Wedding Day Photograph Timeline


A good timeline helps so much in making a wedding day run smoothly. Since every wedding is unique and priorities vary, it’s difficult to nail down a specific timeline for every couple to follow. However, here’s a good idea of how much time each portion of the day takes for your consideration when planning out your big day.


  • Time: 20-30 Minutes (Bride) / 10-15 Minutes (Groom)

  • When: Morning

  • Where: Bridal / Groom Suites

During the “getting ready” portion of the day, we’ll spend the first part of our time with you getting photos of all of your details (clothes, jewelry, flowers, invitations, etc.) While the lead photographer is taking photos of your details, the second photographer will be assisting as well as grabbing some candid photos of the getting ready process. If your bridesmaids have matching robes, this is a great time to get a group shot before everybody but the bride get into their dresses.

Tip: Have all of your details gathered and in one location before the photographers arrive. This saves lots of time searching to make sure we have everything before we begin or starting over when we realize there was something missing.

Getting Ready

  • Time: 20-30 Minutes (Bride) / 10-15 Minutes (Groom)

  • When: Morning

  • Where: Bride and Groom Suites

Immediately after finishing up with our detail photos, we’ll begin the getting ready shots. While the second shooter has been taking some candid getting ready shots while assisting me with details, I like to keep the final touches of the getting ready portion a little more structured. For the bride, we’ll start with final touches on hair and makeup and go all the way up to getting in your dress. If you would like to do a first look with your bridesmaids or family, we will do this as soon as you’re finished getting ready. For the groom, we’ll take a few shots of you putting on your final touches while you have your groomsmen or family members help you with things like your tie and jacket.

Tip: If the bride and groom and getting ready at the same location, the lead and second photographer can bounce back and forth between the two to really get the best use out of the first 90 minutes of your timeline.

Bride & Groom, Individual Portraits

  • Time: 10-15 Minutes (each)

  • When: Morning

  • Where: Bride and Groom Suites

As soon as you’re finished getting ready, we’ll take a few portraits of each of you before the day really begins. Doing this early means your hair and makeup look their best. We’ll look for an area around where you’re getting ready to get a few portraits the showcase all of your details and how you looked on your wedding day.

Tip: If you’re worried about being able to fit everything into your timeline, you can choose to do the bridesmaids / groomsmen photos during this time as well. That way, when we have the full wedding party, we don’t have to split up to get a few poses. Just add an additional 10 minutes to each side to do the bridesmaid / groomsmen group photos during this time. This works out well if you’re not doing a first look and don’t have a lot of time between the ceremony and reception.

First Look / Couples Session

  • Time: 15-30 minutes

  • When: Before Ceremony

First looks are my favorite part of the day. We’ll find a convenient location based on where you get ready and where we have to go for the ceremony for just the bride and groom to see each other for the first time. During the first look, the photographers will sit back and just let the two of you have a moment together. We’ll give you however much time you need for the first look then move into a few couples portraits. We’ll do more portraits of just the two of you later as well.

Family Formals

  • Time: 30-45 Minutes

  • When: Immediately After Ceremony

  • Where: Ceremony Location

Family formals are an important part of your wedding day. To make this run smoothly, I’ve included a section to fill out a list of groupings for us to do. Making sure we have a good list of your family members that you want photographed helps us run through this part of the day as quickly as possible. We work from the largest grouping on each side and remove people until we get down to the smallest groupings. The amount of time we need to do this will depend entirely upon how many family members / groupings you have and how well everybody cooperates. Making sure the people who are on the list know that they are needed immediately after the ceremony, helps keep this part of the day running smoothly.

Tip: The sample list that you find on your detail sheet would take me roughly 20-30 minutes if everybody is ready to go. We’ll discuss the best method for moving from the ceremony into this part of the day so we don’t hit delays. Designate someone on each side of the family to help make sure everybody is ready. If you’d like a photo with your officiant, let them know that we’ll do that first so they don’t have to stick around for the rest of this process.

Wedding Party photos

  • Time: 45-60 Minutes

  • When: Before Ceremony or After Family Formals

  • Where: Garden, Hotel Lobby, Parks, Etc. (Your Choice)

We’ll use this time of the day to get a variety of groupings of you and your wedding party. Having two photographers allows us to split up and take the groupings of the bride with her bridesmaids and groom with his groomsmen. We also like to get a shot of you with each member of your wedding party. Some of the poses will be classic, traditional style poses while others will be a little more fun and creative. We’ll do a few couples only poses during this time as well.

Tip: If you’re pressed for time and aren’t sure if you’ll be able to split off to do the bridesmaids / groomsmen groupings, you can do this during the individual portraits part of the day. Just add an additional 10 minutes to each side.

Couples Session

  • Time: 30-45 Minutes

  • When: Before Reception

  • Where: Garden, Hotel Lobby, Parks, Etc. (Your Choice)

We’ll go to a different area than we used for the wedding party photos so you have a nice variety. This part of the day will be for just the two of you. We’ll go through a variety of traditional and creative poses / settings to make sure you have a wide variety of photos to choose from for your album.

Tip: Have someone tag along to help with the dress or any other random thing that comes up.

Reception Details / Venue

  • Time: 30 Minutes

  • When: Before Guest Arrive for Reception

  • Where: Reception Location

Before guests arrive is a great time for the photographers to arrive and get some detail shots of the venue fully set up for your reception. We use this time to get photos of everything (decorations, table settings, overall room) before things get moved around. This also lets us get into the venue and set up our lighting for the night before the room is crowded.

Tip: Let your reception coordinator know when we’ll be there so they can have the room ready for photos.

Final Shots / Reception Sneak Out

  • Time: 15 Minutes

  • When: Final 15 Minutes of Coverage

  • Where: Reception Venue

While everybody is having a great time at your reception, the photographers will pick a spot to set up a final shot for the night. This is for just the two of you and will give you a creative night shot to end on. This is also a great way to sneak away from the reception and share another quick moment together.

Tip: If you want to do any photos with sparklers, this is a great time for this. We can stage a sparkler exit with your guests during this time also.