Wedding Photography Timeline

Wedding Photography Timeline

With the diversity and of course the cultural aspects of an individual wedding, it’s difficult as a photographer to pinpoint an exact wedding photography timeline template. However, there are ideal time frames that you could consider when planning the gig that you’ve been hired to shoot. Some of the time slots may seem fairly long on paper, but keep in mind that firstly, the day will fly by and secondly, most weddings run slightly behind schedule so, it won’t seem like a long time when you’re there in the moment.

First Step: Rings, Dress, Shoes – Here at Weddit, we think that wedding photography is not just capturing the Bride & Groom at the altar, but the memories of the day as a whole should be captured on camera, especially with that photo album in mind. The ideal time allowance to shoot the Bride’s garment and outfit accessories is around 30 minutes. Naturally the Bride will more than likely begin to get dressed for the big day during the morning and this is the best time of day to shoot her dress and capture the details of her bridal look. Many photographers usually use the place of dress to capture this part of the day. Many Brides choose to hire a Bridal/ hotel suite to get ready if they have hired a professional photographer to document this part of the day.  

Second Step: Ceremony Preparation – Wedding ceremony preparation includes things like the Bride having her makeup put on by a professional makeup artist or maybe one of the Bridesmaids/ family members and the Groom getting ready for the big day surrounded by his best guys. This part of the day is where you’ll capture candid moments as the Bridesmaids and Groomsmen get ready for the day. Keep in mind that these are some of the most emotional and fun times of the day, so you won’t want to cut it short! This is why we suggest that you allow around one whole hour to capture the scenes of wedding preparation on both ends. If you have an assistant, one of you can take the Bridal Suite and the other can shadow the Groomsmen. Ideally, we recommend that the lead shooter will be with the Bride and her Bridesmaids. While it doesn’t take guys an hour to get dressed, there are still tons of great moments during this time between the groom and his family and friends.

Third Step: Individual Portraits – This is the third step in our recommended wedding photography timeline, as the Bride & Groom will still have their own photographer (ideally) to focus on them and only them. Individual portraits are a pretty big deal when it comes down to capturing the wedding on camera. Makeup, hair, tuxedos and shoes will all be looking very fresh, prim and proper, so now is the ideal time to capture the look of the Bride & Groom separately. Photographers usually take the individual portrait images straight after the Bride & Groom are ready for the ceremony, so this step is usually carried out in the morning/ early afternoon (depending on the time of the ceremony), either inside their hotel room/ place of dress or at the wedding venue Lobby/ Gardens. We recommend that you allow 30 minutes to complete this part of the day.

Fourth Step: The Ceremony – Depending on the location of the wedding, you’ll have different photo opportunities, but of course you will know the obvious parts of the ceremony to capture. For example, the Groom entering the venue, followed by the Bridesmaids walking down is aisle, then followed by the Bride and flower girl shortly afterwards. You’ll want to capture some images of friends and family members chatting eagerly as they wait for the couple to enter the venue. This would also be the time to capture some images of the venue in the place where the ceremony is being held. This is most probably the most important part of the wedding photography timeline, as this is exactly what everyone is there to celebrate! We suggest that you allow around one hour to capture all of the images that you need, especially of the Groom’s first look at the Bride as she walks down the aisle and the Bride’s smile as she spots her soon to be husband waiting at the bottom of the aisle for her. It’s a beautiful time, so capture as many pictures as you can so that you have lots of images to choose from later on.

Fifth Step: Wedding Party Photos - During this time, you should try to get a variety of shots in a variety of poses, especially when playing around with larger group photos! Let’s start off with the basic but classic photos focused on great expressions and lighting. If you work fairly quickly you may only need around one hour and a half to capture photos of the Bride & Groom with their immediate family, as well as images of a larger nature. It’s important to capture enough images of the immediate family, as well as a few photos of all of the guests together, so plan to spend around 3 minutes with each group to make sure that you get through everyone. Then after these photos have been taken, you can get some photos of the Bride & Groom on their own. You don’t have to take the images this way around, after all they are in the same step of the wedding photography timeline, so it’s up to you and your couple as to which way around you’d like to shoot this part of the day.

Sixth Step: Wedding Reception – If you haven’t captured images around the venue as of yet, now would be the time to do so! You should allow 30 minutes for this part of the day to ensure that every photo opportunity has been seized. Allow around 30 minutes for the second shooter to take pictures of the reception room, completely set up with no guests or vendors in the area, as this will be a really nice touch for the Bride & Groom to look back on. After all of that, the couple and wedding party will enter the wedding reception area for the first time. It’s a great opportunity to capture a genuine reaction from the happy couple as they have their first dance together.

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Photo + editing credit: All images in this blog post edited by the team here at Weddit and photographed by Lukas Griffin. To get started with our wedding photo editing service, you can create an account here. 

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