WEDDING TIMELINE CREATION

While the most amazing wedding photos may look effortless, there is a good deal of time that goes into creating those incredible images. Therefore, creating a wedding photography timeline is an absolute must. So, I’ve posted a few sample timelines so that you can get a sense of the differences between 4, 6, 8, and 10 hour coverage. Keep in mind, every wedding is different! You can adjust the timeline around your ceremony & reception time, whether you're having first look or a cocktail hour, etc.

​These 2 sample timelines represents weddings with and without the First Look. To determine your coverage needs, you can create your own timeline to both shorten the timeline to 4-6 hours or increase from 8-10 hours.

First Look Sample Timeline

A First Look is a moment during the wedding day when the Bride and Groom plan to see each other for the first time. The First Look allows couples to share this special moment together in a more private setting. Unlike traditional weddings where the couple plans to see each other during the ceremony.

Traditionally, couples will wait until the ceremony before seeing each other for the first time. However, it’s becoming more and more popular to see each other just before the ceremony for a number of reasons… 

We want you to live in the moment and not just relive it through the photos. We want you to be present with your guests. A First Look gives you the flexibility to get all your portraits totally out of the way so you can engage with the people you love the most.

Aisle Reveal Sample Timeline

When trying to choose between a First Look and Aisle Reveal always go with your gut. This is your wedding day and if you’d like to go the more traditional route than you should!

Traditionally, the wedding day unfolds a bit like this: A morning full of bridesmaids hurrying around getting ready, lots of hair and makeup, getting dressed, being transported to the ceremony location, walking down the aisle, say your vows, moving on to a receiving line, family photos, bridal party photos, bride and groom portraits, getting introduced into the reception, first dance, parent dances, eating (if you are lucky!), greeting guests, dancing for a bit and the reception is over. And just like that, your wedding day came and went. With a First Look you give yourself more time to enjoy your wedding day and soak it all in. By seeing each other 2 hours beforehand you can get all your portraits out of the way (or at least the bride and groom ones), have a 30 minute break before the ceremony, take some formals after the ceremony and then go to enjoy your reception.

Most brides and grooms don’t make it to their cocktail hour because they are off taking pictures. By the time they get into the reception, the guests have already made a mess of the place. With a First Look you can mingle with your guests during the cocktail hour and can actually sit down and enjoy the meal that you, undoubtedly, paid a lot of money for. Also, you get to enjoy every second of the entertainment part of your reception. Your wedding day is way more chill and you get to sit back and enjoy the most important day of your life. A First Look, most likely, will be the only time you get to spend alone with each other during your wedding day.

Photography Coverage Simplified

​When it comes to photography coverage, we must first understand that it's "continuous" coverage. It is a photographic documentary of all of the events, moments, and emotions that will happen throughout your magical day! However, it’s really tough to know what length package you need if you don’t really know exactly what your schedule is going to look like. So, I work with my clients to come up with a timeline that fits their day so that they choose the best coverage to capture their special day. I want you to choose the most economical option available, but most importantly, I want to make sure you're enjoying your wedding day and not running around taking photos because of insufficient coverage. I also want to be sure to capture your day the best I possibly can and it's tough to do that to my full potential when time is very limited! 

While the most amazing wedding photos may look effortless, there is a good deal of time that goes into creating those incredible images. Therefore, creating a wedding photography timeline is an absolute must. So, I’ve posted a few sample timelines so that you can get a sense of the differences between 4, 6, 8, and 10 hour coverage. Keep in mind, every wedding is different! You can adjust the timeline around your ceremony & reception time, whether you're having first look or a cocktail hour, etc. 

Types of Coverage

Full day Coverage:10-12 hours 

Half Day Coverage: 6-8 hours

Event Coverage: 4-5 hours 

Adding It All Up

Getting Ready: 2-3 hours

First Look: 1 1/2 - 2 hours

Ceremony: 1/2 hour

Post-Ceremony: 1-3 hours (depending on when you have your first look)

Reception: 4-5 hours

TOTAL TIME: 8 - 12 HOURS

Weddings are so wonderful but they can also be stressful, especially since all weddings are very unique and there isn’t a one size fit all template. It’s best to plan ahead and understand the flow of the wedding day to avoid booking insufficient coverage for your wedding day. I have listed below all the appropriate time frames that you should keep in mind when considering how much photography coverage is needed. These allotted times for each part of the wedding will help you decide when you would like coverage to begin and end. 

A suggested photographic itinerary:

Getting ready or moments before (1-2 hours)

These are the “before” pictures: the bride and groom getting ready, details (jewelry, invites or whatever is important to you), a few portraits, These final moments are filled with emotion, so you’ll want to capture them.

Newlywed photographs/First Look *(1/2 – 1 hour)

A first look is a moment few hours before the ceremony where bride and groom see each other for the first time on the wedding day. It is usually pre-arranged with their wedding photographer in a private place away from family and friends to capture that moment just for them.

Couple’s session *(1/2 – 1 hour)

The couple’s session happens immediately after the first look. This session includes taking couples portraits and individual portraits, which last around 60 minutes. This is a chance for the bride and groom to be alone and to take gorgeous photos!

Wedding Party Photos *(1/2 – 1 hour)

Once you have your first look and bride and groom portrait session, the rest of the family can join in on the fun. During this time, the rest of the wedding party will come in to take formal wedding photos with the bride and the groom. This usually takes 45 minutes but it depends on size of the wedding party. This is typically where the bride and groom have fun with their wedding party, after all these are the closest family and friends.

Immediate Family Photos *(1/2 – 1 hour)

It’s great to do the immediate family photos before the ceremony. And if time doesn’t permit, there is still time to do family photos after the ceremony. Taking family photo before ceremony allows the family to enjoy the cocktail hour. This session includes the parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins and immediate relatives.

Ceremony *(1/2 – 1 hour)

A symbolic ceremony is short — about 20 minutes. Civil or religious ceremonies are slightly longer — 30-40 minutes, Catholic ceremonies are a bit longer — 40-50 minutes. If you’re having guests, you’ll want more time to shoot a few group photographs after the ceremony.

Formal Group photos *(1/2 – 1 hour)

After the ceremony, it can take up to hour to take formal photos of family and friends. This time varies depending on how many groups and how big the groups are. 

Hours Reception *(1-3 hours):

If you are thinking of having an intimate dinner, reception or simply just cake and champagne, then 1-1/2 hour of coverage may be sufficient. If you are having a longer reception full of planned events such as first dances, cake cutting, toasts etc, then it's best to consider 3 hours of reception coverage.

*Time needed is dependent upon size of wedding party and number of guests in attendance.