Ask the Experts: Wedding Day Timeline

By Azure Nelson, Published Jan 14, 2010

Ask the Experts is our weekly column where real couples get their questions about weddings and wedding planning answered. If you have a question for our panel of experts, write This week, a bride writes: My fiancé brought up a good question while we were at my cousin's wedding brunch. What do the bride and groom typically do between the ceremony and the luncheon? I think it's a time for pictures but is there something else? He got me thinking... Jeff of Blackbird Images says: I’m biased but I think that’s definitely photo time. Most of our clients say the one thing they would do differently (looking back) is allow even more time for photos of themselves… 20 years from now the images you’ll care most about are the ones of you and your spouse on your wedding day. The time between ceremony and reception is the only time you really have for doing that right. I’m sure there are tons of creative things you can do with the time… but isn’t that what your honeymoon is for? Melissa of Stylish Blooms says: This is a great question. Pictures are typically done between the ceremony and reception. If both are held at the same spot typically a cocktail hour would be held so that pictures can be taken efficiently. The time that you spend between the ceremony and reception is up to you. If you are not doing pictures you and your new groom could stop off at your favorite park or spot and spend some time alone. Just keep in mind that you do not want to keep your guest waiting to long for you longer than an 1/2 hour from the start time of your reception. Brandi of All Events Planned says: The bride and groom do take a massive amount of photos in that time. There are hours of photos that can be taken in different locations, different styles, different settings you could really spend the entire day taking photos, with the right photographer. If you don’t want a million shots or if you are only planning a short amount of photography time, you can take this time out to do something together, as husband & wife. Maybe there is a special location where you two first met or where he proposed. Go there and share some special alone time with each other, just relaxing and enjoying the company of your new spouse. Sometimes it is even good to stop for a snack when you have some free time. As the bride & groom, you can get caught up in your reception forget to eat enough while you are there. A special meal could be prepared for you at your reception hall or stop at your favorite restaurant or have some snacks for the limo ride. The options are endless, it is your free time to spend however you’d like but I definitely think you’ll want to do something extra special since you will always remember that time together. OneWed’s Wedding Maven says: In the Jewish tradition, the bride and groom go from the ceremony to a private location. Giving the bride and groom privacy is taken so seriously that they usually assign one or two friends to act as guards, preventing anyone from disturbing the couple. Traditionally, this time was used to consummate the marriage. Today, most couples simply use it to take a few minutes to reconnect with each other. Since Jewish brides and grooms are not supposed to eat before the wedding, most couples also ask the caterer to have a plate of food sent to the room beforehand. About the Experts: Brandi Hamerstone is the owner & senior wedding planner for All Events Planned. In her nine years of experience in the wedding industry, she has planned over 300 weddings. Melissa Bonoffksi of Stylish Blooms in Bristol CT holds an A.A.S In floriculture and has over 13 years of design experience. Jeff Haden is President of BlackBird Images, wedding photographers based in Harrisonburg, VA. Not only is he a well-respected and talented photographer, but has also gained recognition as a ghostwriter.

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