Wedding Photography Timeline Tips

It can feel quite overwhelming to get your timeline sorted, but I am here to help.

It will obviously depend on what time of the year you will be getting married. A good tip is to check the sunset time on to make sure you plan your wedding timeline accordingly.

Check how late sunset is and make sure that your formal couple portraits is between 45min and 1 hour before sunset. Just keep in mind that the sun set differently in certain areas. For example if the venue is set between mountains the sun will set earlier, so plan your timing a bit earlier. 

Remember to count in for traveling. How far apart are you and your partner getting ready? How far is your getting ready location from your ceremony venue? How far do you need to drive for your formal couple portraits?

Of course all weddings are unique and nothing is set in stone, but the following timing is a good rule of thumb in order to capture the important moments.

This incl. the surroundings, decor of the ceremony area (if it is already set up), the reception decor, etc.
Your photographer will usually start by photographing this first before going to the groom. Otherwise during canapé time.

Groom getting ready 

1 hour
Ask the groom and groomsmen to shower and get into pants and shirt just before photographer arrives. Otherwise a lot of time can get wasted and your photographer can not capture the important moments.
Except if you want your photographer to capture a more journalistic approach where they for ex. take a dip in the pool, play some cards, etc. Add more time or the second photographer (if you have one booked for the day) can capture this while the main photographer is at the bride.

Bride gettingready 

30 minutes details eg. dress, shoes, flowers etc. and the moments that are happening in the room- champagne pop, etc.

30 minutes getting dressed

40 minutes formal portraits of the bride and with parents and/or bridesmaids
Add a few minutes to take everything in before you are off the meet your groom at the altar.


This depends on you. It can range anything from 20 minutes to 1 hour. 
Register signing and confetti takes about 15 minutes

Family Portraits

I always suggest capturing the family portraits straight after the ceremony. Everyone will already be there and after that your guests can enjoy canapés. 
Best to stick for immediate family otherwise the list can get very long.

NB Get a family photo list together for your photographer and ask your MC to help orchestrate the groups.

Bridal Party

20-30 minutes, depending on how big your bridal party is. 
You can either do this straight after family portraits or enjoy canapes with guests and then go for your bridal party photos. 

Couple Portraits

40minutes to 1 hour
It is ideal to do your couple portraits during sunset for those soft, golden light, sough after portraits.


This will depend on how many hours you have booked your photographer for. 
Also, how late your formals end. 

Here is a sample timeline. Every wedding is unique, so let me know what you have planned for your wedding and I will assist with a personalized timeline for you.

This is for weddings taking place in December:
13:00 decor
13:30 groom prep
14:30 bride prep
16:00 ceremony, register signing, confetti (the ceremony time is up to you)
17:00 family photos
17:30 Canapes with guests – photographer will also photograph reception decor with lit candles
17:50 Bridal party
18:30 Couple
19:30 Couple enter reception

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