Do you need a timeline for photography on your wedding day?

February 1st, 2024

Planning a wedding involves numerous details, and one crucial aspect is ensuring that your special day is beautifully documented through photography. To make the most of your wedding photography, it's essential to create a well-structured timeline. Your wedding planner can help you do this. This timeline will help you allocate sufficient time for each stage of the day, ensuring that no precious moments are missed. In this blog post, we will guide you through a comprehensive timeline for wedding photography, from getting ready to late-night photos, so that you can cherish every memory for a lifetime. All the times are suggested and will vary depending on the size of your wedding party and families. The overall time you have for the wedding, the location, and the weather may also impact the actual timeline on the day.

Getting Ready Photos (2-3 hours before the ceremony)

The excitement and anticipation of the wedding day begin with the getting ready photos. This is the perfect opportunity to capture the candid moments, the laughter, and the emotions shared between you and your loved ones. Allow yourself 2-3 hours before the ceremony to ensure that your photographer has ample time to capture these intimate moments. Having  any formal group photos of the Bride with her family and the bridesmaids and separate the Groom with their family, groomsmen will potentially save time later in the day when the formal photos are taken after the ceremony. Your photographer will also use this time to capture details of your respective wedding colors, themes, invitations and personal details.

A detail of personal items and your colors can be a great addition to your album

First Look and Couple's Photos (1-2 hours before the ceremony)

Consider having a first look session before the ceremony, where you and your partner can share a private moment together. This not only allows for stunning couple's portraits but also helps to ease any pre-wedding jitters. Allocate 1-2 hours for this session, ensuring that you have enough time to explore various locations and capture the love and excitement between you and your partner.

Getting some photos of just the bridal couple alone can yield some precious moments.

Wedding Party Photos (30 minutes before the ceremony)

Gather your wedding party approximately 30 minutes before the ceremony for group photos. These photos are a wonderful way to capture the joy and camaraderie among your closest friends and family members. Be sure to provide a list of desired group shots to your photographer to ensure that no combination is overlooked. This works best if you do a "first look" before these Wedding Party photos.

Ceremony Photos (1-2 hours)

The ceremony is the heart of your wedding day, and capturing these precious moments is of utmost importance. Allocate 1-2 hours for your photographer to capture the ceremony, including the exchange of vows, ring exchange, and any other significant rituals. Discuss the desired angles and moments you want to be captured during the ceremony with your photographer. Make sure the photographer is aware of any cultural or familial traditions that they must capture.

Family Photos (30 minutes-1 hour after the ceremony)

After the ceremony, set aside time for family photos. This is a chance to capture beautiful portraits with your immediate family, extended family, and close friends. Allocate 30 minutes to an hour for this session, depending on the number of group combinations. Provide your photographer with a list of desired family shots to ensure that everyone is included.

Reception Photos (3-4 hours)

The reception is a time for celebration and joy, and your photographer will be there to capture every memorable moment. Allocate 3-4 hours for reception photos, including the grand entrance, speeches, cake cutting, first dance, and any other special events. Inform your photographer of any specific moments or details you want to be captured during this time. If a special family member or friend will be present and play a key role make sure the photographer understands their importance.

Late Night Photos (30 minutes before the end of the reception)

As the night draws to a close, don't forget to capture the fun and excitement of the late-night festivities. Allocate 30 minutes before the end of the reception for some candid shots of you and your guests dancing, laughing, and enjoying the celebration. These photos will serve as a fantastic finale to your wedding album.


Creating a well-structured timeline for your wedding photography ensures that every significant moment is captured beautifully. From the getting ready photos to the late-night celebrations, each stage of your wedding day deserves its own dedicated time. By following this comprehensive timeline, you can ensure that your wedding photographer captures all the love, joy, and emotions that make your special day truly unforgettable and you can create a true heirloom album to remember your amazing day.

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