Wedding Photography Timeline

ring shots are important for wedding details

If time flies when you’re having fun, it’s only logical that what many call the best day of your life seems to go by in the blink of an eye. However, when you ask newlyweds to reflect on their big day, many share the sentiment of how unexpectedly quick the wedding day comes to a close.

Months spent in anticipation make for an exciting, yet speedy celebration, which means every second counts. As you’ve flipped through bridal magazines, pinned on your wedding board, fawned over flowers, booked your venue, and secured your photographer, it’s immensely important to remember to also secure the schedule of your wedding day.

Without a clearly set timeline, the precious time of your nuptials will slip away.

The last thing you want on your wedding day is to run out of time to take pictures. A lack of a wedding timeline will leave you not only feeling frantic during the day, but also saddened by the less than desirable amount of images you receive from your photographer after you’ve said, “I do.”

The images your wedding photographer captures turn into memories that last a lifetime, so dedicating your time to create a schedule that is “photographer friendly” is an invaluable investment. Read on and enjoy helpful guidelines for creating a foolproof timeline for your wedding day.

Before you start allotting time for photography, it’s important to determine what images you and your partner will cherish the most. Open up a conversation about your goals and what kinds of images mean the most to you. Are you looking to submit your wedding to a popular blog or magazine? Make sure to give your photographer a heads up so that he or she will have enough time to snap those ever-important detail shots before the guests arrive.

Does the thought of a complete family portrait make your heart sing? You’ll need to set aside at least 15 minutes during your reception to gather up and pose with your parents, siblings, cousins, and more.

Once you nail down your wedding photography desires, you can start to cater your schedule to each photo opportunity.

Getting Ready Photos

Set aside 1-2 hours to make sure your photographer has the time to capture the images of makeup application, group portraits with your bridesmaids in matching robes, putting on the dress and so much more. These are typically some of the favorite images for the Bride and her mother.

Getting ready photo of bride before wedding day

Bridal Portraits

Plan for at least 20 minutes after getting ready pictures to photograph you once you are ready for some stunning portraits of you before happy tears affect your makeup.

First Look Photos

If you and your partner are planning on a first look reveal, schedule at least a 1-hour slot of time prior to your ceremony for your photographer to capture all of the excitement and romance. If couples erring on the side of traditional still love the idea of pre-ceremony pictures, set aside 20 minutes for sweet behind the door or blindfolded shots that still save the surprise for the aisle.

Couple and Wedding Party Portraits

After you’ve exchanged vows, plan on taking couple portraits while your guests enjoy cocktail hour. Depending on the variety of couple portraits you desire, plan on taking wedding party pictures that immediately follow for 30 minutes to one hour. It’s important to be courteous to your guest’s time, so make sure to discuss your desired poses with your photographer in advance. If you are up in the air about what kind of images you would like, tell the photographer. If you hired a professional they will make magic happen.

Reception Shots

If a complete group picture with all of your guests is on your must-have shot list, carve around 10 minutes out of dancing to round ‘em up and snap some images. Otherwise, get to dancing and allow your photographer free reign of capturing your moves without a set time restraint. For larger weddings it’s not advisable to try and have photos with all of your guests. Not to mention you can only smile for so long before your cheeks start to hurt.

With these guidelines in mind, you can enjoy your wedding day with confidence and treasure a great selection of images for years to come!