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October Wedding Timelines

Bride and groom recessional at the Nixon Library

October is one of my favorite times of year to photograph weddings as a Temecula wedding photographer! The weather has cooled down nicely by this time and the angle of the light is softer and easier to work with compared to summer light. The sun is setting earlier, but the time change hasn't happened yet, which leads to more flexibility in creating your wedding day timeline. And although the weather is more temperate, we're in Southern California, after all, and it's still gorgeous outside!

When creating your October wedding timeline, there are a few questions you'll need to ask to ensure you have enough time at the beginning of your day to capture the important details and portraits, and ensure you're also able to take advantage of the best light of the day - aka the sunset!

What time is the sunset?

No matter if you're getting married in a vineyard, an estate, or a ballroom - you'll want to make sure to reserve the sunset time on your wedding day for your newlywed portraits!

For an October wedding timeline, we'll plan on a sunset time of 5:58 PM.

Will we be having a first look?

A first look is when you see each other before the ceremony. This is a highly personal decision and I leave it up to couples. Overall, if having a variety of portraits is important to you, for instance getting images of you and your spouse-to-be in different areas of your wedding venue, then I'd recommend this option. Couples also like it if they would like to spend cocktail hour with their family and friends, since getting family photos done before the ceremony frees up some time for you.

Below is an article with more info on considering a first look for your wedding day!

Pros and Cons to a Wedding Day First Look

Is there travel required on our wedding day?

If you have separate getting ready, ceremony and reception locations you'll want to make sure to account for travel time in your timeline. Add a bit of buffer time as well for traffic, or in case some members of your party are running behind a bit.

How many hours of wedding day photography coverage do we need?

For weddings with about 100 guests at a wedding venue, I most frequently book my 8 hour collection. If travel is required, I'd recommend 9+ hours.

Important Parts of Your Wedding Day Timeline

Getting Ready: 1 1/2 Hours
First Look: 30 Minutes
Separate Wedding Party Photos: 30 Minutes
Ceremony: 30 Minutes
Family Photos: 30 Minutes
Combined Wedding Party Photos: 30 Minutes
Married Couple Portraits: 30 Minutes
Grand Entrance: 5 Minutes
First Dance: 5 Minutes
Family Dances:10 Minutes
Toasts:10 Minutes
Bouquet or Garter Toss: 10 Minutes
Cake Cutting: 5 Minutes
Exit: 5 Minutes

October Timeline with First Look - 4:30 PM Ceremony

1:00: Photography starts / getting ready images and details
2:30: First look
3:00: Family photos
3:30: Wedding party photos (wrap up portrait photography about 4:00 to give everyone a chance to relax before the ceremony!)
4:30: Ceremony
5:00: Cocktail hour starts / any remaining family photos
5:20: Wedding party photos
5:45: Married couple portraits
6:15: Grand entrance
6:20: First dance
6:30: Toasts
6:40: Dinner service
7:40: Family dances
7:45: Cake cutting
7:55: Bouquet toss/garter toss
8:00: Open dancing
9:00: Photography concludes

OctoberTimeline - No First Look - 4:30 PM Ceremony

2:00: Photography starts / getting ready images and details
3:30: Separate wedding party photos
4:00: Separate family photos
4:30: Ceremony
5:00: Cocktail hour starts / family photos
5:30: Wedding party photos
5:45: Married couple photos
6:15: Grand entrance
6:20: First dance
6:30: Toasts
6:40: Dinner service
8:00: Family dances
8:45: Cake cutting
9:15: Bouquet toss/garter toss
9:25: Open dancing
10:00: Photography concludes

More Wedding Planning Resources

Check out some of my favorite weddings and wedding planning advice below!

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden Wedding
Temecula Wedding Venues
Winter White Barn Wedding
How to Get Married in Temecula

Temecula Wedding Photographer Courtney McManaway
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