sample wedding photography timeline

In our photo & video timeline post, we walk you through a full wedding day from beginning to end, with all kinds of deets describing a whole sample wedding day. For this post, we just wanted to break down a basic sample photography-only wedding day timeline, so we have a starting place for helping you plan your special day. We just can't wait to chat with you - your day will be unique to you, but this will help get the conversation started!

(We realize you may have a planner and day-of coordinator, but we have photographed roughly 200 weddings, and we bring the photography perspective - which is essential, because the photographs from your day will be the one thing that lasts forever!)


1:30 | Final Hair / Make-up, Bridal Details, Bridal Party in Robes, Champagne Pop, Gifts

2:30 | Bride Getting Dressed, Portraits | Fun with Groomsmen, Cheers, Gifts, Groom Prep, Portraits

3:30 | Couple's First Look, Portraits

4:30 | Pre-Ceremony (time to catch up if things ran late & to capture ceremony & reception details / guests arriving, while Wedding Party touches up / lines up)

5:00 | Ceremony

5:30 | Extended Family Portraits, then Couple Joins Cocktail Hour

6:30 | Guests are Seated, Reception Grand Entrance

6:45 | Dinner

7:30 | Couple's Sunset "Sneak-Away" Session

7:45 | Speeches

8:15 | First Dances

8:30 | Cake-Cutting, Open Dancing

9:00 | Bouquet & Garter Tosses, More Dancing

9:30 | Coverage Ends, Party Continues

Tip: Tell your hair and make-up artists what time you need hair and make-up to be complete, but tell them 30 MINUTES EARLIER THAN YOU REALLY MEAN IT (so if we start at 1:30 - tell them 1 pm!). One thing we know for sure after hundreds of weddings is that hair & make-up always runs late. :)

Note: This timeline doesn't include coverage of a grand exit at the end of the night. That might be an area where you may want to add coverage. Many couples opt to "stage" their exit before the end of the night, both so that more guests are there for the "send-off" photos, and, they save on coverage. :)

Lastly, this timeline includes a couple's first look, which we love! But, if you don't do a first look, the timeline will look a bit different! If there's no first look, you can start coverage an hour later and end later to catch the grand exit. And, we'll spend the full hour after the Ceremony on portraits.


We offer unlimited consultations, communications, and planning sessions for our Clients, plus we send out a Wedding Day Questionnaire 30 days prior to your special day so we can find out what's most important to you and to help us create the photography timeline that is tailored to your unique, special day. We also work with planners, coordinators, DJs and caterers to ensure that everything goes smoothly, and that you have a dream team that you can truly rely on.

We're so excited to tell your love story!