Wedding Day Timeline

The timeline can be somewhat intimidating to button down but we are here to help! We know this isn’t the most exciting aspect of wedding planning but it is the one thing that can make or break your photographs. Below we have laid out a sample timeline working off a 6:00 pm ceremony. This timeline also includes a first look. Almost 90% of our couples do a first look and you can read about that option HEREAll wedding days are different and your timeline will likely differ due to your day’s unique aspects.

Please remember this is our advice based off of past experience, but you are in no way required to follow our guide. If you have a wedding planner, they will likely provide a separate timeline and that’s okay! This is designed to help couples who are looking for a bit of guidance while planning out their day.

Details 1:00-2:00pm

As soon as we arrive we’ll start by shooting the details while you’re getting your hair and makeup done! Details are an important part of the story and we love having time to shoot the dress, shoes, jewelry, invitations etc.  These shots allow us to get creative and warmed up for the rest of the big day. We normally allow an hour for this part of the day, where possible. While we are shooting details, we are also capturing shots of the bride and bridesmaids getting ready! Last, we capture the groom and groomsmen getting ready, as they take a short amount of time.

Bridal Prep 2:00-3:00pm

After the details have been captured and hair and makeup finishes, it’s time for the bride to get into her dress! This is a big moment. We usually ask the mother of the bride and all of the bridesmaids to be dressed by the time the bride is ready to get into her dress. This ensures that everyone looks great in these images. After the bride is in her gown, she can put on her jewelry, shoes, veil and we will capture some additional bridal portraits!

First Look 3:30-4:00pm

We will find the perfect location for your first look prior to bridal prep and set up the groom in position when it’s time! The first look allows you and your partner to feel and experience your true emotions away from your guests and to take in the moment with your soul mate. After the bride and groom take their time with the first look, we will begin taking a few romantic portraits of you while the initial excitement is still present! We will find the locations for these shots, while trying to remain as private as the venue permits. Remember, lighting determines where we can shoot so we can’t decide on the portrait locations until the day of the wedding. As we shoot these portraits, the bridal party and family can start making their way to us for formal photos.

See why we recommend First Looks

Formal Portraits 4:00-5:30

Now it’s time for formal shots! We recommend a buffer throughout the day just in case we have some unexpected events which can hold us up.

We typically need approximately 45 minutes for formals but we will send a questionnaire before the wedding day to understand the various combinations of shots you want. We recommend shooting portraits outdoors whenever possible as we will have optimal lighting conditions for everyone to look their best!

Ceremony & Reception Details 5:30-6:00

After the portraits are complete, the couple will go into hiding so any early guests don’t get a sneak peak. We also recommend building this buffer as it provides time to relax, rest your feet and prepare for the ceremony!

If the reception is in the same location as the ceremony, we will use this time to shoot the reception decor and any ceremony details prior to everyone arriving. If the ceremony and reception are in different locations, we recommend having a cocktail hour outside of the main reception area if possible, so that we can take some great shots of your reception before the night begins.

Ceremony 6:00-6:30

It’s time to get married! Most conventional ceremonies are approximately 30 minutes long. If your ceremony is longer than 30 minutes, we’ll adjust the timeline accordingly. Cherish these moments, as your ceremony will absolutely fly by!

During the ceremony, remember to look at each other, not the officiant, so guests and the camera don’t only see the back of your head. We recommend doing a fun pose, dip, etc after being announced and walking back down the aisle! Some couples have had guests throw confetti, rose petals or bubbles during this which makes for some awesome images.

Newly Wed Portraits 6:30-7:00pm

The hour before sunset, known as golden hour, is the BEST time of day for portraits. This is when the sun is casting a glowy, golden hue over anything it touches. We love having time after the ceremony to take some intimate portraits before you hit the cocktail hour and reception!

Reception 7:30-10:45

This is when the bridal party will line-up for introductions and the party begins. Each reception is different but most include dinner, toasts, bouquet toss and cake cutting. By this part of the day the timeline isn’t as strict.

We recommend a maximum of three hours of reception coverage (even if your party extends past this) as the photos start to become repetitive and the effects of alcohol tend to take hold.  We can assist with a staged send-off, which is much more common than you may have thought! We just sneak the bridal party out for 5 minutes to complete the send off and then you can return to enjoy the rest of your party without a care in the world!

Send Off 10:45 - 11:00pm

Make sure you plan your send off for at least 15 minutes prior to our photography end time. This will give time for everyone to get lined up and send you on your way! If you’re planning a fake send off ahead of your real departure we’ll sneak your bridal party out to do this.

If our contracted time ends but you’re not ready to stop the coverage, you can ask us to stay! We charge $300 per additional hour over our contracted time.