Wedding Photography Timeline


Wedding Day | Planning Tips

A common question we get asked for almost every wedding is "How should I schedule my wedding day?" We hope you will enjoy these helpful wedding planning tips and sample timelines.
There is no such thing as a perfect wedding timeline. Since every wedding couple is uniquely different from another, every wedding day will also be special. Below are many common events the occur during most wedding days with suggestions for time, location and advice.


Wedding Details

  • Suggested Time Amount - 30 minutes
  • Suggested Time of the Day - In the morning
  • Suggested Location - Bridal or Hotel Suite

Advice - Plan to have 30 minutes set aside to capture all of the wedding day details. Ideally a hotel suite is a great place to take these photos, however preparation rooms can become very busy or cluttered. When this happens extra time is needed to take these details to an environment better suited to photograph them.


Wedding Preparation

  • Suggested Time Amount - 30-45 minutes
  • Suggested Time of the Day - In the morning or early afternoon, depending on the ceremony time
  • Suggested Location - Bridal or Hotel Suite

Advice – We recommend setting aside 30-45 minutes for capturing candid moments of hair being done, make up applied, and other small moments with the bridesmaids and groomsmen. Typically the lead photographer will go with the women during this time, while the second photographer will go with the guys.


Individual Portraits

  • Suggested Time Amount - 20-30 minutes
  • Suggested Time of the Day - In the morning or early afternoon, depending on the ceremony time
  • Suggested Location - Bridal Suite, Venue Lobby, Parks, Gardens.

Advice – Immediately following the preparation is a wonderful time to do pictures of the bride. A small 20-30 minute session is a great amount of time to create some stunning pictures. Bridal suites with large windows offer dramatic lighting that most often won’t appear any other time of the day.


First Look Photos

  • Suggested Time Amount - 20 minutes
  • Suggested Time of the Day - Morning or early afternoon
  • Suggested Location - Beautiful empty locations with plenty of gentle natural light

Advice - The first look is the exciting moment where the bride and groom see each other for the first time on their wedding day. While the actual event does not usually take longer than 5 or 10 minutes, we try to take a few quick pictures together during this time. If your schedule doesn’t allow for a longer couple session later, we recommend extending this first look to 45 minutes.


Wedding Party Pictures

  • Suggested Time Amount - 30-45 minutes
  • Suggested Time of the Day - In the morning or afternoon
  • Suggested Location - At the ceremony or reception venue, parks, gardens, downtown Indianapolis

Advice - Wedding party photos take about 30-45 minutes. We will begin by taking a few pictures of the large groups focusing on color and exceptional lighting. During this time we can also do individual shots of each bridesmaid with the bride and groomsmen with the groom, since these are your closest friends. After these we transition to some fun and creative photos.


Ceremony Detail and Venue

  • Suggested Time Amount - 20-30 minutes
  • Suggested Time of the Day - Morning or afternoon
  • Suggested Location - Wedding Ceremony Venue Location

Advice - The second shooter spends 20-30 minutes take pictures featuring overviews to small details of the wedding ceremony venue without the distractions of guests or vendors in the images. Since you will not be able see everything set up completely on the wedding day, this time will ensure that you will be able to see it perfectly arranged following the wedding.


Family Pictures

  • Suggested Time Amount - 45-60 minutes
  • Suggested Time of the Day - Morning or afternoon
  • Suggested Location - Venue lobby, gardens, parks, off-site locations, in the front of a church

Advice - Family photos can range from 30 minutes to over an hour due to the amount of sessions and groups. If couples have their immediate and extended family together, the photos can be done quicker than if done separately. Also keeping the group combinations to a minimal help reduce the time to take the photos. We work to make use this time most efficiently to help make everyone happy.



  • Suggested Time Amount - 60 minutes
  • Suggested Time of the Day - Sunset
  • Suggested Location - Venue gardens, park, downtown Indianapolis, hotel lobby, any place with gentle warm light

Advice - Please allow 1 hour for this session alone with the wedding couple. The ideal time to do this is about 30 minutes before sunset (we can let you know when that will be). This time is the best lighting of the day by offering warm and romantic light. Often times we will use features of the wedding ceremony or reception venue for this session.


Reception Details and Venue Location

  • Suggested Time Amount - 20-30 minutes
  • Suggested Time of the Day - Early Evening
  • Suggested Location - Reception Site

Advice - Similar to the wedding ceremony venue, the second photographer captures the wedding reception venue site. Please allow 20-30 minutes for these pictures. These pictures will help ensure that the venue is shown beautifully arranged without the wedding guests or the vendor staff in view.

Couple's Session - Sunset / Night Time

  • Suggested Time Amount - 10-20 minutes
  • Suggested Time of the Day - Sunset to night time
  • Suggested Location - Any place with exciting lights, fountains, city night lights, etc

Advice - At some point in the reception, we encourage our wedding couples to sneak out for a quick 10 minute session. This gives us the opportunity to create exciting nighttime pictures. The best time for this is usually after the main dances are out of the way and the dance floor opens. We know you need to be back inside with your guests, so we will be sure to have everything setup before we begin.



Helpful Wedding Planning Tips


Ways to make your wedding Day awesome

Scheduling plenty of transition times will help reduce stress, help ensure that the wedding day flows well and is more enjoyable overall. Also having the extra time will make sure that everyone is where they need to be on time. Be prepared to make time for these expected events or other unexpected things which may cause delays to your schedule.

Things to block out time in your schedule for: 

  • Touch ups for hair and makeup
  • Adjustments to the wedding dress
  • Transitioning time between events and venues

Some other things you may consider:

  • A first look
  • Greeting guests following the ceremony 
  • Other special events

Consider Hiring a Wedding Coordinator

Having a creative event professional, like a wedding coordinator, makes a positive difference for many weddings. Imagine not having to be the person in charge of your wedding details and schedule. Many couples really do not enjoy the time, energy and attention that comes with wedding preparation. Hiring a professional, who works throughout the entire year helping couples get ready for their wedding day may be the perfect solution for you.


A WEdding Day Timeline Sample




  • 12:00pm | Photographer arrival // Photographer photographs details like dress, shoes, jewelry, invitation
  • 12:30pm | Photographer photographs last-minute hair and makeup touchups // Bride and Bridesmaids get dressed 
  • 01:00pm | Bridal pictures by large window in bridal suite or outside
  • 01:30pm | Groom departs for First Look
  • 01:45pm | Bride departs for First Look // Couple see each other at first look
  • 02:15pm | Wedding party pictures // Ceremony venue pictures
  • 03:00pm | Immediate family pictures
  • 03:45pm | Bride gets tucked away from early arriving guests and touchups before Ceremony
  • 04:25pm | Bridal party lines up for Ceremony
  • 04:30pm | Ceremony
  • 05:00pm | End of Ceremony // Extended family photos 
  • 05:30pm | Travel to Reception venue



  • 06:00pm | Wedding Couple Session // Guests head to cocktail hour
  • 07:15pm | Guests invited to enter Reception and find their seats // Grand entrance
  • 07:30pm | First Dance
  • 07:40pm | Welcome Toast/Prayer
  • 07:45pm | Dinner
  • 08:15pm | Toasts
  • 08:30pm | Father & Daughter // Mother & Son dances
  • 08:45pm | Open dancing // Couple Sunset Pictures
  • 09:30pm | Cake cutting
  • 09:45pm | Bouquet/garter toss
  • 10:00pm | Open dancing // Photographers leave



Send us a message on the contact page. We would be more than happy whatever quetions you may have.