Wedding Photography Timeline

May 8, 2023
Wedding Cake

As your wedding photographer I will work closely with you and your planner to create the most ideal wedding photography timeline. Each timeline may vary depending on the cultural aspects of the wedding but there are certain time frames that should be considered when planning your big day. Here is a typical snapshot of a wedding with ideal time frames for each portion of the celebration as it pertains to photography, but it’s important to keep in mind that weddings often run slightly behind schedule due to various reasons such as traffic or unexpected delays. Therefore, it’s a good idea to add some buffer time between each session to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

1. Preparation Photos (1.5-3 hours)
2. First Look (30 minutes)
3. Individual Portraits (1 hour)
4. Ceremony (30-60 minutes)
5. Family Photos (30 minutes)
6. Wedding Party Photos (30 minutes)
7. Couples Photos (30-90 minutes)
8. Reception Photos (3-hours)


Preparation (1.5-3 hours): Preparation , also known as the Getting Ready Photos, usually takes around 2-3 hours and includes capturing candid shots of each partner getting ready separately, as well as detail shots of the dress, shoes, jewelry, and other accessories. It’s very important to keep a section of the room free of clutter so they don’t show up in your photos.

The First Look

The First Look (30-minutes): The first look is a private session which lasts around 30 minutes which involves capturing the first moment when the two of you see each other on your wedding day. Usually I will set partner 1 up facing the opposite direction from where partner two will be entering the scene. Next partner 2 will slowly walk up to partner 1, tap them on the shoulder and partner 1 will turn around to see partner 2. There are other variations of this that we will discuss when putting your plan together.

Individual Portraits

Individual Portraits (1-hour total): During this session I will take beautiful individual portraits of you looking your best on your wedding day. Depending on your individual needs I will take these before the ceremony, after, or both and ideally will have up to 30-minutes with each of you.

The Ceremony

Wayfarers Chapel Wedding

Wedding Ceremony (30-60 minutes): This of course is the moment you’ve been waiting for! I will usually be at the bottom of the isle so I can capture you as you walk down passing your guests, while my second photographer if you choose to have one, will be at the top of the isle which allows her to get extra photos from another angle. Staying discreet being careful not to interrupt your guests view is my top priority while at the same time making sure I don’t miss any important moments.


Family Photos

Family Photos (30 minutes): Family photos are generally taken immediately after the ceremony when everyone is still present unless you have a first look. If you do have a first look then it is possible to do the family photos before the ceremony as long as everyone is present.

Wedding Party

Bridal Party

Wedding Party Photos (30 minutes): This session takes around 1-hour and involves capturing posed and candid shots of the wedding party, including bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls, and ring bearers. This typically will take place at the end of the ceremony unless a first look has been done.

Couple’s Photos

Couples Photos (30-60 minutes): This session is dedicated to capturing intimate shots of the two of you as Newlyweds. The best time of day to take couple photos is during the golden hour which is a period of time shortly after sunrise or before sunset when the sun is low in the sky, creating a warm and soft light that is flattering for portraits. This time varies depending on time of year and location so I will provide this information to your wedding planner during our consultation.

Stylish Wedding

The Reception

Father and Daughter Dance

The Reception (3-4 hours): The reception photos usually take around 3-4 hours and involve capturing shots of the decor, speeches, cake cutting, first dance, bouquet toss, garter toss, and other important moments.

Additional Wedding Day Details

Table Shots

Table shots are a popular way to capture memories with wedding guests. This type of photography involves taking pictures of each table at the reception, usually with the newlyweds in the center of the shot. Here are a couple of ways to do this:

  1. Have each table come to your sweetheart table. This allows for very clean and structured photos.
  2. Go to each table and have everyone gather around you. Keep in mind this can take 3-5 minutes per table.
  3. Have me shoot candidly capturing all of the action as you meet with your guests. This is the most organic way.

Cultural Weddings 

For cultural weddings like Indian weddings, there are elements like the Baraat that require time to photograph. 


How good can someone look while eating? Not very good at all. Therefore this is the best time for me to eat and take a 30 minute break. Please make sure to inform your caterer that you would like me to be served immediately after you and NOT after everyone else is served. The reason for this is, if I am served after everyone else most likely by that time the speeches are likely to begin. You probably want that documented, but if not this doesn’t apply.