I offer all of my wedding couples two base collections for their wedding day! They have the option of doing a standard 8 hour wedding photography collection, or they can upgrade to 10 hours! I get asked all the time what an average 8 hour wedding day looks like, so I’m breaking it down below with two example wedding day timelines!
This timeline example is not a one size fits all. Here are some things that can change your timeline that you will want to account for when we make your photography timeline!
These are just some of the questions I ask my couples in their pre-wedding questionnaire to create a custom photography timeline!
For this example, we are going to assume your wedding ceremony and reception are at the same venue. If the sunset is at 7pm and the couple is doing a first look, we are going to look at a 5:30pm ceremony time to give you lots of natural lighting for your outdoor ceremony and sunset portraits.
1:30 pm – Bridal Detail Photos and Girls Getting Ready Candids
2:15 pm – Guys Getting Ready Photos
2:30 pm – Bride getting Into Dress
3:00 pm – Bride and Groom first look
3:15 pm – Bride and Groom portraits and individuals
3:45 pm – Bride with Bridesmaids
4:00 pm – Full Bridal Party
4:15 pm – Groom with Groomsmen
4:30 pm – Immediate Family Photos
5:00 pm – Bride and groom in hiding
5:30 pm – Ceremony
6:00 pm – Sunset Bride and Groom Photos // Cocktail Hour Begins
6:20 pm – Photograph cocktail hour and Reception Decor
7:00 pm – Reception Entrances
9:30 pm – Photography Coverage Ends
Not all couples choose to see each other before the wedding ceremony, and that’s totally okay! While there are many benefits to doing a first look and I do recommend it for my couples to maximize their time together and their portrait experience, it’s a personal decision and we can customize your timeline to perfectly fit your needs!
The biggest difference in the timeline for not doing a first look, is we will spend most if not all of cocktail hour getting family photos, full wedding party photos, and bride and groom photos.
When my couples choose not to do a first look, I try to get as many photos before the ceremony as we can to maximize our time. I also do generally recommend an extended cocktail hour, either a 75 min or 90 min cocktail hour to allow for family photos, full wedding party, couples portraits, and those cocktail hour photos and reception details. This extra time will make your day feel smoother and less rushed, and allow you time for the portraits you’re wanting!!
If you’re interested in some reasons why I recommend a first look for all my couples, you can read more here!
A good rule of thumb for choosing a ceremony start time if you are not doing a first look, is to do it 2 hours before sunset. In this example, we are going to look at a 5pm ceremony with a 7pm sunset, at one venue with no first look.
2:00 pm – Bridal detail photos and girls getting ready candids
2:40 pm – Guys getting ready candids
3:00 pm – Bride getting into her dress
3:30 pm – Bride with her bridesmaids and bridal portraits
3:45 pm – Bride with her immediate family
I typically always do the bride first in this case because then she can hide from any guests showing up extra early
4:00 pm – Groom with groomsmen and individual portraits
4:15 pm – Groom with his immediate family
4:30 pm – Bride and groom in hiding
5:00 pm – Ceremony
5:30 pm – Full Bridal Party // Cocktail hour begins (90 mins)
5:45 pm – Immediate family photos with the bride and groom
6:00 pm – Husband and wife sunset photos
6:30 pm – Cocktail hour and reception detail photos
7:00 pm – Reception Entrances
10:00 pm – Photography Coverage Ends
If your photography coverage ends before your grand exit at the end of the night, I recommend doing a small staged exit with your bridal party. This is something we can do on the DL and sneak away from the dance floor, without stopping the party! We can pull your bridal party outside for 5-10 minutes at the end of your coverage to get those magical sparkler exit photos!
I hope these two examples are helpful for you to see what an average 8 hour wedding day looks like! To see examples of what a full 10 hour wedding day looks like, check out my next blog post!
Suggested Blog Posts:
I would LOVE to hear more about your story! Click below to get in touch with me to see investment details and check your date.