Wedding Photography Timeline

We recognize that every single couple and wedding is unique and it’s nearly impossible to create a wedding timeline that works universally. We also recognize the priorities can vary from couple to couple, and culture to culture. That being said, here are some time frames you should definitely consider.

Details, Rings, Dress, Shoes, etc.

Time - 30 minutes
When - Morning
Where - Bridal Suite and Groom’s Suite
Advice - Gathering up all the details prior to the photographer arriving will allow the maximum amount of time. Often times dresses arrive on ugly hangers. Consider picking up a custom, or at least a wooden hanger. Often times the suites are crowded or messy and we have to take the dress elsewhere.


Time - 60+ minutes
When - Morning
Where - Bridal Suite and Groom’s Suite
Advice - Photographing the bride and groom preparation is a great way to capture beautiful, candid moments. These are often some of the most emotional and fun parts of the day. Depending on how close the bride and groom’s suites are, the primary and secondary photographer may switch back and forth, or stay with one of the two the entire time.

Individual Portraits

Time - 15-30 minutes each
When - Morning
Where - Bridal Suite and Groom’s Suite
Advice - As soon as the bride and groom are ready tends to be the best time for individual portraits. This insures that hair and makeup are fresh.

Couples Session - First Look / Daytime

Time - 45-60 minutes
When - Morning or Early Afternoon
Where - Gardens, lobbies and areas with shaded natural light. If time allows we can leave site.
Advice - The first look session saves us a large amount of time later in the day and give us the ability to go somewhere offsite. Many of my couples opt to do their first look a few days prior. See here for more info on that. If you choose not to do a first look, please allocate another 45-60 minutes later to insure that we have enough photos of the two of you.

Wedding Party Photos

Time - 45-60 minutes
When - Morning or Early Afternoon
Where - Garden, lobbies, park, off-site
Advice - We start with the classic traditional photos and then move to the more fun and creative ones. We love to capture an individual photo with you and each wedding party member.

Family Formals

Time - 45-60 minutes
When - Morning or Early Afternoon
Where - Ceremony Site
Advice - The amount of time delegated to family portraits vary depending on how many family groupings there are. We highly recommend photographing only immediate family. We have learned that once you start photographing extended family, all extended start to expect a photo and it can double or triple how long it takes. Plan on 3 minutes per grouping for groups under 10 people and 5 minutes per grouping for large groups. That means if you have 10 groups, that will take 30 minutes. We also recommend be very organized, with a list of the groups and a helper from each side of the family. If family members aren’t ready it will delay everything.

Couples Session - Sunset

Time - 1 hour
When - Evening (30 min before sunset)
Where - Gardens, open fields, spectacular views
Advice - The couples sunset session is often couple’s most favorite part of the day and favorite photos. We’ll want to split our allocated time based off of when the sun is setting, with half before and half after. This is the time that allows us to capture awesome scenic shots and colorful skies.

Reception Details and Venue

Time - 30 minutes
When - Early evening
Where - Reception site
Advice - Prior to your guests entering the reception room, please let us (often the second photographer) access the fully set up room. This is typically the only time to photograph the reception details without people, purses, etc throughout the room.

Couples Session - Reception Sneak Out

Time - 20-30 minutes
When - Night time
Where - Interesting lights, fountains, city, mirrors
Advice - During the reception, please plan on sneaking away for a few night photos. We don’t need much time, as we understand you don’t want to miss the party, and want to be good hosts. However, this is important if you like our night photos we deliver. Ideal time is right after you eat, during the opening dancing, or at the very end of the night once all the guests have left.


Cultural Weddings - Cultural weddings often have performances, and mulitple ceremonies that will take additional time to photograph.

Lazy Summaries