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GUIDE TO A WEDDING DAY TIMELINE
BEST WEDDING DAY ADVICE FROM A REAL DUBLIN WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER


PLANNING YOUR WEDDING DAY CAN BE AN OVERWHELMING EXPERIENCE,
FOR A LOT OF MY COUPLE IT'S THEIR FIRST TIME GETTING MARRIED SO THEY'RE NOT SURE WHAT TO EXPECT.
BUT DON'T WORRY, I'M HERE TO GIVE YOU SOME EXPERT TIPS & TRICKS TO A CHILLED AND STRESS FREE WEDDING DAY.
AS A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER WITH YEARS OF EXPERIENCE IN THE WEDDING INDUSTRY, I'VE SEEN IT ALL AND CAN HELP YOU GET AN IDEA FOR WHAT A USUAL WEDDING DAY LOOKS LIKE.
I'VE PUT TOGETHER THIS SIMPLE STEP BY STEP GUIDE FOR A PERFECT
WEDDING DAY TIMELINE.
HERE YOU'LL FIND A SAMPLE WEDDING DAY TIMELINE FOR A TYPICAL WEDDING IN IRELAND TO HELP YOU MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR SPECIAL DAY.

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SHOWER BUT DON'T CONDITION HAIR
This is advice I often hear from hairdressers on wedding days, and my own if I condition before I see him. It helps your hair keep the hold of your wedding day hairstyle for longer so I highly recommend.

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EAT BREAKFAST
I know you might be a bit nervous and there'll be a lot going on but it might be a while before you can enjoy some afternoon canapés so make sure to eat a hearty breakfast the morning of the big day.

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MAKE UP & HAIR ARRIVE
When you're planning the timeline of your day work backwards from  when you want to be ready. MUA's or Hairdressors may ask you when your ceremony is but you don't want to be ready then. You want to be ready at least 30 minutes before you leave for the ceremony so you have time for photos, and to have a drink and enjoy the moments with your bridal or grooms party before you say 'I do'.

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PHOTOGRAPHER ARRIVES!
That's me! So when I arrive I'll introduce myself to everyone and start taking photos of suits/dresses, accessories, details and you and your party getting your finishing touches done.

 

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PHOTOS OF GUYS OR BRIDES
If you're fiance is staying in the same venue or nearby I'll head over here to 
get them getting into their outfits, doing their final touches and maybe some photos with the family too.

 

PHOTOGRAPHER ARRIVES AGAIN!
I'm back for photos of the bride or groom getting into their final outfits along with their wedding party. I might do a first look with Mum,Dad or the wedding party too. Let's pop some prosecco and get excited!

 

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FIRST LOOK
As a wedding photographer I love a first look!
It's a really intimate moment for the two of you and really sets the tone for the day ahead. A lot of couples who do this say it takes away all their nerves and is their favourite part of the day. It also gives us a chance to do some couples photos which, if times right, will give you more time to just enjoy the party later.

 

THE GUESTS ARRIVE
I head down to the guests about 20 minutes before the ceremony starts to get the guests arriving and your fiancé
 waiting (im)patiently for your grand arrival. Also it's a good tip to tell your guests that the ceremony starts at least 15 minutes before it actually does, there are always people who are late so this gives everyone a bit of a buffer.

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THE CEREMONY
Depending on if you're planning on having a civil ceremony or a church ceremony the timing of your ceremony matters. A typical civil ceremony will last about 30 minutes whereas a typical Catholic Church wedding will take about 1.30-2 hours. The more speakers and ceremonies you have the longer the ceremony so be sure to ask your celebrant to confirm how long it will take when you're putting together your wedding day timeline.

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THE CONGRATS
Most weddings have a line of congratulations after a wedding ceremony called a receiving line, so do allow time for this, especially if you're planning a large wedding. 

SKIP THE CONGRATS
Some couples nowadays decide to skip this part of the day and head straight into family photos. This can save about 30 minutes of your day that you could spend enjoying your reception instead so not a bad idea.

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FAMILY PHOTOS
Family photos are a neccessity on a wedding day but they don't have to be stressfull. I have a lot of experience with large family photos and I'll put together a full guide on my wedding tips page. Allow about 30 minutes for group photos depending on the family!

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COUPLES PORTRAITS
I don't like to keep my couples away from the party for too long so I keep our shoots to about 20 minutes depending on the location. If you'd like multiple locations I'm totally up for that too.

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THE RECEPTION
This is one of my favourite parts of the day, everyone has had a drink and a nibble and are just enjoying the day. Candid photos are my favourite so I'll spend this time trying to catch the best photos of you and your guests having the craic.

SPEECHES/DINNER OR DINNER/SPEECHES
Your venue will often have a preference as to when you have your speeches to best suit the kitchen but if I had a choice I'd recommend having them during your reception before the meal.
Once people sit down they already start thinking of dinner, if you have speeches while they're having a drink or sitting comfortably, they'll be much more well receiv
ed. 
 

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MORE PHOTOS
After the meal but before the first dance is a pretty chilled time of day, this can be a good opportunity to get some nighttime or dusk photos of just the two of you. Or if you've planned a sparkler/neon exit nows a good time to do that too.

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CUT THE CAKE
More and more couples or opting out of having a cake but I'm pretty fond of it myself. Again after the meal is the perfect time to give your guests some entertainment and cut the cake.
Also you don't have to have a cake, I've seen loads of alternative options that I'll be putting into a post for you all soon.

 

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FIRST DANCE
It's time for the first dance!
This is usually anywhere from 8.30pm to 9.30pm but the earlier the better...this is a lovely time of day even if it only lasts a few minutes. And don't worry if you're nervous, I can give you a few tips during the day.

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PARTY!!
Let's dance! 
I love party photos with everyone giving it all on the dance floor. I'll stay a few songs in to make sure I get some great shots and then I'll disappear into the night.

Photographer arrives

Photographer again

Breakfast

MUA/Hair Arrive

Photos of Other Party

The Guests Arrive

The Congrats

The Reception

More Photos

First Dance

First Look

The Ceremony

Family Photos

Couples Portraits

Speeches/Dinner

Cut the Cake

Party!

HERE'S A SAMPLE TIMELINE FOR A WEDDING THAT'S ALL IN THE SAME VENUE IN SUMMER:

9.am Shower and Breakfast

10.30am Hair and Make up arrive

12pm Photographer arrives

1.30pm First Look

2pm Guests arrive

2.30pm Ceremony

3pm Drinks & receiving line

3.30pm Family Photos

4pm Couples photos

4.20pm Reception

5.30pm Call for dinner

5.45pm Speeches & dinner

8.15pm Cut the Cake

8.30pm Photos and Chill

9pm First Dance

9.10pm Party!

HERE'S A SAMPLE TIMELINE FOR A WEDDING THAT'S ALL IN THE SAME VENUE IN WINTER:

8.am Shower and Breakfast

9.30am Hair and Make up arrive

11pm Photographer arrives

12.30pm First Look

1pm Guests arrive

1.30pm Ceremony

2pm Drinks & receiving line

2.30pm Family Photos

3pm Couples photos

3.20pm Reception

5pm Call for dinner

5.15pm Speeches & dinner

8pm Cut the Cake

8.15pm Photos and Chill

9pm First Dance

9.10pm Party!

TEN TOP WEDDING DAY TIPS:
1.Eat Breakfast
2.Plan your morning with Hair and Makeup
3.Consider a first look
4.Consider couples photos before the ceremony
5.Tell your guests to arrive early
6.Do you want a receiving line?
7.Tell your family when to expect family photos
8.Speeches/dinner or dinner/speeches?
9.Make use of the time before the first dance
10.Enjoy every minute!

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