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Time Management

Get me to the Church on time!

Will I get to the Church on time, or will my guests leave before I dance with dad? Will my man sweat and use up two rolls of paper towels before I get to the church. Men are lucky. They do not have to worry about getting their hair or their nails done, or putting on make up before the wedding ceremony.Too often I arrive at the Bride s House and she is still at the Hairdresser, or her Florist is late. Sometimes the limousine driver calls to say he is lost. In the final analysis, the photographer is expected to catch up , so as to make the reception start on time. The last thing any photographer wants to here is, Hurry up and take the pictures. Some photographers can take the added pressure and ignore such comments with a smile, while others will ruin your pictures. 

Remember also, that there is no such thing as a perfect wedding day. A good photographer has the ability to ease whatever tensions build up, calm everyone down, and get you all smiling again.
The main purpose of this exercise is to make you aware of the importance of Time Management on this very important day in your lives. You may use this as a guide to help you plan and prepare yourself for this great challenge that lies ahead. This exercise will not necessarily guarantee that your wedding day will be perfect, as there are always going to be unpredictable circumstances beyond your control.

This exercise assumes that the wedding ceremony will start at 12:00 noon

Bride leaves for Hairdresser 

Bride returns to house 

  • Florist arrives at Bride s House with flowers for Bride, Bridesmaids, Flower Girl/Ring bearer and Bride's Parents.
  • Other flowers for the Church, Groom, Groomsmen, Groom's Parents, Grandparents etc. should be at the Ceremony site at least 45 minutes before the Ceremony starts.

Photographer arrives at Bride's House.  Bridal Party, Bride's Parents, etc.,  should be ready. (If the Photographer already went to the Groom s House, then he would arrive at 10:30)

Photographer leaves Bride's House for Ceremony

  • Limo/Transportation arrives at Bride's House. This example allows for 15 minute drive time to Ceremony.
  • Photographer arrives at Ceremony to photograph the Groom with  Best Man, Groomsmen, and his Parents. Everyone must be ready

Bride, Bridesmaids and Bride's Parents arrive at Ceremony



At a typical wedding, the receiving line starts right after the Bride and Groom exit the church. Sometimes, not much thought is given to the duration of the receiving line. Each guest will take between 10 to 20 seconds to travel from the beginning to the end of the receiving line. Therefore, if there are 100 guests at your wedding, the receiving line could last anywhere from 20 to 35 minutes. If you are pressed for time, then you may consider having the receiving line at the reception, or greeting your guests at their tables.

If you are planning to throw Birds seeds or Rice, or even blow bubbles, this could add another 10 to 15 minutes.

Also, if you are planning going back to the Sanctuary area for pictures, then add another 15 to 20 minutes. Of course, it could take even longer for these pictures, depending on the number of people to be photographed, and the level of cooperation. All this should be discussed with your photographer beforehand.

Typically, this sequence of events in our example, (i.e. 100 guests, receiving line, Birds seeds, formal photos in Sanctuary) could take between 45 minutes to an hour or more.

Bride and Groom leave with, Bridal Party, Family Members, and other people to be photographed for additional formal photographs at an outdoor location.

These photographs can be shot in 30 - 45 minutes, depending on the number of people to be photographed and also on the cooperation of everyone involved.

It is extremely critical to add the driving time from the church to outdoor location as well as the driving time from the outdoor location to the reception. All this must be discussed with your photographer beforehand.

If in our example, all this time added up to 60 minutes, then (see next tab):

Arrival at Reception.

If Cocktail Hour is 3:00 pm 4:00 pm, and Reception is 4:00 pm 8:00 pm, we are in good shape. Now it s PARTY TIME! You will even have time to mingle with your guests.

Wedding Schedule

Below is a Summary of the Events on the Wedding Day in our exercise. Remember that this is just a guide for you to follow, and not a guarantee that the scheduling of events on your Wedding Day will be perfect! It is most likely that the events and times for your Wedding are going to be different. Remember no two Weddings are identical. You should make your own summary based on your events and your times


Duration: 90min

Start Time: 7:30 AM

Finish Time: 9:00 AM

Comments: Includes travel time from house and back

Duration: 10min

Start Time: 9:30 AM

Finish Time: 9:40 AM

Comments: n/a




Duration: 60min

Start Time: 10:00 AM

Finish Time: 11:00 AM

Comments: At Bride's House 10AM to 11:00AM

Duration: 15min

Start Time: 11:15 AM

Finish Time: 11:30 AM

Comments: Limousine leaves 11:30 AM for Church

Duration: 30min

Start Time: 11:15 AM

Finish Time: 11:45 AM

Comments: At Church to photograph Groom, etc.

Duration: 15min

Start Time: 11:45 AM

Finish Time: 12:00 PM

Comments: Bride at Church 15 min. before ceremony

Duration: 60min

Start Time: 12:00 PM

Finish Time: 1:00 PM

Comments: n/a

Duration: 30min

Start Time: 1:00 PM

Finish Time: 1:30 PM

Comments: n/a

Duration: 15min

Start Time: 1:30 PM

Finish Time: 1:45 PM

Comments: n/a

Duration: 15min

Start Time: 1:45 PM

Finish Time: 2:00 PM

Comments: n/a

Duration: 15min

Start Time: 2:00 PM

Finish Time: 2:15 PM

Comments: 15min travel time to location for photos

Duration: 30min

Start Time: 2:15 PM

Finish Time: 2:45 PM

Comments: n/a

Duration: 15min

Start Time: 2:45 PM

Finish Time: 3:00 PM

Comments: 15min travel time to reception.

Duration: 60min

Start Time: 3:00 PM

Finish Time: 4:00 PM

Comments: n/a

Duration: 15min

Start Time: 4:00 PM

Finish Time: 4:15 PM

Comments: n/a

Duration: 15min

Start Time: 4:15 PM

Finish Time: 4:30 PM

Comments: n/a

Duration: 60min

Start Time: 4:30 PM

Finish Time: 5:30 PM

Comments: n/a

Duration: 30min

Start Time: 6:00 PM

Finish Time: 6:30 PM

Comments: Includes Parents dances, garter, bouquet

Duration: 90min

Start Time: 6:30 PM

Finish Time: 8:00 PM

Comments: n/a