Sample Traditional American Wedding (Jen’s Recommended Event Flow)
3:00 Preparation photos of Bride and Groom getting ready
4:00 Photo session with Bride (alone, with attendants, etc.)
4:30 Bride and attendants in sequester
5:30 Family and Bridal Party group formal photos
5:45 Cocktail hour
6:00 Newlywed’s photo session
6:45 Newlywed’s alone time with champaign and hors d’oeuvres
6:45 Guests Ushered Into Reception Area
7:00 Newlywed’s grand entrance straight into First Dance
7:15 Toasts and salads served
7:30 Dinner served
8:00 Father/Daughter Mother/Son dance
8:15 Open dancing
9:00 Cake cutting
9:15 Bouquet toss
9:25 Garter toss
9:30 Open dancing
Immediately After the Engagement:
- Discuss a budget, the size and style of the wedding.
- Decide who pays for what.
- If you will be using a wedding consultant, enlist their services.
- Meet with officiant; schedule pre-marital counseling.
- Reserve wedding/reception sites; make initial catering contacts.
- Register at local bridal registries.
- Contact photographers; hire one.
Six Months or More Before:
- Compile the guest list.
- Reserve a block of hotel rooms for out-of-town guests.
- Choose wedding rings.
- Send your engagement announcement to newspapers.
- Select and order wedding gown.
- Select the attendants (bridesmaids and groomsmen).
- Choose and order bridesmaids dresses.
- Select one usher for every 50 guests.
- Check out videographers. Hire one.
- Make arrangements for the music at the wedding and reception.
- Check out bakers for your cake. Get estimates. Book the date.
- Plan beauty preparations (nails, diet, hair, skin care, and makeup).
- Make all transportation arrangements for the day of the wedding.
- Complete all honeymoon plans.
Four Months Before:
- Complete the guest list and confirm final details with the caterer.
- Order invitations and personal stationery or “Thank You” notes.
- Order napkins and purchase any other items needed.
- Check with the caterer to see what he/she includes.
- Get estimates and order flowers and floral arrangements.
- Get estimates and order decorations and favors.
- Book room for wedding night.
Three Months Before:
- Order wedding rings. Allow time for any final engraving.
- Order tuxedos for the groomsmen and fathers.
Two Months Before:
- Mail invitations (6 weeks before wedding; 8 weeks to out-of-town guests).
- Make appointments with the hairdresser for the bride and attendants.
- Buy a wedding gift for your future spouse and gifts for attendants.
- Finalize arrangements of accommodations for out-of-town guests.
One Month Before:
- Choose all accessories, shoes and lingerie for bridal gown.
- Have final fitting for bridal gown and bridesmaids’ dresses.
- Have beauty consultant do a trial run with bride’s hair and makeup. Schedule this appointment on the day the bridal portait is taken.
- Contact the photographer again to discuss specifics.
- Have bridal portrait taken.
- Have groomsmen registered and measured at the formal wear store.
- Check with the newspapers on wedding announcement requirements.
- Finalize plans for rehearsal dinner.
- Plan seating arrangements for the rehearsal dinner and reception.
- Complete change-of-address information for post-office.
- Keep current with “Thank You” notes.
Two Weeks Before:
- Get the marriage license. Be sure to bring all needed documents.
- Inform those who will attend the rehearsal and dinner.
- Inquire about a dressing room for you and your attendants.
- Walk through the entire event in your mind. Consider things like parking, access for handicapped guests, etc.
- Confirm all transportation plans.
- Check in with vendors to confirm all arrangements.
- “Break in” wedding shoes at home.
One Week Before:
- Appoint someone to be the “organizer” to handle any last minute issues.
- Give a final guest count to the caterer.
- Review final details for those in the wedding party.
- Confirm honeymoon arrangements.
- Pack for the honeymoon. Know what you’ll wear from the reception.
- Enjoy a day with your friends. Visit a day spa and relax.
One Day Before:
- Attend the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner and give gifts to attendants.
- Give the rings and officiant’s fee to the best man.
- Organize gown, accessories, etc. to go to ceremony.
- Mail wedding announcements.
- Get hair, makeup, etc. done.
- Enjoy the day!
Solo Dance Song Selections:
- First Dance
- Father-Daughter Dance
- Mother-Son Dance
Reception Meal Selections:
- Salad & Bread
- Second Course
- Main Course
- Desert & Coffee
$________ Father of the Bride
$________ Mother of the Bride
$________ Father of the Groom
$________ Mother of the Groom
$________ TOTAL BUDGET
$________ Ceremony Fees
$________ Invitations and Printed Materials
$________ Wedding Dress
$________ Rehersal Dinner
$________ Engagement Ring
There are many areas that you can save a ton of money on. Contact me and I will go over with you areas you can save and spend more wisely without having to sacrifice your photography. Because, in the end that is all you will have to remember your day by!
Garter being put on
Bride, full-length solo
Bride with parents
Bride with mother
Bride with father
Bride with grandparents
Bride with siblings
Bride with maid of honer
Bride with bride’s maids
Bride with ring bearer & flower girl
Groom dressing for ceremony
Groom, full-length solo
Groom with parents
Groom with mother
Groom with father
Groom with grandparents
Groom with siblings
Groom with best man
Groom with groomsmen
Groom with ring bearer & flower girl
Groom with officiant
Mothers lighting candles
Wedding Party Processional
Walking down aisle
Giving away bride
Rose offering to parents
Candle lighting ceremony
Exchange of vows
Breaking the glass
Formal bride and groom together
Newlyweds & entire family (both sides)
Newlyweds with Bride’s family
Newlyweds with Bride’s parents
Newlyweds with Groom’s family
Newlyweds with Groom’s parents
Newlyweds with entire bridal party
Newlyweds with flower girls & ring bearer
Newlyweds private portrait session
Close-up of rings
Cocktail hour candids
Details of reception site
Father / Daughter dance
Mother / Son dance
Guests & couple shots
Bride & Groom at head table
Cake and cake cutting
Bride & Groom cutting cake
Bride & Groom feeding each other
Newlyweds toasting each other
Musicians / DJ / MC
Bride tossing bouquet
Groom removing & tossing garter
Copyright © 2012 by Jen O’Sullivan http://www.jenosullivan.com
Beverly Hills Wedding Photographer, Jen O’Sullivan is a boutique wedding photographer who specializes in portrait journalism.
489 South Robertson Boulevard, Suite 200, Beverly Hills, California 90211 ~ 120 West Bellevue Drive, Suite 20, Pasadena, CA 91105
email@example.com ~ 310-890-8174