An essential tool to make sure your wedding day goes off without a hitch is a wedding day timeline. This can be as simple as everyone knowing where they are supposed to be at certain times, to an elaborate written schedule to follow down to the minute. As a photographer, I like to create a general wedding day timeline for my clients so we have a timeline to follow.
Here is a guideline I like to use when planning how much time should be allowed for each portion of the day.
2-3 hours before ceremony- detail and getting ready shots. Time will vary if time is needed to travel to ceremony venue. Bridal party shots, and first look can also take place during this time.
1 hour before ceremony- bridal party, bride and groom should all be ready and at the ceremony site. Bridal party shots can continue to take place.
Ceremony- depending on the formality of the wedding ceremony, this can last between half an hour, to a full hour.
1 hour after ceremony- this can look different for every bride depending on the couple's preferences. Traditionally, this is when family photos are done. The bride and groom should plan for at least 30 minutes for family photos and can vary depending on family sizes. A receiving line is also up to the bride and groom but can make family photos more difficult because family members tend to disperse during this time, causing significant delay. If time is of short supply, or sunset takes place earlier in the day during the late fall and winter, a receiving line is discouraged.
1-3 hours after ceremony- this is a great time to do whole bridal party shots and couples shots, unless a first look was done earlier in the day. Different locations can be visited depending on time of day and available light.
To recap, here is the approximate amount of time each category of wedding photography will last. Please allow enough time when booking for your photography team to capture the shots you need!
Detail shots- 15-30 minutes
Bridal portraits (individual)- 10-20 minutes
Getting ready shots- 15-30 minutes (per side of bridal party)
First look- 15-20 minutes
Couples session- 30 minutes
Bridal party shots- 20-30 minutes
Family photos- 30-45 minutes
This is a timeline specific to MY photography business, and may not apply to all photographers.
If you are a future ALP bride, I can't wait to help you come up with your own custom wedding day timeline to make sure I can help as much as possible to keep your day on track!
Audrey Lee- Audrey Lee Photography