July 14, 2021

Creating Your Wedding Day Timeline

When I started to plan my wedding, just like many of you are doing, I had absolutley no idea how long anything took in regards to pictures. At the time, I wasn’t a wedding photographer and so I literally had NO experience with timelines or any of that. I blindly hired my photographer for 8 hours based on my previous experience and how long I estimated everything would take but I really had no idea. Thankfully, I had at least thought everything out, and since I had other photography experience I knew family photos would take at least 30 minutes, etc. However, since entering the wedding industry as a photographer, I have quickly realized many brides have absolutely no idea how long things should take just like I didn’t!

I have found that many brides hire a photographer for 7-8 hours and expect them to capture getting ready images, detail shots, family shots, their leaving, and everything in between without realizing that 7-8 hours may not be enough because all of those things take time. You can’t do your entrance to your reception 30 minutes after the ceremony if we still have to do all of family AND bride and groom portraits AND bridal part portraits because you chose not to do a first look. It just won’t be possible if you want quality images. In order to help you get an accurate guage of how much time you actually need from your photographer, I have put together a sample time-line/schedule listing out the average time it takes me to photograph each part of your day. Keep in mind that these are my estimates and every photographer may be different so make sure to ask your photographer before nailing down your timeline (if your photographer is us, we create your timeline for you!)

ESTIMATED TIMES

Bridal Details (Invitation Suite, Rings, Shoes)- 30 min
Shoot Hair and Makeup- 30 min
Shoot Groom Prep- 30 min
Shoot Bridal Dressing- 30 min
First look- 15 min
Bride and Groom Portraits- 30 min
Bride & Bridesmaids Portraits- 20 min
Groom & Groomsmen Portraits- 20 min
Wedding Party All together Portraits- 20 min
Family Portraits -20 min (30 for large families)
Shoot Ceremony Details – 30 min
Shoot Reception Details – 30 min

Remember these are just estimates for how long it typically will take me to photograph each of these parts of your day. Obviously things like cake cutting, first dance, and the leaving (all of those reception items) are very much dependent on each individual couple and how much time you will need for your reception covera, which we can figure out together. These items also DO NOT need to be in this order, we will arrange them to best suit your day!

SAMPLE WEDDING TIMELINE

Photographer Arrives and sets up gear- 2:00-2:15 (15 min)
Shoots Bridal Details- 2:15-2:45 (30 min)
Ceremony Details – 2:45-3:15 (30 min)
Shoot Bridal party prep: Hair and Makeup- 3:15-3:45 (30 min)
Shoot Groom Prep- 3:45-4:15 (30 min)
Bridal Dressing- 4:15-4:45 (30 min)
First look- 15 min 4:45-5:00 (15 min)
Bride and Groom Portrait- 5:00-5:30 (30 min)
Bride & Bridesmaids Portraits- 5:30-5:50 (20 min)
Groom & Groomsmen Portraits- 5:50-6:10 (20 min)
Wedding Party- 6:10-6:30 (20 min)
Reception Details – 6:30-7:00 (30 min)
Ceremony – 7:00-7:30 (30 min)
Family Portraits – 7:30-7:50 20 min (30 for large families)
Reception Begins – 8:00

This is an example of a full wedding day which would be 6 hours of coverage without the reception. Including the reception you are looking at at least 8 maybe even up to 11 hours of wedding day coverage.

I hope this was helpful in planning your wedding day timeline!

VENDOR CREDITS

Host: @styledshootsacrossamerica
Planning & Design: @heatherbengeevents
Venue: @ChateauCocomar
Florals: @casadefloresdesign
Hair & Makeup: @sunkissedandmadeup
Linens: @nuagedesignsinc
Bridal Salon: @weddingsbydebbie
Menswear: @themoderngroom_
Stationery: @invitationsbywhitney
Cake: @getcakedtx
Rentals: @swiftevents
Shoes: @louboutinworld
Models: @modelelizabethkaren & @lucassefcik

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