Alison Mae

Chicago, Indianapolis, Cincinnati







For most couples, estimating how long certain things will take on their wedding day is tricky. After all, they have never planned a wedding before. And that’s ok! This is a break down of a photographer’s dream wedding timeline, so obviously we will be prioritizing photography. So if that is something you value, this is for you! This post is here to help you wrap your mind around how long it takes to get timeless wedding photos. We’ll share how long wedding photos take and add in some other recommendations along the way!

An Important Note

It’s hard to say for sure exactly how your day will go, but this blog is only meant to serve as an overview. I highly recommend hiring a coordinator or planner to properly assist you with creating your timeline. Even if your venue offers an on site coordinator, a coordinator or planner is key to keeping your timeline on schedule! We share a detailed recommendation list with all of our booked couples to help you find the best team for you.

A Photographer’s Dream Wedding Timeline

Over the years I’ve seen some of the most stressful and the most relaxed weddings. It’s caused me to really put a lot of thought into ways you can have the best wedding day possible. Here is what I feel is the dream wedding timeline that allows for incredible photos and plenty of time to be present on your wedding day!

  • 11:30am – We arrive and photograph your details and candids while getting ready
  • 12:30pm – The bride puts on her dress and the groom gets ready
  • 1:00pm – Bridal portraits
  • 1:30pm – Groom gets ready
  • 1:50pm – First look
  • 2:00pm – Bride and groom portraits (together and individual
  • 2:40pm – Wedding party photos
  • 3:10pm – Family formals
  • 3:50pm – Everyone tucked away (we photograph ceremony and reception details)
  • 4:30pm – Ceremony
  • 5:00pm – Cocktail hour begins
  • 5:05pm – Extended family photos and then bride and groom enjoy cocktail hour
  • 6:00pm – Entrance to reception
  • 7:15pm – Sunset photos (15 minutes)
  • 9:30pm – Photography coverage ends

Build Your Own Timeline

For the best possible wedding photos, a certain amount of time is needed. Here is the amount of time we need to capture the photos you see in our portfolio! 

  • Styled Details and Getting Ready + 60 minutes
  • Cute Pajama or Robe Photos + 5 minutes
  • Bride Putting on Dress + 30 minutes (trust me)
  • Bridal Portraits + 20 minutes
  • Groom Portraits + 5 minutes
  • First Looks w/ Bridesmaids, Dads etc + 5 minutes (each)
  • First Look w/ Couple + 10 minutes
  • Couple Portraits + 40 minutes
  • Bride and Bridesmaids + 15 minutes
  • Groom and Groomsmen + 15 minutes
  • Full Bridal Party + 20 minutes
  • Family Formals + 30 minutes (15 groups or less)
  • Tucked away before guests arrive + 30 – 60 minutes
  • Ceremony and Reception Detail Photos + 30 minutes (usually done while couple is tucked away before ceremony)
  • Travel Time + 15 minutes in addition to GPS estimate
  • Nighttime shots + 15 minutes

Hopefully this post has been helpful to you! Again, I cannot stress the importance of hiring a planner, coordinator or day of coordinator. They have all kinds of tricks up their sleeves to help make your wedding day run smoothly, and trust me, you’ll want them there on your wedding day!

If you’re looking for a wedding photographer, click here to connect with us!

A Photographer’s Dream Wedding Timeline

A Photographer’s Dream Wedding Timeline

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