The one secret to the PERFECT wedding day timeline


What's crack'a'lackin, I'm Levi Caleb Allan and I run a company called Beaux Art Co . (which is where you're reading this overly-scrumptious article). I absolutely love photographing and telling stories, especially couple's stories (especially their wedding day vibes).
Between handling 10-20 couples' weddings at any given moment, to photographing 30+ boutique weddings a year, I've picked up some super nifty tips and game-changing tricks to help young frothing couples like yourself plan and save time + money on the biggest day of your life.
(I've included a ridiculous $4,000 discount on our wedding photography for readers of this article. No travel fees to Aus + NZ, and no deposit required. More info at the bottom).

Given that you've (probably) never been married before and have next to no experience in the matter, I’ve put together the ultimate wedding day timeline for you and your soon-to-be ice-cream binge eating best friend for life to mull through, and get a better idea of how to plan a uber smooth & chilled as heck wedding. 

Colette & Norton Kelly-Boxall // Brisbane Botanical Gardens, March 2018 (Photos; Beaux Art Co.)


Onto the goodness!

I get asked sooooooo many times about the timeline of the day. It’s like every couple’s out there trying to make the perfect batch of fried chicken, giving it a whirl and absolutely fizzing on the vibes of ‘exploring new ground together’, twenty minutes later the overwhelming sensation of not knowing how to even cook fried chicken slaps them in the face and they come to me asking for the KFC secret recipe. It’s kinda similar, not really.. but you get the idea.

Below is a timeline cutout I’ve put together, I’ve been to many weddings that were just absolute chaos as a result of poor planning and not having your ducks hanging 10 in a healthy row. A very very important element (questionably the most important thing to consider) when planning your day is the direction of the sun at what time.

I always recommend to work backwards from the time the sunsets which I’ll go through now, and then recap the entire day’s timeline from start to finish straight after.

Bride + Groom Portraits

For this scrumptious article we’re just gonna use 5:30pm as a benchmark, feel free to knock out that number like Mike Tyson and put your own one there.
First thing to think about when working backwards from sunset is bride + groom portraits. I like to have at least 45 - 60 minutes with the couple around golden hour, which is the 60 minutes before the sun says goodnight and scoots off over the horizon, to shoot the iconic portraits of the bride + groom. This is always the best light to shoot in and the warm vibes just add so much jaw-dropping-googly-eyed-goodness to the photos.

Bride & Groom portraits from 4:30pm - 5:30pm

Kristina & Tom Birrell // One Tree Hill, March 2018 (Photos; Beaux Art Co.)


Bridal Party Photos

Working backwards from the bride + groom portraits, is the bridal party photos.
These are always an absolute crack up, especially if you’re girl gang’s a rowdy bunch who’s down for a good time and telling embarrassing stories of your growing up.
Compared to the bride + groom portraits, these don’t take nearly as long. I pumped these out like a drain pipe in about 30 minutes.

Bridal Party photos from 3:45/4:00pm - 4:30pm

Jess & Chris Guy // Brisbane High Church, July 2018 (Photos; Beaux Art Co.)


Family Photos

And then comes the family photos! These are kind of like looking after your younger sibling - you don’t really want to, but you know you need to otherwise your family will turn into the next viral video from Dr Phil’s youtube channel.
After photographing so many weddings I’ve nailed a pretty straight-forward system when it comes to getting aaaaall the important family in their own photos, so no aunties or uncles feel the desire to disown you because you forgot about them in the family photos. That’s what I’m here for! On a good day, these take only 15 minutes.

Family photos from 3:30pm - 3:45pm

Jazz & Jesse Smyth // Ceder Creek, December 2017 (Photos; Beaux Art Co.)


The Ceremony

Here’s where things really come down to your personal preference and creativity.
Out of all the weddings I’ve photographed, having a ceremony around 2:30pm - 3:00pm is smack in the middle of the most common time to walk down aisles and stand in front of an arbor holding hands with your ice cream binge eating best friend.

Ceremonies can take anywhere from 20-60 minutes depending on how traditional or religious you are, totally up to you how crazy you want to make it.

Ceremony from 2:30pm - 3:00pm

Jess & Chris Guy // Brisbane High Church, July 2018 (Photos; Beaux Art Co.)


To Recap

Now that we know how much time it takes to get all the important post-I-do’s out of the way, the rest is really up to you. In my opinion, once you work backwards from the time the sunsets to the start of the ceremony, everything else just falls into place.

For example, you already know that the reception can start from 6:00pm because all the important stuff is out of the way, the sun’s just gone down and everyone’s probably getting keen for a boogie and embarrassing speeches + cocktails.

And now that you know your ceremony starts at 2:30pm, you can figure out how long it’s going to take for you and your bride tribe to get your hair + makeup done in the morning to be ready by 2:30pm.

Obviously the time the sunsets on your wedding day might be the furthest thing away from 5:30pm then the honey badger was from Australia after the end of The Bachelor 2018.
As long as you work backwards from the time the sunsets, you can usually smash out a fool proof, got-my-stuff-together timeline of the day.
Kinda like this:

7:00am - 2:00pm | hair + makeup
2:00pm - 2:30pm | last minute touch ups, portraits and travel to ceremony
2:30pm - 3:00pm | ceremony
3:30pm - 3:45pm | family photos
3:45pm - 4:30pm | bridal party photos
4:30pm - 5:30pm | bride + groom portraits
5:45pm - 11:00pm | reception, boogies + good times

Keep scrolling for our $4,000 wedding photography discount.

Colette & Norton // Glass House Mountains, December 2017 (Photos; Beaux Art Co.)

Photo by  @beauxartco  // Brisbane's most influential wedding photography.

Photo by @beauxartco // Brisbane's most influential wedding photography.


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Levi Caleb Allan