some photos before hand of the two of us together, and I would really like to go ahead and take all of the group shots then as well so that guests won't be standing around outside after the ceremony waiting for us to finish pictures before the reception starts. 

About how much time should we allot for photos before hand so that we can still have time before guests begin to arrive to do any final hair/make-up/wardrobe touch ups and I can get back inside before anyone arrives? I know that guests can be unpredictable in arrival time (especially since most of them will be making at least a 2 hour drive out to my parents house where the ceremony/reception will be held). 

Re: Outdoor wedding timeline

  • What time does your reception start? And is the reception in the same location as the ceremony? That will dictate pretty much everything. 

    So just as an example, let's say your reception starts at 6:00 and it's in the same place as the ceremony. You might have a timeline that looks like this:

    4:00pm - First Look and B&G only photos
    4:30pm - B&G + WP photos
    5:00pm - Family formals
    5:30pm - Ceremony starts (optional: receiving line afterwards)
    6:00pm - Reception starts/people find their seats
    6:15pm - B&G Introductions
    6:30pm - Dinner is served/Toasts
    *Table visits if you don't do the receiving line*
    7:30/8:00pm - cut the cake
    8:00/8:30pm - spotlight dances to open up the dance floor
    8:15/8:45pm - party time
    *********************************************************************************

    image
    cammy923
  • We are having the ceremony and reception both at my parents house in the country. I think we have decided not to do tables for the reception, except for a sweetheart table for the two of us, a small kids table with coloring books/activities for them to do, and a table for the elderly guests in attendance. Everyone else (which isn't many as we are keeping it as intimate as possible) can sit in the same seating as the ceremony (hay bails arranges as couches). It's good to know that I don't need a whole lot of time dedicated to picture taking though! lol. I was afraid that if we started at 5:30ish that everyone would need to be there super early (like before 2) to get ready and do pictures. Thanks! :)
  • As long as you and your photog are organized you shouldn't need more than an hour/hour and a half. Make lists of photos you want and who you want in them. Call your photog ahead of time to discuss. With that much time of staged pics plus pics from the ceremony and reception, you'll have more than you'll know what to do with!

    If you are serving a meal, you really need to provide tables for your guests. If you can't round these up yourself, you can rent them at pretty much any rental company for a lot cheaper than you probably think. Especially if you have an intimate group, you might not really spend more than $50 on tables and linens combined.
    *********************************************************************************

    image
    cammy923
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