wedding timeline

A Wedding Photography Timeline: A Professional’s Guide

This guide is designed to navigate you through planning your wedding photography timeline. As someone who has photographed over 100 weddings, I promise, I won’t stere you wrong. Recognizing that each wedding is unique, we emphasize the importance of a tailored approach. Word of advice, always keep the logistics of location and timing when creating these time stamps.

Setting the Scene:

Firstly, imagine a picture perfect wedding at a popular resort in Palm Beach. Every event from the preparations to the reception unfolds within its expansive grounds. Translated in English means getting ready, ceremony and reception will all be in the same location. Still, this setting not only offers a cohesive aesthetic but also simplifies logistics, allowing for a seamless transition between events. However, when the getting ready location, ceremony, and reception are spread across different areas of town, the wedding photography timeline should adapt to accommodate travel time. This will ensure photography coverage is continuous, comprehensive plus leaves nothing off the table.

Comprehensive 12 Hour Wedding Photography Timeline:

Setting the Scene: The bride and groom have chosen a popular resort for their wedding. They opt for a cohesive experience by hosting all events on-site. This decision simplified logistics significantly, allowing for seamless transitions between the day’s various phases. It’s a Jewish wedding, incorporating traditions like the ketubah signing and a first look. The chosen date is November 4, 2023. Based on this site, sunset was scheduled at 6:39pm. With photography coverage scheduled from 12:30 pm to 12:30 am, we meticulously planned around the sunset to ensure optimal lighting for portraits.

Ideal Amount of time for each portion of the day

Details (invitations, dress, etc.): 30 minutes

Getting ready (bridesmaids and bride PJ and Robe shots) : 20 minutes

Putting on the Dress and Solo Bride Shots in room: 30 minutes 

First look with dad/brother(s): 15 minutes

First Look with Bride and Groom: 15 minutes

Bridal Portraits (Bride and Groom Photos): 60 minutes

Bridal Party Photos: 15 minutes

Family Formals: 30 minutes

Ceremony: 60 minutes

Cocktail Hour: 60 minutes

Reception: Roughly 90 minutes which includes First Dances, Speeches, Cake Cutting and Dinner

Party: 90 minutes + depending on your coverage and any after party to follow.

Some other things people include in their timeline that you might also want to include!

Father’s First Look: 15 minutes

Bridesmaid Reveal: 15 minutes

Do you need help putting together a timeline to see how much time you will need your photographer for? Schedule your free consultation call at the button below and I will personally answer any questions or concerns you may have!

Example Wedding Photography Timeline:

  • 12:15 pm: The wedding photography team meets in the lobby for a brief meeting. This is when I distribute SD cards to my two other photographers. I also ensure they’re fully briefed on their specific roles and the day’s expectations.
  • 12:25 pm: We proceed to the bridal suite to introduce the team. This includes myself, the second and third shooter, and an assistant/bts (behind-the-scenes) content creator.
  • 12:30 pm: The official start time. We begin capturing flat lays and wedding details, setting the stage for the narrative of the day.
  • 1:15 pm: Next, Fun shots with the bridesmaids in their pajamas, robes, or matching sets, alongside the bride.
  • 1:30 pm: The bridesmaids and the Mother of the Bride (MOB) leave the room to get dressed.
  • 1:45 pm: At this point, The bride begins getting dressed, often assisted by her mother or a bridal valet service. This moment is carefully documented, capturing the emotional and intimate interactions.
  • 2:00 pm: As the bride adds her earrings, bracelet, any heirlooms, and shoes, I capture these timeless moments. Meanwhile, the second photographer documents the groom’s preparations, embracing a documentary/editorial approach.
  • 2:30 pm: The second photographer takes the groom and his groomsmen for outdoor shots around the property. This includes both group and solo portraits.
  • 3:00 pm: After completing indoor shots within her suite, we take the bride outside for solo portraits.
  • 3:30 pm: The first look and bridal portraits session begins. This is where the extended timeline allows for a relaxed and detailed photo session.
  • 4:30 pm: Time for bridal party portraits, utilizing the resort’s beautiful settings to capture vibrant and dynamic group photos.
  • 5:00 pm: Family portraits commence, streamlined by a pre-made list to ensure efficiency and organization.
  • 5:30 pm: The ketubah signing, a significant moment in a Jewish wedding, is captured with reverence and detail.
  • 6:00 pm: At this time, the ceremony begins. Each photographer is positioned strategically to capture every angle and moment, from the vows to the guests’ reactions.
  • 6:30 pm: Next, Cocktail hour offers the bride and groom a chance to mingle with guests. One photographer captures these interactions while the others two photograph the reception area’s decor before guests arrive.
  • 7:15 pm: A room reveal for the bride and groom, offering another intimate photo opportunity in the beautifully decorated reception space.
  • 7:30 pm: Guests are welcomed into the reception area to find their seats, setting the stage for the evening’s festivities.
  • 7:40 pm: The DJ introduces the bride and groom, leading into their first dance, followed by an invitation for all guests to join the dance floor.
  • 7:45 pm: The band or DJ transitions into the Hora, a lively and joyous dance that invites participation from all guests.
  • 8:00 pm: The blessing of the challah marks a moment of gratitude and tradition, followed by speeches at 8:15 pm, offering personal reflections and well-wishes.
  • 8:30 pm: The main courses are served, a moment for guests to savor the culinary highlights of the celebration.
  • 8:50 pm: Vendor meals are provided, ensuring that those working behind the scenes are also taken care of.
  • 9:15 pm: A silent cake cutting by the bride and groom, captured for posterity without a formal announcement to the reception.
  • 9:30 pm: The bride changes into her second outfit, offering a fresh look for the remainder of the evening and additional photo opportunities.
  • 9:45 pm: Finally, the party officially starts, capturing the energy and excitement of the night’s celebration.
  • 11:30 pm: Late-night bites are served, providing a savory treat for guests as the evening winds down.
  • 12:30 am: At this time, photography coverage concludes.

Adapting to Different Locations:

When the day’s events are spread across multiple locations, it’s crucial to factor in travel time between each. Our timeline is crafted to ensure smooth transitions, with photography coverage continuing uninterrupted as we move from one location to the next. Consequently, this logistical planning is essential for capturing the full story of your day, from the quiet morning preparations to the exuberant celebrations of the night.


Finally, this guide serves as a foundation. This is a starting point from which we’ll tailor the wedding photography timeline to fit the unique comings and goings of your day. Ultimately, whether your celebration unfolds within one location or across the city of Miami/Palm Beach, our commitment is to capture every moment. Therefore, the behind the scenes of a wedding day are extremely intricate and you need someone who has done this so many times it is second nature! We will ensure that your wedding day is remembered just as you lived it—beautifully and without compromise.

Schedule a 30 minute consultation call

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