How To Create A Flawless Photography Timeline

There are many things to take into consideration before your wedding day and making sure your photography timeline allows for every picture you want is one of them! You don't want to have to worry about rushing through your photos or trying to fit picture after picture in on your wedding day while dinner and dancing get pushed farther and farther back on the schedule. And you definitely don't want to miss getting a photo of every detail and aspect of your day! If you want to avoid these faux pas, there are a few different types of photos to consider when creating your timeline.

Photography is the story I fail to put into words
— Destin Sparks

Getting Ready

You should probably allow at least 25-30 extra minutes during the getting ready portion of the day. You never know how long a photographer’s adjustments may take! For example, photos of someone pinning a boutonniere on the groom or the bride putting on her shoes are moments that need to be staged by the photographer and do not just occur naturally.


"Happy girls are the prettiest girls"

Audrey Hepburn

Styling Details

It's all in the details! This couldn't be more true when it comes to your big day. You've all heard the phrase, "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue." Wouldn't it be nice to have those photos to look back at and remember the small, special details & heirlooms that went into your big day? There are so many big moments that make up a wedding day and so many important photos to capture which are sometimes forgotten in the chaos of the day.

Before the big day, review the timeline with the photographer and planner/coordinator. Map out some time for styling details. This process can be pretty quick if all of your items are organized and ready to go. Styling usually happens by the photographer and planner while the bridal party is getting ready, typically 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on the amount of items to photograph. If this is an important aspect to you, make sure to include this in the must have photo list provided by the photographer.  

Here are some helpful tips to remember so those special details don't go missed!

  • Take an inventory of all the heirlooms and details you want photographed for your day. Keep them in a special box and label items so your photographer knows exactly what to photograph.
  • Don't forget your groom ladies! Things like tie clips, watches, cologne, shoes & cuff links are great details to photograph. 
  • Brides, remember to bring things like your favorite perfume, vow books, jewelry worn on the day of, garters and anything that has sentimental value to you that you'd really love a photograph of. Believe me, as insignificant as these photos may seem, they truly will mean so much when you look back on them. These are details incorporated into one of the most special days of your life. 
  • Remember to bring an extra copy of your invitation suite. It's a beautiful reminder of your big day. Things like velvet ring boxes, vintage stamps, silk ribbon, small ceramic dishes, linen fabric and florals can make an invitation suite pop. Some of our favorite go to sites for these items are listed below. 
    • Velvet ring boxes- The Mrs. Box
    • Linen styling boards- Curio & Oak (these create a great backdrop to style details)
    • Ribbon- Honey Silk Ribbon & Silk and Willow  

First Look

The first look is the natural moment when the groom first sees the bride in her wedding dress. These photos can be set up anywhere you like and should be scheduled about two hours before your ceremony time. After the initial candid moments, the photographer may want to capture more posed photos, move to natural lighting, adjust your clothing, etc. Allow at extra 10 minutes for photographer adjustments and at least 15-20 minutes to account for getting to your first look location.

When in doubt, pad your timeline!

Wedding Party Photos

Definitely allow a fair amount of time for setting up photos with groomsmen and bridesmaids, especially if you have a large bridal party! Setting up these photos almost always takes longer than you expect, so I would suggest padding this part of your timeline by at least 20 minutes. These pictures can be taken during your getting ready time, after your first look, or during cocktail hour – whatever you prefer!

Couple Shots

In addition to your first look photos, plan for a time that you can step away from the reception or cocktail hour to capture photos of just the two of you. Sunset photos have become more and more popular and are a beautiful way to add variety to your wedding album! Figure out the exact time of the sunset on that day beforehand and allow at least 30 minutes around that time to capture these shots of the two of you.

I just need you and some sunsets
— Atticus

xo Emma & Sarah