editorial Wedding Photography

The Wednesday Blog

The Perfect Wedding Day Photo Timeline

Black and white photo of the couple ascending up the stairs going to their wedding ceremony. Wedding day photo timeline image by Jenny Fu Studio.

Planning a wedding day timeline is one thing, while planning when to take photos is another. You need to identify specific events of your wedding day that you want pictures of. Once identified, you should create your wedding day photo timeline in detail with the help of your trusted photographer. This ensures you will not miss out on something and regret it later! So without further ado, let us give you the perfect wedding day photo timeline.

Start of Photo Coverage

A photo of invitation cards, jewelry, and accessories for a wedding. Editorial wedding image by Jenny Fu Studio.

(30 mins.) Once your photographer arrives, they will start getting detailed shots of shoes, wedding dress, jewelry, invitations, etc. They will do it while you’re preparing for getting ready photos to maximize the time.

Getting Ready Photos

Editorial getting-ready photo with the bride, bride's mother, and bride's sister. Wedding day photo timeline image by Jenny Fu Studio.

(1 hour) Your photographer gets both spouses’ getting ready shots. Including a second photographer is best if the couple gets ready in separate locations. By this time, the bride’s makeup is complete, and her mom and bridesmaids/sisters are dressed. This session will also include the couples’ gift/card exchange (if there’s any) and bridal portraits.

First Look & Couple Portraits

Editorial first look, with the bride laughing while the groom is facing the other side, smiling. Image by Jenny Fu Studio.

(1 hour) You will be the one to decide if you want to do a first look or not. But this session usually lasts for one hour, and it includes the couple’s portraits as well.

Wedding Party Portraits

Black and white photo of the couple with the wedding party. Wedding day photo timeline image by Jenny Fu Studio.

(30 mins) If you didn’t opt for a first look, you could do the wedding party portraits separately – the bride with the bridesmaids and the groom with the groomsmen. Note that the time it will take for this session depends on the size of your wedding party and everyone’s cooperation.

Ceremony Area Details

(30 mins) These are detailed photos of the ceremony area while the couple freshens up before the wedding ceremony starts. It also includes pictures of guests entering the ceremony area.

An editorial photo of a wedding ceremony. Wedding day photo timeline image by Jenny Fu Studio.

Wedding Ceremony

(30 mins) The time block for wedding ceremonies varies depending on the couples’ culture. But the typical wedding ceremony lasts for about half an hour.

Wedding day photo timeline, Family portrait image by Jenny Fu Studio.

Family Portraits

(30 mins) Family photos might be one of the stressful events in your wedding day photo timeline (believe it or not). Give your photographer a “must-have” portrait list with all important family members beforehand for the shoot to run smoothly.

An elegant dinner table set-up for a wedding. Editorial image by Jenny Fu Studio.

Reception Room

(30 mins) I always prefer to get photos of the reception room cleared out and details of the reception area. And based on experience, my couples usually appreciate this because they wouldn’t know what the reception room looks like before everyone gets inside.

Sunset Photos

(30 mins) There’s something magical about the last rays of the sun touching the horizon and the gorgeous sky colors. The good thing about sunset is that its beauty never fails, regardless of the season and location. So if you’re aiming for that perfect backdrop as newlyweds, add sunset photos to your list.

Cocktail hour image by Jenny Fu Studio.

Cocktail Hour

(1 hour) Cocktail hour is an excellent opportunity to capture you and your guests as you spend time mingling with them. And the best things about a cocktail hour are the speeches, emotions, laughter, and tears of family members and friends.

Wedding Party Grand Entrance & Party Time

After the ceremony and cocktail hour comes the best part – reception and party time! How long will it take? It depends on you! Some specific events for this time block are the wedding party’s grand entrance, the couple’s first dance, the dance with parents, party time, the cake-cutting ceremony, the bouquet and garter toss, and the grand exit.

The newly-weds and guests are dancing the night away. Wedding day photo timeline image by Jenny Fu Studio.

Not all weddings are the same. The events and even the order of events depend entirely on your preferences. But make sure to plan your wedding day photo timeline with your photographer carefully and include all the events you want to be documented. Because at the end of the day, all that’s left are memories and photos!