May 4, 2023
Wedding day timelines can be overwhelming for couples to create on their own. Fortunately, we work close with every single one of our couples and planners to create a photo specific timeline so you know where we are/what we’re doing every minute of the day. Here’s our typical wedding day timeline that we suggest. Remember, every wedding day varies, but you can generally apply this to any wedding day formal and fine tune to your specific needs and preferences.
Typical Wedding Day (8 hours of coverage)
2pm – 3pm: Prep
Our lead and second photographer will usually split up to start the day. One of us will be with each person capturing all the candid moments of hanging out in the morning, getting ready, and all the fun details.
3pm-5pm: First Look/Portraits
After you’re both dressed and ready, we’ll coordinate a meeting spot and set up your first look. You’ll get to see each other for the first time that day, hug/kiss/talk – do whatever you want to do (perks of doing a first look: this can all be in private vs. all of your guests watching!). After a few minutes together, we’ll continue onto couple portraits (about 30 minutes to 1 hour), then wedding party (all together + individuals with each person in the party + group shots). Typically I suggest 1.5-2 hours for this part of the day, but it also can vary with travel time/how many different locations/etc.
5:00 – 5:30pm: Travel time/down time before the ceremony
This is when we’ll typically head to your venue, you’ll get some time to regroup or freshen up if needed, while we get all of our gear loaded in and set up lights, recharge batteries, etc. We’ll also use this time to photograph the ceremony space, details, any candids of guests arriving, as well as create a game plan for positioning, lighting, angles, etc.
5:30 – 6pm: Ceremony
Throughout the ceremony, both photographers will split up to maximize coverage from multiple angles. The lead shooter will typically be up front capturing the processional, while the second photographer will be in the back capturing any last moments or feelings before walking down the aisle. From there, both photographers will be rotating from the side aisles to the center aisle to any overhead spaces (if we have access) or any other creative angles that we can get to. We always move as discretely and quietly as possible to not draw attention.
6 – 7pm: Cocktail Hour
Now the party starts! Most of the time, the lead photographer will use the first 15 minutes of Cocktail Hour to capture Formal Family Photos in your ceremony space. Meanwhile, the second photographer will be photographing Cocktail Hour – getting any shots of food, decor, drinks, people mingling, and any posed photos of groups. Once the lead photographer is finished with Formal Family Photos, they’ll use this time to set up lights for the reception, recharge batteries, connect with your MC/planner on the reception timeline, photograph centerpieces and any other room decor, and create a plan for where to be and when throughout the entire reception.
7 – 10pm: Reception
Reception time!! Now we’re pretty much focused on capturing all the events that are happening! From your introductions, to speeches, to cake cutting, to your formal dances, to open dance floor – we’re there to capture it all! At this point, we’ve already connected with your MC/planner about the timing of events – so know that we have a plan and know where to be and when for every big moment of your reception. Typically, we’ll stay for about 30 to 45 minutes of open dance floor, and that is PLENTY of time to capture all the fun that everyone is having, but we’ll also leave early enough to make sure everyone can truly let loose and not worry about any incriminating photos 😉
That’s it! Wedding day timelines all vary slightly, but this is the format we stick with 99% of the time… with different variations added in as far as getting ready locations, travel time, portrait locations, family photo timing, etc. Every wedding day is special we will definitely work with you to create the perfect timeline for your day!