My Top 10 Tips for your Wedding Day

Over the next few months, I will bring you a series of articles that focus on tangible wedding planning tips from my own experience of being part of nearly 100 weddings with advice from other Wedding Industry professionals.


, one of mankick with Tips that will help KEEP YOUR WEDDING DAY ON TRACK by guiding you through how I set expectations, outline where people need to be, their duties, ease anxiety, and how to get the most from my Photography.

1. Keep your wedding day on track

My timeline is an infusion of my own tangible experience with that of other Wedding Professionals. It's geared at providing structure, setting expectations, outlining where people need to be & their duties and to ease any anxiety, plus help you to get the most from my Photography.

Many aspects of the day are so very often overlooked when Brides are working out timings for their day and, invariably, a theoretical timeline is quite a distance from reality. My focus commences with some essentials 'Before the Wedding Day'.



Be sure to share your ideas and vision with others in advance, so that when it comes to the lead up, everyone knows what is required of them. It will negate the need for many questions the day before and on the day, that can be exhausting for the couple.


Have a designated 'go-to person'

Hiccups can happen on the day, but with a 'go-to' person on hand to resolve anything that may arise, the Bride & Groom can be kept completely unaware. 

Plan for some time for just the two of you

Your loved ones will want to see you and speak to you, which can mean for most of the day you won’t really see or speak to the person you just married. It's not essential to speak with everyone. It’s your day that you have worked hard to create, so enjoy it - your guests will be happy enough to see you mingling and having an amazing time.

When planning timings always consider your guests and what they are doing especially in times when you are absent- having photos for example.



Morning Preparations


Being pampered by a Professional Beautician and chilling with your Besties can be one of the most memorable parts of the entire day, so it makes sense to ensure you allow quality time to help you to feel calm & collected just moments before you walk down the Aisle.

1. doverjaquesphotography_TARA & MATT BR

On entering the Bridal Suite

You and your bridal party will want to look around to soak it all in. The checking-out of each others' dresses & pretties, finding a suitable place to hang the dresses, unpack shoes etc. grab the odd photo on phones and changing into the dressing-gowns all takes time, so allow 10 mintues or so for this exciting aspect of the day.

Allow time for your Beautician/s to set-up

Your Beautician/s arrival time is not same as their prepping time. They will want to look for the best light to work in, then set-up in readiness for making everyone look amazing, so give them 10 minutes or so for this.

Allow for interruptions cross-overs


Based on your trial/s with your beautician/s, they will have suggested to you a proposed timeframe to finalise hair and make up for you and your bridal party. Be sure to allow an additional 10 minutes for everyone to cater for interruptions, that will happen, and 'cross-overs' - a maid's make up might not be completed at exactly the same time as the hairstylist is ready to work on her!

1. doverjaquesphotography_TARA & MATT BR

Time to get into your dress

If you would love me to capture curated images of you in your dress and images of your maids fussing you,  your maids need to be completely dressed and ready to help you into your dress 1 hour before you are due to meet with the Registrar, which is usually 10-15 minutes before your ceremony. This should allow time to receive your Father and/or Mother too, plus a few portraits!



.. based on the Ceremony being at the same venue





09.30 - Professional Hairstylist arrives [a Beautician's perspective]


Tiphair and makeup usually take 2 hours for the Bride and 90 minutes for the Maids/MoTB etc. Allow 5 10 minutes extra if your hair and makeup are complex, such as hair extensions need to be applied/Braiding.



09.45 - 10.15 - Hairstylist places rollers in the Bride's hair

to provide volume and a gorgeous look



10.20 - 11.20 - Makeup Artist applies makeup to the Bride

A quality, experienced professional will know how to apply the makeup for it to last throughout the day, especially for in the warmer days of the Summertime, but this takes time



11.25 - 12.10 - Hairstylist removes the rollers from the Bride's hair, then completes the look

Whilst this is happening, there will be interruptions, trust me, there always are.


Tip: if other members of the Bridal Party require Hair & Makeup to be carried out by a Beautician, then the getting ready time can be reduced by having more than one Beautician, which is favorable if there are more than 2 maids and/or the Ceremony is around Midday versus a Ceremony at 15.00hrs



12.10 - 12.20 - natural break, a bite to eat perhaps, a check of your final look by you,

and everyone will gather round to check your gorgeous hair etc. and want to take snaps on their phones!



12.20 - 12.50 - Bride gets into dress, shoes, lippy application, receiving of your bouquet

everyone will gather round to take snaps on their phones, you may have mislaid something or wish to check something


Tip:  if your dress will be a little involved i.e. requires careful Crochet Hook buttonhole fastening, allow at least 20 minutes for this.  People who work in bridal shops are used to getting people in and out of dresses all day long and they’ll be able to do it much faster than your friends or family will. It's also a good idea to time a practice run when you get your dress home before your Wedding Day.



12.50 - 13.25 - Portraits of the Bride, then with her Maids etc.




13.25 - 13.45 - chill & contingency time!


Tip:  this time isn’t really essential but it’s great to have a buffer in case your preparations run over. It’s also really lovely for you to have 15 minutes just to chill out and drink a glass of champagne.  Some wedding photographers like to do some portraits during this time but I prefer to let you chill out and take some time to relax before everything starts to happen.



13.45 - 13.55 - meeting with the Registrant




14.00 - CEREMONY


Tip: when it comes to the ceremony, there are two elements to consider:


Firstly, what time should everyone arrive at the ceremony?

Here is my general guide

Groom, Best Man & his Party/Ushers etc. – 45 minutes prior to the ceremony

Guests – 30 minutes prior to the ceremony

Groom’s parents – 15 minutes prior to the ceremony

Mother of the Bride and Bridesmaids – 10 minutes prior to the ceremony

Bride and Father of the Bride – 5 minutes prior to the ceremony


Secondly, how long should you allow for your ceremony?

This will ultimately depend on whether you are having a Religious Ceremony, a Non-Religious Ceremony, or a Civil Wedding / Partnership…

Non-Religious Ceremony – 20 to 50 minutes

Civil Wedding / Partnership – 30 to 50 minutes

Religious Ceremony – 60 to 90 minutes.



15.40 - 16.05 Drinks Reception  |  16.00 - 16.30 Group Portraits  |   16.30 - 16.50 Portrait Session

TipAllow 2 hours for this aspect of the day, so that you may have time to enjoy a celebratory drink with your guests, include 30 minutes for a large handful of group portraits, followed by your Portrait Session. This is a really lovely part and important aspect of the day, so I recommend that the emphasis should be on spending quality time chilling with your guests. No one wants to be queuing/waiting around to have oodles of Portraits!

17.00 - 17.20 - Wedding Breakfast/Dinner room & details photography, prior to guests entering the area

Tip: Photographer ​captures Wedding Breakfast Hall 15 minutes prior to guests being invited to be seated.




17.30 - 19.30 - WEDDING BREAKFAST

TipAsk those that intend to give a speech to keep it to under 10 minutes. They will always overrun, but without this benchmark, they could go on for twice as long and if speeches are before food, you and your guests might be rather hungry by the end of the speeches!



20.30 - First Dance