CREATING A WEDDING DAY PHOTOGRAPHY TIMELINE

Updated: Jan 23

Creating a wedding day Timeline is one of the most difficult parts of wedding planning and I am here to help make it a little bit easier, no I am not going to give you a full entire wedding day timeline from the moment you wake up until you go to bed but I am going to give you a timeline of photography which is a huge part of your wedding day and that will help the question I get asked most...


"How long do I need to take wedding photos?"


Insert MEEE to help you with that! I am going to list out all the sections of a wedding day that are typically photographed and how much time you need to allot for your photographer to capture those portions!


**PS: THERE 2 FULL WEDDING DAY TIMELINES AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST! **


Ladies Getting Ready - 60 Minutes


Depending on the budget and what that can allow, photographing the getting ready is an amazing way to tie in all the moments of your wedding and really bookend your day and have a full start to finish wedding gallery! No this portion of the day does not last as long as you getting ready, no one wants photos before their hair and make up is done so therefore Getting ready photos for the ladies typically take around 1 hour to complete! In this time we get photos of you getting the final touches of your hair and make up along with all the ladies, but we will also photograph the little details such as... your shoes, dress, jewelry, flower etc!


Plan to have your photographer arrive roughly 60 minutes before you and ladies plan to depart.




Gentlemen Getting Ready - 45 Minutes


If you have decided to have the getting ready portions of the day photographed, the second photographer on the wedding day will be with the guys photographing them get ready! This is much less involved for the men rather than the woman so we only need about 45 minutes! This portion will include you and your friends getting dress, ties, bowties, jackets, cufflinks etc! In this time we will also get photos of the grooms details as well!


Plan to have the second photographer arrive roughly 45 minutes before the men depart.






First Look - 30 Minutes


If you choose to do a "first Look" meaning you would like to see each other before the ceremony then this would be the next step after everyone is ready! This part of the day typically only involves the Bride & Groom but if you wish to have photos with the wedding party also then I suggest adding another 30 minutes. Typically at a first look what will happen is the second photographer to position the groom in an area where the bride and walk up behind him so he can turn around and see her and get his reaction! After that special moment we will take some photos of the bride and groom together before the ceremony!





~~CEREMONY~~


The next part of the day is the ceremony, obviously the timing is between to your wedding officiant/minister/priest etc. A Typical wedding ceremony last roughly 30 minutes





Family Photos - 30 Minutes


Immediately following the ceremony is when we suggest that you do your Family Photos! This way everyone is there and in the same place and easy to track down... meaning they haven't hit up the bar and never to be seen again. Family photos typically take around 30 minutes to complete and they will be in a nice location near the ceremony spot!


Prior to the wedding I will have you provide me with a family photo list, this will help the process go by faster and so I can just call out the names of the people you would like photos with!


If you wan to see a sample of a family photo list> CLICK HERE





Wedding Party - 45 Minutes


Once the Family photos are done we will get started with the wedding party. At this time is usually when we would depart in a limo to the offsite location that we have previously arranged to take wedding photos at! Once we arrive at this location we will begin taking photos with the entire group together and then we will break into groups of guys and girls to get more photos with your friends! 45 Minutes is the ideal amount of time so we are not rushed, we can have fun be silly and get some great candid moments!





Bride & Groom - 45 Minutes


Well after the fun with your wedding party we will send them back to the limo to have some drinks while we keep just the two of you! Now I know you see 45 Minutes and you're like "holy shit we have to have photos done for 45 minutes?" NO ahaha 45 minutes is the ideal time to relax, spend with each other & be chill before the craziness of the reception begins! We will explore the area, have fun, be romantic and get some amazing shots together!! Keep in mind that this part of the day will be your ONLY time just the two of you together for the rest of the evening... enjoy it and don't rush it!





~~Reception~~


I typically suggest planning to be back at your reception after photos with about 15 minutes to use the bathroom, freshen up, bussle your dress etc before you enter in!


How you choose to plan out the formalities of your reception is totally 100% up to you. Typical layout of events are as follows: Grand Entrance, Welcome Speech by MC, Dinner Served, Get up & Mingle with tables, Speeches, Cake Cutting, First Dances, PARTAAAAAAY!


Dependant on the package you chose and the number of hours your photographer is staying, will depend on the amount of your reception and the formalities are photographed! If your photographer is leaving at 8PM I typically suggest that you plan all the formalities to happen before their time is up!





Sunset Photos - 15-20 Minutes


This one is VERY VERY dependant on the time of the year and the weather! Typically for summer weddings the sunset is around 8-9PM so this is a great opportunity to step out of your reception with just your spouse to go dance around in the sunset glow and get a few more photos of the two of you! This will add variation to your gallery and also just.... WHO THE FUCK DOESN'T LIKE A SUNSET?! I highly recommend taking this time and planning for it because if it works out, it's SO worth it!


**This is totally dependant on the time of year and if the weather allows us for a sunset





Example of a Wedding Day Photography Timeline | NO FIRST LOOK

This is based of an 8 Hour Photography package and with NO first Look


1:30pm - Photographer Arrives at Girls Getting Ready

1:30pm - 2nd Photographer Arrives at Guys Getting Ready

2:15pm - 2nd Photographer & Guys Leave Getting Ready

2:30pm - Guys Arrive at Ceremony to greet & seat guests

2:30pm - Ladies Leave Getting Ready Location

2:45pm - Ladies Arrive at Ceremony Site

3:00pm - Ceremony

3:30pm - Start Family Photos

4:00pm - Travel to Location for Photos

4:15pm - Start Wedding Party Photos

5:00pm - Start Bride & Groom Photos

5:45pm - Travel Back to Reception

6:00pm - Arrive back at Reception (Freshen Up)

6:15pm - Grand Entrance

6:30pm - Dinner served

MINGLE WITH GUESTS

7:30pm - Speeches Start

8:00pm Cut the Cake

8:10pm - First Dance & Parent Dances

8:30pm - Dance Floor Opens for Party Photos

8:40pm - Step Outside for Sunset Photos (15-20mins)

9:30pm - Photographer Departs


Example of a Wedding Day Photography Timeline | WITH FIRST LOOK

This is based of an 8 Hour Photography package and with a first Look before ceremony


1:30pm - Photographer Arrives at Girls Getting Ready

1:30pm - 2nd Photographer Arrives at Guys Getting Ready

2:15pm - 2nd Photographer & Guys Leave Getting Ready

2:30pm - Guys Arrive at First Look Location & find a spot

2:30pm - Ladies Leave Getting Ready Location

2:45pm - Ladies Arrive at First Look Location

2:50pm - First Look Happens

3:00pm - Start Wedding Party Photos

3:45pm - Start Bride & Groom Portraits

4:30pm - Everyone Leaves First Look Location & goes to Ceremony

5:00pm - Ceremony

5:30pm - Start Family Photos

6:00pm - Bride & Groom Freshen Up

6:15pm - Grand Entrance

6:30pm - Dinner served

MINGLE WITH GUESTS

7:30pm - Speeches Start

8:00pm Cut the Cake

8:10pm - First Dance & Parent Dances

8:30pm - Dance Floor Opens for Party Photos

8:40pm - Step Outside for Sunset Photos (15-20mins)

9:30pm - Photographer Departs

Jordan Doak is a Wedding & lifestyle photographer based in the Fraser Valley & Maple Ridge, BC

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