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Planning your Wedding Day Timeline

Updated: Mar 6

Planning a wedding is a lot of work and putting all of the details in to a cohesive timeline so the day runs smoothly is just as hard. Most wedding coordinators can assist you with putting together the right wedding day timeline for your day. In the event you don’t have a coordinator, that’s fine too! Reach out to your photographer or cinematographer because they can usually provide you with a rough idea of where you should be and when. Everyone wants to help and make sure your day is as magical as you have dreamed.


Keeping everyone organized on a wedding day is a big undertaking. About a month to a month and a half before the big day you should lock yourself in a room and put together a rough outline of what you want the day to look like. This is important because it allows you to really have a sense of what you want your photographer and cinematographer to capture. You’ll feel so much better- trust me! Just like all event timelines, they will evolve and change on a daily basis. It’s totally normal and it only gets more detailed (which in the world of events is a good thing)! You can even share your wedding day timeline with your vendors once it’s complete. This will send everyone at ease and will ensure they know the flow of the day and when the evening festivities are scheduled to kick off.


Detroit Opera House Wedding Film.

Wedding Cinematography: 97 Films


Here is a rough idea of what a wedding timeline looks like. It can be adjusted and shifted based on the start time of your ceremony. You’ll want to work closely with all of your vendors when determining the best wedding day timeline. Be sure to ask every vendor what time they will arrive and what you’ve contracted them for. We put together a sample timeline, but every timeline is unique to each bride and broom.

This timeline is based on a 5:30 p.m. ceremony start time with a first look onsite or near by and a strolling dinner reception in the same venue.


1:30 - Photographer and cinematographer arrival for bridal & groom prep

Bride and Groom Getting Ready before Wedding at the Detroit Opera House.

photo credit: Matt & Ashley Photography


2:00 - Groom and Groomsmen get dressed

1:45 - Mom + Bridesmaids begin dressing

2:05 - Bride gets into dress & prepares for final touches

2:15 - Bridal reveal with bridesmaids

2:30 - First looks with father or grandfather

2:50 - Groom stationed for first look

2:55 – The moment you’ve been waiting for – FIRST LOOK!

3:15 - Full Bridal Party together for photos

3:50 - Bride and Groom split from the group

First Look photos in Detroit before Wedding at the Detroit Opera House.

photo credit: Matt & Ashley Photography


4:50 - Bride, groom and Bridal Party arrive at ceremony venue

5:30 - Ceremony

Wedding Ceremony at the Detroit Opera House.

photo credit: Matt & Ashley Photography


6:00 - Signing of Marriage License

6:00 - Cocktail Hour begins for guests

6:30 - Bride and groom join Cocktail Hour

7:10 - Grand Entrance

7:13 - Cake Cutting

7:15 – Welcome, toasts, and prayer

7:32 - Dinner begins

7:45 - Honeymoon session at sunset

8:30 – First dance and Special dances

Wedding Reception at the Detroit Opera House.

photo credit: Matt & Ashley Photography


8:35 - Special Dances

8:45 – Let the party begin!


Creating and sharing a timeline with your vendors ensures all of your moments will be captured. It also makes for an efficient day so there's more time for what you really want. So tell me what you really really want haha. For example, you may want sunset photos on the rooftop of your venue...your photographer and cinematographer will make sure it happens and will be ready for that golden hour. Or you may want a lot of photos of you and your bridal party in the park. We will make that happen. Or you may just want to dance. And that's great too.


Share your timeline with your photographer and cinematographer. Be open for changes (trust us....we've done this before). And don't feel you have to stick to your timeline minute by minute. Sometimes things get pushed back and that's ok. It's not like the movies, we won't let them start the ceremony with out you! And crazy enough...things always get back right on time.


Contact Katie at 97 Films. I can help you with your timeline...and also film your wedding ;)


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