Sample Wedding Day Timeline

Need a few Tips and Tricks on how to organize your wedding day timeline? It can be quite overwhelming to plan and to know how much time to set aside for photos, first look etc. After capturing about 60 weddings I am here to help you out. Let's jump into it!!


  • 12:00 Start Hair & Makeup
  • 1:30 p.m. Photographer Arrives
  • 2:00 p.m. Hair & Makeup is complete
  • 2:30 p.m. Put on Dress // Reveal to bridesmaids
  • 3:00 p.m. First Look
  • 3:15 p.m. Couples Portraits
  • 4:00 p.m. Bridal Party Photos
  • 4:30 p.m. Back to bridal suites, time to freshen up
  • 5:00 p.m. Ceremony
  • 5:30 p.m. Ceremony ends // cocktail hour starts
  • 5:35 p.m. Formal family photos
  • 6:30 p.m. Guests are seated
  • 6:40 p.m. Entrances into reception
  • 6:45 p.m. Speeches & dinner
  • 7:30 p.m. Sunset Portraits
  • 7:45 p.m. First dance // parent dances
  • 8:00 p.m. Dance floor open to guests
  • 9:30 p.m. Photographer leaves // party keeps going!!

Was that a lot of information to process? here is a breakdown:

Hair & Makeup:

 This is what you need to coordinate with your Hair and Makeup artist. But typically it takes about 2 hours for the Hair and Makeup to be completed. Call your photographer once 50% of your makeup is completed. This is the time your photographer utilizes to take some Details shots like Dress hanging, shoes, jewelry etc.

First Look: 

As a photographer, I love doing First looks. The little Surprise element, personal comments are what make me smile. But, if you are not doing a first look you can transfer this time to the after ceremony photos. Remember you need at least 2 hours for after ceremony photos (1.5 hours for bridal party & Couple pictures and 30 mins for Formal Family photos)


Speeches don’t usually take more than 10/15 mins maximum. But please advise your guests that they are on a time limit. There is nothing worse than a Best man Blabbering On & On & On about drunk memories.

Sunset Photos: 

Sunset photos are a great way to add in the middle of reception between dinner. The add a different spark to your photo collection and great way to make “An Entrance” into the First dances.

Your day is about you!

I wanted to provide a sample timeline to help you construct yours. I suggest preparing your timelines with your photographer for the best results. We do not want to be rushed. Don’t forget! It’s your day… Make it your own.

Looking for more tips? Check out more here