Creating Your Perfect Wedding Timeline: A Photographer’s Guide



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Let’s create your wedding timeline from a photographer’s perspective! In this blog, I’ll guide you on how to craft amazing timelines for your big day that include strategic buffer times, ensuring you stay present and enjoy the most important day of your life.

Hey, I’m Gaby! I strive to create photos that highlight the best version of you, the version you’ll fall in love with over and over again. With over 8 years in the industry, I’ve seen it all. I can tell you when a wedding is perfectly designed to flow seamlessly throughout the day or when it’s a total disaster, leaving you stressed and unable to enjoy your special moments. 

Before we start, it’s crucial to remember that the timeline any photographer provides will NEVER replace the one your wedding planner creates. A wedding planner is essential to ensure everything runs smoothly. With that in mind, let’s dive into how I create your perfect wedding timeline!

Key Questions to Guide Your Timeline

When creating a wedding timeline, I always start by asking three essential questions:

1. How big is your wedding party?

2. Are you planning to do a first look?

3. How big is your family for family portraits?

Why These Questions Matter

1. Wedding Party Size

The size of your wedding party determines how much time we need for bridal party and individual photos. The larger the party, the more time we need to schedule. This ensures that everyone gets their moment in the spotlight without feeling rushed.

2. First Look

A first look provides a wonderful opportunity for more intimate and candid photos of the couple before the ceremony. Additionally, it allows us to capture immediate family photos early, giving you more time to enjoy the post-ceremony festivities.

3. Family Size for Portraits

The size of your family affects how much time we need for family portraits after the ceremony. If your family is large, we might split the portrait session into two parts, with some photos taken during the reception. This approach ensures we have ample time for couple portraits without feeling pressed for time.

Crafting the Timeline

After gathering this information, I typically allow 2.5 hours before the ceremony to capture all the details and the getting-ready moments for each partner. Here’s a breakdown of how I structure the day:

Pre-Ceremony (2.5 hours)

– Details and Getting Ready: Capturing the dress, shoes, rings, and other important details, along with candid shots of the couple getting ready.

First Look and Bridal Party (1 hour)

– First Look: A private moment for the couple to see each other before the ceremony.

– Bridal Party Photos: Group and individual shots with the bridesmaids and groomsmen.


– The Big Moment: Capturing the ceremony from start to finish, including the couple’s entrance, vows, ring exchange, and first kiss. (Around 25 minutes)

Post-Ceremony (1 hour)

Family Portraits: Coordinated family photos immediately after the ceremony.

Couple Portraits: Romantic shots of the newlyweds.


Cocktail Hour: While guests enjoy cocktails, I capture candid moments and the reception setup.

Sunset Portraits (15-20 minutes): A dedicated time during the reception for stunning sunset shots.

Last Dance and Send-Off: Capturing the final moments of the night, usually wrapping up around 10-10:30 pm.

Why Buffer Times Matter

Including buffer times in your timeline is crucial. These extra minutes ensure that you’re not rushed and can truly enjoy each moment with your friends and family. It also allows for any unexpected delays without causing stress or disrupting the flow of the day.

If you’re looking for a photographer who will ensure you stay present and highlight the best version of yourself, look no further. Fill out my contact form and let’s start designing your perfect wedding day!


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