Create the perfect wedding day photography timeline.
Your wedding day— it’s the moment when all of the planning that you spent months pouring your heart into finally comes together. Everyone wants your special day to run smoothly, and that’s where planning out a detailed timeline is key!
Your wedding timeline helps us make sure everyone is in the right place at the right time and lets us have the creative freedom to capture magical moments as they naturally unfold!
Of course, not everything is going to go exactly as planned. Oftentimes, things can run behind schedule— for example, sometimes getting ready takes longer than expected, and it can throw off the whole timeline. That’s why we suggest adding a buffer of at least 15 minutes to each section of the day for those “just-incase” moments.
Every couple is different, and you may have certain special details that make your timeline unique! We always encourage our couples to identify specific parts of their day that are important to them. For example, we always offer a first look as an option to couples who want to attend cocktail hour and mingle with guests. It’s your special day, and you can fully customize your ideal timeline to your needs.
With 15 years of experience and hundreds of weddings under our belt, let us share with you some of our favorite tips to make sure your wedding day is a dream-come-true!
This is the time when your photographer will arrive wherever you are getting ready on the morning of your wedding— whether it’s a hotel room, at your venue, or even at home! Typically our photographers will arrive to capture anywhere between 60-90 minutes of wedding party prep, depending on your preference.
We like to get there before your hair and makeup is fully complete, in order to get some shots throughout the getting ready process. We also like to take photos of details like your dress or suit, shoes, flowers, jewelry, and other unique touches.
Candid shots of you popping champagne, your wedding party getting ready, and other fun moments will be captured during this time! If you booked two photographers. they will split up and get photos of both you and your partner getting ready at the same time! During this time, emotions are at an all-time high and these shots show the anticipation and excitement that you are both feeling at that moment.
It’s your preference if you would like to do a first look, but we believe that it makes the day more relaxed, and it’s a great opportunity to have a romantic, intimate moment before your ceremony. The first look offers a moment to come together as a couple and focus on what this day really is about before it unfolds. You may opt to have a first look with your wedding party or closest family members for a heartfelt moment.
Setting up and having the first look will take about 10-20 minutes, followed by a few moments for you to take it all in while we capture some candid portraits.
Couples portraits are one of the most important parts of your day. These are the photos that you will look back on for years to come. Since you only have around 30-45 minutes to get these perfect images, make sure you practice the poses you want to do before the big day! Our photographers can help guide you with posing during your engagement photo shoot.
Your wedding party is complied of some of your closest friends and relatives. I mean, you chose them to be there on your wedding day for a reason! We let our couples know in advance that each portrait grouping will typically take 2-3 minutes to pose. Depending on the size of your wedding party, this can take anywhere from 30-45 minutes. On your timeline questionnaire, you’ll be able to list all of the members/groupings of your wedding party, and we will make sure to capture them on your wedding day!
Weddings are where everyone gets to come together and celebrate as two families become one. There are specific family portraits that each couple wants to make sure they capture on their big day. Similar to the wedding party portraits, each grouping takes 2-3 minutes to pose.
This part of your photography timeline is relative to how long your ceremony will take. Usually, ceremonies last anywhere between 30-60 minutes, depending on various factors. We will take a non-intrusive approach and make sure we highlight important parts of the ceremony such as the entrance/walk down the aisle, exchange of vows, and first kiss.
During cocktail hour, we like to go into the reception space and capture some shots capture the beautiful venue! We will take photos of all those special details you spent months planning, such as florals, table settings, custom signs, and other decorations. These capture the scene and give you some great memories to look back on.
If you decided not to do a first look, this is when you would take the time to get those couples portraits, as well as photos with your wedding party and family members.
Sometimes, the couple has not seen the fully-decorated reception space until this point in their wedding timeline. This is our opportunity to capture your genuine reaction to all of the details coming together. Sometimes couples like to take some solo shots in the reception space before the guests are allowed in.
After the entrance to the reception, now it’s time to party! We photograph all of the significant moments such as the first dance, parent dances, wedding party toasts, and cake cutting. We also like to get some shots of your packed dance floor and everyone celebrating!
We encourage our couples to “sneak out” from their reception and take some romantic nighttime shots. We know that it’s hard to leave your guests for too long, so this will only take about 15 minutes. Depending on your venue, we will choose a unique spot for you and your partner to reflect on the day and grab some more portraits.
Sometimes couples will plan on getting ready at a different location and commuting to the venue space, or they may have their ceremony at a different location than the reception. If this is what you are planning on, make sure you account for travel time. Not only is it important to consider the travel time, it’s also important to prepare for possible traffic, or additional time gathering members of the wedding party into your transportation.
We celebrate all religions and cultures! If there are certain elements to your wedding day that are traditional to your culture, please let us know so we can adapt your timeline. Additional time may be necessary if a certain aspect of your wedding takes a bit longer.
Don’t forget to keep daylight savings in mind when planning portraits. It can get dark as early as 4:30 pm during the fall and winter months so you may want to consider a first look so portraits can be done during the daylight hours.
The last hour before sunset is considered the “golden hour.” Depending on the time of year, you may want to add a time to step away from the festivities and grab some shots during this magic time where the lighting is perfect outdoors.