We all know that weddings can be overwhelming. But the key to planning a stress-free day is all in the preparation. To make sure everyone is on the same page, creating a wedding day timeline is crucial. But what exactly should you include? If you find yourself wondering the same thing, you’re in luck. Here’s an 8-hour example that can be used as inspiration for creating your own Hawaii wedding timeline. 

1:00-2:00 — Getting Ready + Detail

Pop the champagne, it’s time to start getting ready. During this time you’ll have the chance to soak up precious moments with your “I do” crew, snap some fun photos in matching PJs, and of course calm those pre-wedding jitters. 

2:00-2:30 — First Look

I always recommend considering a first look before their ceremony. While it is optional, the first look is such a special, intimate moment that’s unmatched. Not only will it make for some incredible portraits, but it’ll also guarantee that you and your significant other will get some much-needed alone time. Plus it’s a great way to cure those pre-ceremony nerves. 

2:30-3:15 — Wedding Party Portraits

If you choose to see each other before the ceremony you can squeeze in some wedding party portraits. Because  wedding parties tend to be larger groups, these portraits do take some time.  And scheduling them after the first look means after the ceremony you’ll have more time to spend on the dance floor!

3:30-4:00 — Travel Time To Ceremony

When creating your wedding day timeline, you want to be as accurate as possible. That’s why it’s crucial not to overlook the not-so-fun details like travel time. Factor in how long it will take to travel from your getting ready and first look location to the ceremony. 

4:00-4:30 — Ceremony

Ceremonies are typically short but packed with personality. The main components to include are the processional, vow readings, ring exchange, first kiss, and recessional. Beyond these, you’re able to fully customize your ceremony in a way that authentically celebrates your love. 

If you’re looking for ways to personalize your ceremony beyond the decor, here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Include a unity ceremony 
  • Read hand-written vows 
  • Ask a loved one to be your officiant
  • Trade a flower girl for a flower grandma 
  • Include your pets 

4:30-5:00 — Family Portraits

Having all your loved ones in one place at one time is an incredibly special feeling—one that you’ll want to be captured by your photographer. That’s why family portraits are such an important part of any wedding day. These are images that you’ll want to revisit time and time again. But they do take a lot of preparation. 

Before your big day, work with your photographer to create a list of all the must-have family portraits. This will make for a quick, easy process and will ensure you don’t leave out any special family members.  

5:00-6:00 — Newlywed Portraits

While your loved ones head off to the cocktail hour, it’s your chance to disappear and snap some photos with your photographer. Make sure to plan your photo location so you’re able to schedule time accordingly. 

Your wedding day will go by in a blink of an eye, so make sure to give yourself time to soak it all up. And this hour is not only a chance for you to capture jaw-dropping couple portraits. It’s also a time to enjoy each other's company, decompress, and soak up your first moments as a married couple! 

6:00 — Grand Entrance

You’re officially married, your portraits have been taken, and now it’s time to celebrate. You can choose to do a grand entrance with your bridal parties or steal the show with just your significant other in hand! Whichever you choose, make sure to pick an upbeat song that’ll get you and your guests in party mode. 

6:15 — Dinner Service

You’ve spent months creating the perfect menu for your wedding day, enjoy it. Whether you’ve chosen a formal plated meal or casual food trucks, this is a chance to relax and fuel up before hitting the dance floor. 

6:45 — Sneak Off For Sunset Wedding Photos

Since newlyweds are given the first plates of food, odds are you’ll finish eating long before your guests. Instead of sitting at your sweetheart table waiting for everyone to finish, sneak off with your photographer to snap a few sunset wedding photos. When you get these golden hour images back, you’ll be glad you did. 

7:00 — Speeches

Wedding speeches are hands down one of the best parts of any wedding. They’ll make you laugh, make you cry, and just give important people in your life the opportunity to show their love for the newlyweds. While there are no rules when it comes to planning your dream wedding, speeches are typically given by the maid of honor, the best man, and the couple’s parents. 

7:15-7:30 — First Dance, Father-Daughter Dance, Mother-Son Dance

Lace up your dancing shoes because it’s officially time for the first dance, father-daughter dance, and mother-son dance. These heartwarming moments are a great way to show your appreciation for those that mean the most to you. You can pick out a slow song or break out an upbeat choreographed number—there are no rules when it comes to hitting the dance floor. 

7:45 — Cake Cutting

Dessert is one of the sweetest portions of the night—pun intended. Not a cake lover? Don’t fret. There are many different dessert alternatives you can consider. A few of my favorites are a donut wall, a dessert food truck, and a smores bar. 

8:00 — Hit The Dance Floor 

There’s no better way to end the night than by hitting the dance floor with all of your favorite people. As the night starts to come to a close, you have nothing left to worry about except bustin’ a move to an epic playlist crafted by you and your DJ. 

REMEMBER, EVERY WEDDING DAY IS DIFFERENT

If a traditional wedding timeline doesn't fit your needs, not to worry! Did you know that I create specific wedding timelines for all my clients based on their needs? Let's chat about your unique wedding day to make sure we have time for all the good stuff!

Hey, I'm Masha

The human Behind The Lens

I create editorial imagery for free-spirited couples.

Crafting beautiful images that are unique and personal to each of my clients is what brings me joy. Whether you are eloping, having a wedding, or are interested in a creative concept, we will get to know each other, collaborate, and together, create works of art.

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Masha Sakhno is a wedding photographer and business coach based in Honolulu, Hawaii. Servicing the local area of Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Big Island and the surrounding areas. Specializes in capturing artistic portraits paired with unique storytelling moments to produce candid and emotional photography.

LOVE IS LOVE. PERIOD.