Wedding Day Photography Timeline
Updated: May 19
So you have booked your photographer(s) to cover the full day of your wedding, but what does that actually mean in real terms for you and your photographers ? Some of this will depend on how many locations are involved on your wedding day and how many photographers you have attending. Many weddings now are covered by a main photographer who is then supported by a second-shooter, which is great as this gives you twice the coverage.
This timeline is based on how we work on a wedding day, other photographers will have their own ways of working.
We usually prep everything the night before, making sure we have all our back-up equipment, spare batteries and memory cards, lighting etc all ready to go, so in the morning we just have to load up the car or cars and can be on the road with minimal fuss and stress.
If a wedding is in multiple locations we will often run two cars so we can be in two different locations at the same time. One of us usually being with the bride and one with the groom for their preparations. Obviously if we have two brides or two grooms then one of us will be with each, but a similar timeline is still followed.
Depending on how many bridesmaids you are having and what time your wedding ceremony is taking place, your make-up and hair stylist may well be with you from very early on. We aim to be with you from 9/10am as we find this works best for all concerned. The main focus of preparations for the ladies is obviously the bride who normally has hair and make-up done last so she is the freshest looking for the ceremony. Whilst we do take photos of bridesmaids getting ready we find it is not necessary to be on site from start to finish for these. Also, during this time we will be taking photos of all the details before you put them on, so things like the wedding dress, bridesmaids dresses, veil, jewellery, shoes and flowers will all be documented.
If groom preparations are included one of us will cover those and again take photos of all the details from suits to cufflinks and buttonholes.
With bridal and groom preparations complete we then take group and individual portraits as required by the happy couple.
After this we will either head to the reception venue to capture all the details of it set up and empty of guests, if it is ready at this time or we will head to your ceremony venue for general photos and guest arrivals.
Again, depending on timings one may go to each location to better utilise our resources if time is tight, with whoever covers the reception venue then making their way to the ceremony venue before the brides arrival.
We both capture your full ceremony meaning you have double the images and different angles.
From the ceremony we often go straight into the confetti shot (if you want one of course) and then whilst everyone is together the full group photo. This saves time trying to get everyone together for a photo later on.
Depending on your timeline and venue locations posed groups and private bride/groom photographs follow. If you are having a drinks reception, this is often the time we will sneak the wedding couple away for some private time together, returning them to enjoy some social time with their guests before the wedding breakfast.
We will photograph the couples entry into their wedding breakfast. After this we usually take a break for an hour or two whilst everyone is eating and are then rested and fresh to start again with the speeches.
After your meal and speeches, any posed groups not already covered will be photographed now along with candid shots of your guests socialising and arrivals of any additional evening guests. If there is a great sunset or the couple want some night shots this is when we are likely to whisk them away again for a short while.
By this time it is usually time to cut the cake and have your first dance.
We then continue photographing for 10 to 15 minutes so you get some images of all your guests on the dance floor busting their moves. After this we check the couple are happy with everything and then pack everything safely away to be transported back home.
Once home, we unpack the car and make sure all our memory cards are backed up in multiple locations before heading to bed an hour or two later.