One of the biggest photography questions we get from our couples is “how much coverage is typically needed for a wedding day?” There are many factors that help decide this, like how much of the wedding parties getting ready is desired in photos, whether or not you are doing a first look with your fiancé or Father, what your budgetary restrictions are and the events of the evening you would like captured. To help answer some of these questions we have put together the perfect wedding day timeline for your big day.
Want to learn more about waiting until the ceremony to see each other for the first time? Click here.

Unsure about doing a first look? Click here to learn about the first look.

Planning on a first look? Click here to view The Perfect Wedding Day Timeline If You Are Doing A First Look.

How much wedding photography/videography coverage do I need?

We typically suggest that our couples book no less than 6 hours of coverage for the wedding day. By choosing this  amount of coverage we take away the feeling of being on a photography timeline and instead comfortably work within the official wedding day timeline. There is so much that goes on throughout your wedding day and the last thing we want is for you to stress about having certain aspects of the day captured by your photographers due to time constraints. That being said, if there are limiting factors that prevent you from being able to book 6 hours, don’t worry! There are ways to make it work and we’re here to help every step of the way!

Things to consider

Each wedding day is unique and has different circumstances depending on the time of the year, type of ceremony, and cultural traditions throughout the day. A general rule of thumb is to consider in planning an outdoor ceremony and portraits is what time the sun sets on your big day. The time leading up to sunset is the best time for portraits as the lighting is soft and warm and there are no harsh shadows. Once the time of sunset has been determined choose a time that is around 1 1/2 hours before as this should be an adequate amount of time to complete a standard ceremony and post-ceremony portraits.

The wedding day timeline

Getting Ready

We typically suggest for the bride to be mostly finished with her hair and makeup so we can capture the images of the bride “finishing” up and slipping in to her dress. The bridal party should be completely ready by the time you get dressed so they can focus on you and we can photograph their reactions as well.


The “I dos!” This is the moment you’ve been waiting for!! This is where your union is witnessed and confirmed and we are there from multiple angles photographing the entire ceremony, right down to the big kiss.

Portrait Session and Cocktail Hour

We typically will start with the family portrait session so they don’t have to wait around and can head over to the cocktail hour and get their celebration started. One thing we suggest to facilitate the family portrait session is to communicate with the family members that you would like included in your portraits prior to your big day so they will know to stick around after the ceremony rather than run off to the cocktail hour so they have to be hunted down. This adds to the time required to finish the session and puts a strain on the remainder of the timeline. Need help deciding who you want in your portraits? Click here for a family portrait list example. With the remaining time we capture the wedding party portraits and finish with the newly married couple’s portraits all while wrapped in the beautiful golden light of the sunset.


It’s time to get the party started and let the fun begin! Introductions into the reception space can be very imaginative and clever. We have seen quite a few that made us belly laugh and some that tore at our heartstrings. So have fun and know we will be there with our cameras ready to snap away.

First Dances

Many of our couples choose to share their first dance once they get introduced into the reception. This helps facilitate the events of the evening that occur after dinner to open the dance floor and get people shakin’. Some couples choose to have the father daughter and mother son dances after dinner to break up the formalities. The beauty of it is, it’s your day to plan however you want! So do what’s best for you and your evening plans!

Welcome Speech and Dinner

It’s time to eat and share an evening of candid moments and memory making with your closest family and friends!

Toasts and Cake

This is our favorite part! Those closest to the couple get to share how special they are to them with everyone and the couple gets to share a delicious dessert together.

Open Dancefloor

It’s time to party! Dance the night away with your guests while we capture all of your candid moments!

Bouquet and Garter Toss

Toss the bouquet and garter to see who’s next to get married!!!

Mock Exit

This is a great option for those couples who want to keep the night going even after their photographer leaves. You get an “end” to your wedding album and can continue the night celebrating with your guests! This is a great option for those couples whose budget may not allow for photography coverage for their entire day but want the feel of complete coverage in their images.

We hope this helps when organizing your wedding day timeline! As always, we are here to help you every step of the way so if you have questions or are struggling with your timeline let us know! We want to help make your day run as smoothly as possible! Happy planning!!


“I wish I could give them 10 stars!! they were more than willing to photograph my son’s baptism and that meant so much to me. They were so nice and easy to work with and they got our pictures back to us quickly. We love each photograph and highly recommend them to everyone” —Christina

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