Sample Fall Wedding Timeline

The Intricacies of Wedding Timelines

One of the most common questions people ask me is, “What time should my wedding ceremony begin?” It often feels overwhelming to plan because, unless you routinely create wedding timelines, you just don’t know how much time is required for getting ready, family formals, bride, groom, and bridal party portraits, couple portraits, etc. This is why I create a custom timeline for all of my couples based on their wedding day priorities, the time of year, whether or not they’re planning any first looks, size of the bridal party, how many family formal groupings they want in photos, etc. But what if your photographer doesn’t offer this? How do you create the perfect timeline? If that’s you, keep reading because I’m putting together a blog series all about wedding day timelines. Since lighting changes throughout the year, we’re going to start today with a sample fall wedding timeline. I’ll share a new post in the series each quarter for weddings happening in the next season until we’ve hit each season, ending with a sample summer timeline next spring. 

Fall Wedding Timeline images
Social Squares

Creating a Fall Wedding Timeline

Before we jump into the actual sample fall wedding timeline, I do want to point out that I can’t create a sample timeline to encompass every situation you might possibly encounter on your wedding day. For example, on the first day of fall, the sun sets at almost 7:30pmin Charlotte vs the last day of fall when it sets at 5:15. The variance increases between locations, as well. For example, someone living in Maine sees the sun set nearly a full hour earlier on the first day of fall compared to someone in Florida on the same day. So, for the sake of simplicity, we’re going to pretend that our couple is not doing a first look, both are getting ready at the venue, and the sun sets at 6:00pm. Final caveat: the time your hair and makeup starts depends entirely on how many people will be having their hair and makeup done professionally. A bride, twelve bridesmaids, mother of the bride, and mother of the groom will obviously take far longer than a bride, three bridesmaids, mother of the bride, and mother of the groom. One is not better than the other, but definitely create your timeline accordingly. 🙂

Sample Fall Wedding Timeline

10 Hair and makeup begin

12:45-1:15 Groom/groomsmen getting ready

1:15-1:45 Pictures of girls getting ready

1:45 Bride put on dress

2-2:30 Bride and Bridesmaid portraits

2:45-3:15 Groom and groomsmen portraits

3:15 Bride and Groom hide, rest, retouch before ceremony

4-4:30 Ceremony

4:40-5:00 Family Formals

5:00-5:15 Full Bridal Party

5:15-5:45 Couple portraits

5:45 Line up for Reception Entrance

6-? Reception

Coming Up Next

As stated above, there are many variations that can change this fall wedding timeline, but this is a good jumping off point if you’re planning a fall wedding! I have a gorgeous wedding to share with you guys next week as well as a stunning venue that I can’t wait to spotlight on here! And I’ll be back later this fall to share a sample winter wedding timeline. Drop your fall wedding timeline questions below, and I’ll do my best to answer them!! 

You can check out the images from a couple of my favorite fall weddings here and here to see how all of this plays out in real life. 🙂

All images were from Social Squares.

July 20, 2022

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Charlotte, NC Wedding Photographer