Brides Guide to Gorgeous Wedding Photos & Timeline Guide

Wedding Photography Timeline

A wedding timeline is critical to ensure enough time is allotted for each segment of the day, and enough time to capture each moment without feeling rushed. When aiming for stunning, creative images of your wedding day it is very important that enough time is set aside for the photographer to create them. Additionally, the location of your getting ready locations for bride and groom, ceremony, and reception all factor into the timeline of events. If any of these are not in the same location, commuting time becomes an obstacle for the photographer timeline coverage. While it is ideal that the bride and groom get ready at the same location or very close by to the venue, we understand this is not always possible. However, when planning your photography coverage, appropriate transition and commute time should be considered. Additionally, natural light is the best for getting each phase of the day captured so ensure all the locations being considered offer a captivating environment that you want in your photographs. Below is an example of what a timeline should look like.

Wedding Day Timeline Summary:

A wedding planner or the venue can assist with exact details of a timeline, however below is an example of an ideal timeline:

12 pm - Hair and Makeup

2 pm - Photographer & Videographer captures getting ready and pre-ceremony formals.

3:45 pm - Photographer & Videographer sets up for ceremony.

4 pm - Ceremony

4:30 pm - Cocktail hour for guests; Formal photography session for family, wedding party, & couple.

6:00 pm - Dinner, Speeches & First Dance and Reception

9:45 pm - prepare for send-off (sparklers, confetti, bubbles, etc.)

Total Photography Time: 8 hours


As a general overview (not a definitive timeline) this description is a minimum timeframe needed as a photographer during the getting ready & formal session to capture good photos.

Getting Ready

During the pre-ceremony, getting ready time, the more time you can allot for this, the more details & creative poses you can capture. While you can get away with shortening this time as needed, know that every minute trimmed reduces creativity and variety that photographer is able to deliver, as well as what images can actually be captured. Recommended minimum for dress shot is 10 minutes, for details such as flowers, shoes, jewelry, invitation, etc. is 10 minutes, for candid images of getting makeup and hair 5 minutes, pre-wedding bridal party & grooms men 20 minutes, and pre-wedding bridal portraits 15 minutes.

Group & Family Formals

For group and family formals (depending on quantity of groupings) 15 minutes provide for family of bride, family of groom, and a few other groupings of friends and family, 20 minutes with the wedding party, and 20 minutes with just the two of you. If you are aiming for more creative setups and poses of bride & groom or would like a different location, this also adds to the time. In general, the time dedicated for this portion is worth every minute. These images become the cornerstone of the wedding, especially if planning on making an album or printing out images to display.

Contact us to help you create a day to remember forever.