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THE FIGTREE GUIDE // How to create the perfect wedding day timeline

“What time should I have my ceremony?” – This is definitely one of our most frequently asked questions from couples! So we thought we’d put together a blog breaking down each part of the day, incorporating some of our top timing tips to make sure you have the best day ever!

Ok – so you’ve booked your date and venue and it’s time to start locking in your fave suppliers and putting together your invitations. One of the first things you’ll need to do is decide on a ceremony start time. This will then help you create the rest of your wedding day timeline and determine your wedding suppliers’ arrival and departure times. Here’s where you start…
 

 

1. What time is sunset on your wedding date?
The reason that sunset time is so important to look at before creating your timeline, is so that you can ensure there’s enough daylight for everything prior to your reception e.g. the ceremony, family photos, wedding party and couple photos. There’s nothing worse than feeling super rushed after the ceremony to have all the portraits captured before it gets dark!

As wedding photographers, there is nothing better than shooting your portraits during golden hour. It gives us the opportunity to capture those seriously magical photos with that dreamy golden light. Instead of rambling on about how much we love golden hour (which we totally could do), just take a look at the examples below.

 

 

2. Ceremony
There’s not one specific time of day that works for every wedding ceremony. Your ceremony start time will vary with each season and the sunset time for that time of year. For example, with winter weddings, a 2:00/2:30pm ceremony can work really well to make sure you have enough light for your photos after the ceremony. However in summer, having your ceremony later in the afternoon works best, so you and your guests aren’t getting too hot and sweaty during the ceremony and so we can shoot your couple photos a little closer to ‘golden hour’.

 

 

3. Family and group photos
In the early stages of planning you don’t need to think about this in too much detail. Just make sure that you allow some time after the ceremony for group and family photos, before we head off for your wedding party and couple photos.

When it’s a little closer to your wedding date, we’ll touch base with you and ask for a detailed family photo list, which will include all combinations of photos you’d like with your family after the ceremony. Once we have your list, we’ll then be able to determine exactly how much time we need to allow for this. We like to recommend sticking to less than 15 different combinations so you aren’t spending all afternoon getting family photos. Trust us – it’ll make this part of the day way more enjoyable for you! We can always snap some photos of you with any friends or extended family during the reception.

We also like to give you time to say hello to everyone and give all of your friends and family hugs and kisses before we whisk you away for some location photos. So be sure to allow roughly 15 minutes for this straight after the ceremony.

 

 

4. Location Photos
It’s now time for your location photos, yay! Another question we get asked on the reg, is how much time do we allow for our wedding party and couple photos? We usually like to base this around the 1 hour mark. However, there are a few factors that you may have to allow for e.g. any travel time if planning on going off-site, if you’re wanting to use multiple locations, and the size of your wedding party.

We definitely recommend staying within close proximity to your venue, as you don’t want to spend too much time travelling to the photo location – you’ll want to get you back to the celebration as soon as possible!

 

 

5. Reception
Your venue or caterers are likely the best people to help you out when planning your reception formality timings e.g. entrees, mains, speeches etc. However we definitely have a few tips of our own.

If you’re planning a summer wedding, it’s pretty likely that sunset will be part way through your reception. Which is prime photography time! So something to consider when putting together your reception run sheet, is to try and see if you can squeeze in a 15 minute window to pop out for some sunset photos. This could be while everyone is being seated, while you’re waiting for the mains, or even between meals and speeches. You’ll probably really appreciate this time too as you’ll get to step away from everything and have a moment to reflect on your incredible wedding day!

Lastly, something we think is pretty important, is to make sure you allow enough time to enjoy the party after the formalities so you can let loose on the dance floor! We love capturing those epic party photos!!

 

 

We really hope this has helped you out with your timeline planning process! Your timeline is one of the most important tools to ensure that your day runs smoothly. At Figtree, we have a dedicated member of our team to personally help you create the perfect timeline for your day. If you have any further photography timing-based queries please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at any time – hello@figtreepictures.com.

And if you found this helpful, don’t forget to check out our other tips and advice on The Figtree Guide.

Hayley + Warren // Fig Tree Restaurant Wedding Photography, Byron Bay Wedding Photographer

Tell us a little about your day…
Where do I even begin. From the moment I woke up to the moment we went to bed that night the day honestly could not have been more perfect! The weather really turned it on for us that day thank goodness haha. Fig Tree looked amazing once it was all set up. I couldn’t believe it all came together so well after months of planning. It was almost a little bit overwhelming and kind of surreal when myself and all my bridesmaids were getting ready. I remember when I saw myself in the mirror once my dress was on I seriously thought it was some kind of fairytale. Before I knew it we had to make our way to the aisle. It was so special to be able to walk down the aisle behind our daughter Evie, she looked so gorgeous of course. Warren, my husband looked extra handsome no surprises there haha, and next we know we are officially husband and wife. We spent the afternoon/evening taking photos, celebrating and overall having the best day ever with our nearest and dearest. I couldn’t thank the team at Figtree Wedding Photography for capturing our day so perfectly.

What was your fave part or moment from your day?
For myself it was when I got to see Warren waiting down the end of aisle for me.

Do you have any words of wisdom or tips for future couples?
I think just do lots of planning/research. Make a vision board or Pinterest of colours, themes, vibes that you’re going for so that you can make sure your day comes together exactly how you want it to.

We would love to hear about your experience with Figtree Wedding Photography
I seriously cannot even flaw the experience we had with Figtree Wedding Photography. From the moment I met Alice I knew we would get on great. She was seriously so lovely, bubbly and just as excited for our day as we were! We shared the same vision about the style of photography that we were after and it all felt very natural. She went with the flow and there was no rushing or anything like that. Everyone has raved about how absolutely stunning the photos look and we could not agree more.

Venue: Fig Tree Restaurant
Coordination: Byron Bay Weddings
Furniture + Styling: The Wedding Shed
Celebrant: Benjamin Carlyle
Hair: Aleesha Darke Hair Stylist
Makeup: Tanielle Jai Makeup
Florist: Alstonville Florist
Dress: Made With Love
Transport: Forever Kombis
Musician: Tom Francis 
DJ: North Coast Events
Lighting: Byron Audio
Letters: Event Letters
Videographer: Michael Kelly Films
Cake: Sweet Obsession Cakes

 

Currently planning your own Byron Bay wedding? See more of our real Byron Bay weddings here, or get in touch for our wedding photography packages.

Jemmah + Clinton // Summergrove Estate Wedding Photography, Gold Coast Wedding Photographer

Venue: Summergrove Estate
Celebrant: Shane Vincent
Florist: Floral & Mineral
Hair + Makeup: The Beauty Lineup
Bridal Gown 1: White Runway
Bridal Gown 2: Pasduchas
Cake: Two Little Bakers
Entertainment: Chris Hutchinson

Brittanni + Daniel // Babalou Kingscliff Wedding Photography, Tweed Coast Wedding Photographer

Tell us a little about your day…
Our wedding certainly was the best day of our lives! It was the perfect celebration of us as a couple and one that we will cherish forever. Our wedding started with a beautiful ceremony at Lions Park in Kingscliff, where our fantastic celebrant (Cara from Modern Love) ran the show. Following the ceremony our guests walked over to the Kingscliff Beach Hotel for drinks, whilst the bridal party got photos taken. Guests then made their way upstairs to Babalou for more drinks and canapes before the bridal party arrived. The reception then kicked off with entrees and speeches, and not long after everyone was on the dance floor! The dancing and celebrating didn’t stop until Babalou closed and Daniel and I were having such a blast that we decided not to do the traditional ‘exit’, rather we stayed dancing until the end with our guests.

What was your fave part or moment from your day?
It is hard to think of just one favourite moment! Walking down the aisle with Daniel, knowing that we were now husband and wife, was definitely one. My other favourite moment of the day was after Daniel and I’s first dance, when all of our guests joined in and started dancing with us. Soon after we both ended up on peoples’ shoulders dancing around. It was so much fun and something I will never forget!

Do you have any words of wisdom or tips for future couples?
My number 1 tip for Bride’s to be is to enjoy the planning process! Although it is stressful, make the most of planning the most exciting day of your life and savour all the memories you create along the way. Share ideas with your fiance, as it is so much fun when you are both involved. The day comes and goes so quickly, so it is important to reflect on all the fun moments both leading up to the wedding and on the actual day itself.

We would love to hear about your experience with Figtree Wedding Photography
Working with Figtree Photography was such a pleasure! As soon as Daniel and I saw some their photos we knew we wanted them for our wedding. Communication from Figtree leading up to the wedding was great. On the day the photographers were so amazing to work with. Daniel and I are both a little camera shy but our photographers made us feel so comfortable. During the reception, our photographer Alice was taking photos whilst dancing with us on the dance floor, which was so fun!

Venue: Babalou
Wedding Planner: The Events Lounge
Celebrant: Modern Love Ceremonies
Entertainment: Jake + Andy
Invitations: Dear Little Darling
Florist: Wilderness Flowers
Hair + Makeup: The Future MRS
Bridal gown 1: Alex Perry
Bridal gown 2: Grace Loves Lace
Shoes: Valentino
Décor Hire: Hampton Event Hire
Signage: in-grained
Neon Hire: What She Said Co
Lighting: Out of the Dark Lighting
Wedding Cake: Two Little Bakers
Bridal Transport: United Limousines