How to plan your wedding timeline to perfection.

Hi! I know today´s topic does not sound like the most exciting thing to learn but having a well-planned wedding timeline for your wedding photography is essential.  Why? Having one will allow you to enjoy your day fully and get all the beautiful photos you have dreamed of.

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Planning a wedding is one of the most exciting yet challenging tasks you’ll undertake. If you’re dreaming of a destination wedding, whether in Mallorca or elsewhere in the Mediterranean, you’re in for a treat. Mallorca, with its stunning landscapes, beautiful beaches, and historic venues, offers a picturesque backdrop for your special day. To ensure everything goes smoothly, it’s crucial to have a well-structured timeline. If you are looking to capture every moment with ease and relaxation, this guide will help you plan your wedding timeline to perfection.

Why a Wedding Timeline is Essential

A wedding timeline is more than just a schedule; it’s a roadmap for your big day. It helps keep everyone on the same page, ensures that no detail is overlooked, and minimizes stress. With a well-planned timeline, you can enjoy your Mallorca wedding without constantly worrying about what happens next.

Steps to Plan Your Perfect Wedding Timeline

1. Start Early

Begin planning your wedding timeline as soon as you set your wedding date. The earlier you start, the more time you have to adjust and accommodate changes. Early planning is especially important for a destination wedding in Mallorca, as you’ll need to coordinate with various vendors and guests who might be traveling from afar. Once you have the first draft of your timeline, run it by your wedding photographer. In my case, I take this first timeline and make a photography timeline of the day, according to the couple´s needs and wishes. Depending on what they choose, for example, if the couple wants a First Look and then a short golden hour session, I will send them my proposed timeline built around the main wedding timeline. When the couple and I have agreed on this photography timeline, we will send it to the wedding planner to ensure she incorporates it into her master schedule of suppliers.

2. Break Down Your Day into Segments

Divide your wedding day into key segments, such as getting ready, the ceremony, the reception, and special events like cake cutting and the first dance. This segmentation helps in organizing your day and ensures that each part receives the attention it deserves.

3. Consider the Ceremony Time

The time of your ceremony will largely dictate the flow of the day. Plan the rest of your events around it, whether you’re having a morning, afternoon, or evening ceremony. For a Mallorca wedding, consider the local climate and sunset times to capture the best lighting for your Mallorca wedding photography. I always calculate the sunset time and build the session times around it.

4. Allocate Time for Getting Ready

Give yourself and your wedding party plenty of time to get ready. Hair and makeup can take longer than expected, so plan accordingly. I KNOW by experience how much some make up artists and hairdressers can delay the whole timeline. Please, ask your hair and makeup stylists to finish on time! Typically, allow at least three to four hours for the bridal party to prepare. This ensures that everyone looks their best and that your Mallorca wedding photographer has ample time to capture those precious pre-wedding moments. I allow at least one hour for bridal preparations and photos of the bride with her mum/sisters/dad and half and hour for groom preparations and portraits with groomsmen before the ceremony.


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5. Plan for First Looks and Portraits

Many couples opt for a “first look” before the ceremony, where they see each other for the first time in a private setting. This can be a beautiful, intimate moment and a great opportunity for some stunning Mallorca wedding photography. The only problem for me it´s the light, because a First Look is usually before the ceremony and the light here in Mallorca can be quite strong.  On the plus side, having a First-Look will free some time for you to enjoy during the cocktail. I will plan for a spot in the shade so that my bride will not be sweaty by the ceremony time. Allocate about 30 minutes for this.

6. Schedule Travel Time

If your ceremony and reception are at different locations, be sure to include travel time in your timeline. Factor in potential traffic and any unexpected delays. For a Mallorca wedding, consider the picturesque drives, and for myself I need to allow time to find a parking space! and make sure your transportation is arranged and timely. In my opinion, if you can hold the whole event at the same place, you will have a more relaxing day.

7. Outline the Ceremony

The ceremony is the heart of your wedding day. Whether it’s a religious service, a civil ceremony, or a symbolic blessing, detail the order of events. Include the processional, readings, vows, exchange of rings, and the recessional. Typically, a wedding ceremony lasts between 30 minutes to an hour. Allow for 15 to 30 minutes for guests to come greet you, hug you, and kiss you afterward.

8. Cocktail Hour and Reception

Immediately following the ceremony, guests typically move to a cocktail hour while you and your wedding party finish taking photos. This is a great time for guests to mingle and enjoy some cocktails. Allocate a minimum of an hour for the cocktail hour before moving on to the reception. I prefer cocktails that last 90 minutes, so we have more time for family group photos and bride and groom portraits. I always tell my couples that this is the busiest time of the wedding, but I insist that the couple needs to take a little time to mingle with guests and enjoy some drinks. For the bride and groom photos I always ask for a minimum of 30 minutes, but if I can have more, that is greatly appreciated! Regarding family group shots, I recommend having a list ready with all the groups you want to photograph, and before we start you can give the list to one of the ushers that will be coordinating the guests and family members for each group. You will need to allow for this between 15-30 mins, depending on the number of groups. I also recommend taking a large group photo of all the guests if the number is not too high. 

9. Reception Activities

The reception is where the celebration truly begins. Here’s a typical sequence to consider:

  • Grand Entrance: 5-10 minutes
  • Welcome Toasts: 5 minutes
  • Dinner: 3 hours
  • Speeches/Toasts: 15-30 minutes
  • Cake Cutting: 10 minutes
  • First Dance: 5 minutes
  • Bouquet and Garter Toss: 10 minutes
  • Dancing: Remainder of the night

10. Buffer Time

Include buffer time between each major event. Weddings rarely run exactly on schedule, and having some extra time can help keep things on track without feeling rushed. This is especially important for capturing spontaneous moments that make Mallorca weddings so special.

11. Sunset Photos

Mallorca is renowned for its breathtaking sunsets and magical light. Coordinate with your photographer to take advantage of the golden hour for some stunning photos. This usually happens about an hour before sunset, so plan your timeline to sneak away for these shots without interrupting the flow of your reception.

mallorca wedding timeline

Sample Wedding Timeline for a Mallorca Wedding

To give you a concrete example, here’s a sample timeline for a typical Mallorca wedding with a 4 PM ceremony, assuming the whole wedding takes place in the same location and there is a First Look:

  • 1:15 PM: Photographer´s arrival
  • 1:30 PM – 2:00 PM: Groom and groomsmen get ready
  • 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM: Bridal party photos
  • 3.00 PM – 3:30 PM: First look and couple’s portraits
  • 3:30 PM – 4:00 PM: Guests arrive and are seated. Groom greeting guests.
  • 4:00 PM – 4:30 PM: Wedding ceremony
  • 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM: Cocktail hour and family photos
  • 5:30 PM – 5:45 PM: Grand entrance and first dance
  • 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM: Dinner and toasts (with a quick sunset session squeezed in)
  • 9:15 PM – 9:30 PM: Cake cutting
  • 9:30 PM – 10:30 PM: First Dance and party photos

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Tips for a Smooth Wedding Day

Communicate with Vendors

Ensure all your vendors have a copy of the timeline and understand their roles. This includes your wedding planner, photographer, caterer, DJ/band, and transportation service. Good communication helps avoid any last-minute surprises.

Delegate Responsibilities

Assign trusted friends or family members to handle specific tasks on the day. This could include coordinating with vendors, keeping track of the timeline, or managing the guest book. Delegating responsibilities allows you to relax and enjoy your Mallorca wedding.

Stay Flexible

While it’s important to have a plan, be prepared for minor hiccups. Things may not go exactly as scheduled, and that’s okay. Stay flexible and focus on enjoying the moment. Don´t worry about your photos, I am trained to work around unforeseen events.

Hire a Professional Photographer

For a Mallorca wedding, hiring a professional photographer who knows the area, and how to work with the strong sunlight well is a must. They’ll be able to capture the essence of your wedding and the beauty of Mallorca. Look for a Mallorca wedding photography expert (like yours truly) to ensure your memories are preserved beautifully.

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Planning your wedding timeline to perfection involves careful consideration of every detail. From the moment you start getting ready to the grand exit, each part of your day should be thoughtfully scheduled to ensure a smooth, enjoyable experience. By following these steps and considering the unique aspects of a Mallorca wedding, you can create a timeline that not only keeps your day on track but also allows you to savor every moment.

Remember, the goal is to create a memorable and stress-free day for you and your guests. With a well-planned timeline and the stunning backdrop of Mallorca, your wedding day is sure to be a dream come true. And with the right Mallorca wedding photography, you’ll have beautiful memories to cherish for a lifetime.


If we are working together I will do the timeline for you and we will discuss it during our pre-wedding meeting. Once we have agreed on it, you might have to go back to your wedding planner to tweak a few things. Most wedding planners allow enough time for photographs but sometimes things need to be moved around, extended or made shorter. Here are some of the most important things to consider:

  • My standard wedding coverage is 8 hours. It seems like a lot, although sometimes, things get delayed and I need to stay longer. Some weddings are very intense with lots of things going on and then I need to extend my coverage.
  • If your timeline is planned so that two different scenes need to be photographed at the same time, you will need to allow for the extra cost of a second photographer.
  • I need make-up and hair finished by the time I arrive please. Hair and make up artists tend to delay my whole schedule, so please ask them to be punctual! And please tell them at what time they should be finished.
  • It is nice to have the bridesmaids ready before I leave the Hotel so I can photograph them all together with the bride. The bride´s mum and dad should also be ready for a few shots before I leave for the ceremony.
  • If you have all the accessories or details laid out for me to photograph that will speed things up for me. Please include wedding stationery if you have it.
  • I usually meet the groom at the ceremony venue (in front of church, at the bar, finca, etc). I only need half an hour with the groomsmen. All of them should be ready for photos when I get there. I will take a few with all the boys and a few just the groom, then with close family if they are available (mum and dad are important here).
  • I allow 30 mins before the ceremony to get my stuff ready, photograph the details and guests arriving and then the bride driving in and walking down the aisle.
  • Cocktail time is very intensive for B&G. We need to take family portraits, photos with friends if you wish to, and most importantly, we need to take the couples shots. I try to schedule these as late as possible so that the sun is as soft as possible. Realistically, if your cocktail is one hour long, you will only have 5 mins to sip some champagne. Alternatively, you can make the cocktail half and hour longer or do a First Look.
  • Ideally I need 1 hour to take those really nice photos of bride and groom you see on Pinterest. The more time you give me, the more variety and choice you will have. In real life, I am usually given from 1 hour down to 5-10 mins. I shoot spontaneous photos throughout the day but I still love to have an alone session with bride and groom.
  • We can also do a day-after session with your bridal gown on, kind of like a Trash-the-dress session (this would be an extra, please enquire for prices)
  • Please allow 10 mins for a large group shot and 15 more minutes for family shots (standard close family).
  • During dinner and dance I just go with the flow! After our agreed finishing time I´ll just collapse in the car! hah!

If you are planning your dream wedding in Mallorca or in the Mediterranean, I´d love to hear from you! Email me at: or whatsapp me on Tel. +34 656 903 498.

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