Creating The Perfect Wedding Day Photography Timeline!

December 23, 2019

So, you have picked the venue, tasted the cake, smelled the flowers, and chosen a photographer… So what could be next?! When do you take wedding pictures? This is a prime question! You need to plan when, how, and where you should take the photos that you will LOVE for the rest of your life! It is also a huge plus if you add in a wedding videographer to your plans! You and your spouse need to come up with a list (your photographer may provide an example list) of formal photos you may want, and with loved ones, you want to take part in them! When you are trying to produce a good wedding timeline it is best to keep in mind that you will need to add about a five-minute cushion for each part of the day!


Typical Time Frame for Wedding Photos

Prior to your wedding day, you need to spend time creating a wedding timeline with your photographer for Family Formals, Romantic Photoshoot, Bride and Groom solos and Bridal Party photos. On average you will be spending about an hour and a half to two hours taking prompted photos throughout the day. In a mid-day/evening wedding celebrations, you may find that the only time you have for wedding party photos and Bride and Groom portraits is definitely during cocktail hour while your guests await your arrival into the reception. Make a wedding day photography timeline – and make the bridal party aware so you can have a few helping hands with sticking to the schedule!


Remember the Details!

Details, Details, Details! Your big day will have so many intimate, unique details right down to the jewelry and bouquet holders. Wouldn’t it be amazing if there was such a thing as a wedding photography planner? Make a note with what details you want to have captured in your photos, invitations, ring shots, shoes, etc. It is incredibly helpful to have a wedding day photography checklist sent to your photographer ahead of time! Also, keep in mind what poses and silly or romantic photos you may want! There are so many details that play into not only your wedding photography schedule but in the photos themself! Is it crucial for you to have night wedding photos? Start off with a list of what photos are priorities for you, whether it’s photos with your old college roommates, or of Grandma and Grandpa, etc..! Giving your photographer a heads up will help them decide how much time will be needed for the photos!


wedding photography timeline wedding day photography timeline



The weather will depend a lot on what you need to bring to be prepared for not only your wedding celebration but for the everlasting photos! A checklist that I always refer Brides to, (of course change accordingly to your specific needs) is this!


1. Blotting Papers!! These are a must!

2. Cute but classy sweaters/shawls for you and your bridesmaids!

3. Hairspray and Bobby pins! You do NOT want any flyaway hairs in your photos!

4. Comfortable shoes for walking around to take photos!

5. Lip gloss/Lipstick – You will need to touch up after those kissing pictures!

6. A lint roller! (this one is more for the guys)

7. Last but not least, WATER! Hydration is key!


Getting Ready

When planning a time slot for ‘getting ready’ shots, it is best to remember that all of the hugs, best wishes, and nervous jitters will be captured! Schedule in an hour or so of time for these photos, but don’t delay so it doesn’t disrupt your timeline! Preparation photos are amazing because you can catch portraits of hair, makeup and great times with the girls! Keep your hotel room as tidy as you can – and if you have a robe or matching outfit with your bridesmaids, now is the time to show it off!

More often then not, the second shooter will be getting prep shots with the guys. It usually will not take an hour for them to get dressed and ready, (despite the everlasting struggle of tying a tie properly).


photography timeline for wedding


To do a First Look… Or not?!

The newest trend these days is to do something called a “First Look”. The groom will most likely be set up facing the photographer and the Bride sneaks up behind him, he does a dramatic turn around to see his beautiful bride for the very first time!! It is a breathtaking, intimate moment for those who do choose to do it, the pros are that you two will be less nervous during the ceremony because the big reveal will have already been done! It is extremely special if you have the opportunity to have a videographer or cinematographer! However, if this doesn’t seem right for you and your fiancé, the ceremony will be just as exquisite when you see each other for the first time! However, It will definitely require adding a few minutes in a timeline with a first look! Definitely, something to keep in mind if you are on a tight schedule!


Family Photos and Wedding Party Photos Tips

Family photos and Wedding Party Photos can be very hectic – they are incredibly fun, as you get to share your happiness with all of your loved ones! Let’s be real, It’s been an incredibly long day for you and the members of your Bridal Party, between hair and makeup (prepping for the guys) plus the ceremony itself. The best way to get true, sincere smiles out of everyone is to tell the best jokes! Hopefully, your photographer/second shooter will have some ready for you! Now is the time to reminiscence about those childhood memories, or that one inside joke from college. Sharing and showing off your relationship with those you’ve chosen for your Bridal Party will create some of the greatest photos!


Ceremony and Reception + Cocktail Hour!

In my experience, there have been multiple locations for photos at every single wedding ceremony and reception venues that I have been to! Some of the best promotions for a venue or ceremony location are photos posted online from photographers/guests who’ve attended a wedding there, so it’s always best to look out for photos taken at the venue/ceremony location you have chosen! Luckily, even if there is not a lot of room to work with for photos, your photographer and videographer can work some magic and still create some stunning memories for you! A tip for your photography timeline for your wedding is to plan your formal photos with you and your fiancé during cocktail hour! Most introductions begin after the guests have all finished chatting and been seated, so using that time frame is perfect to squeeze in some romantic shots of you two! Most venues will bring out some appetizers and beverages for you to snack on during this time, which is amazing after such a busy day!


Romantic Photoshoot

Do you remember before you got engaged, all those adorable wedding photos you would see on social media? Here is your chance to use them! It’s time to bring all of the screenshots, and Pinterest pages to life! This is the best part in a photography timeline! On average, it would be absolutely ideal to have hours upon hours to spend on just Bride and Groom photos, of course in the sense of a wedding day photography timeline – that is just about impossible, so make the moments count! It is important to try and make it a priority to capture both silly and sweet photos! Your photographer will have a ton of ideas and poses to place you both in, but it is always beneficial and desired to hear your wants and needs as a couple! This will be a beautiful moment of alone time for the two of you, and the best part of the timeline; on what will probably be the busiest (and best) day of your life! Savor every moment, and enjoy the company of your new Husband/Wife!


timeline with first look


Dancing the night away, starting with your First Dance!

Your first dance will be beautiful, magnificent, with so much love between the two of you!. Your photographer and videographer will be dancing right along with the both of you, they will be switching sides and angles and even lenses to get just the perfect shot of you two sharing these first moments together as a married couple! The best tip I can give is to pretend they aren’t there. Their job is to capture the raw emotion and love found in each couple, each different wedding.

In the insane moments of it all, just remember to smile and celebrate. The day might not go exactly as planned, a dress may rip, a guest might be late, but life happens. You just have to go with it because, at the end of the day, it is about you and your future life partner.


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