To be sure your wedding runs on time and you have plenty of time for your photography as well as time for your friends and family. You will need that extra planning and extra time here and there for a more relaxed, calm experience. 

Photography timeline is just a guide and not a rule, every wedding is different and the timeline can depend on the style of the wedding and location, however it will help you to get some ideas of timing . I photographed over 100 weddings now and this timeline works for most of relaxed, alternative, laid-back weddings :) Also it is very important to choose photographer that focus on reportage , documentary style photography if you want your photographs to be natural and candid . Traditional , Fashion , Editorial style wedding photographers will focus more on creating perfect posed images. that means less time for candid shots so bear in mind that and ask your photographer how they work on a day!

At the end of this post you will find easy break down wedding photography timeline

  • The easiest way to start planning your timeline is to decide on what time you will have your ceremony. If you are planning to have it outdoor summer time then it is best to start after 3 pm. if you are lucky to have sunshine at 12-3 pm sun will make everyone hot and sweaty as well as dark shadows under your eyes doesn’t look amazing on the photograph. You can also save money by serving one meal rather then two meals during the day. If you are having winter wedding then it best to start earlier before 12 pm so you have longer day and more light for your group shots .
  • Ask your Hair and makeup stylist how long they need to do the job and take their advice. They know how long it takes them to do hair and make up for you, and your bridesmaids. And add it to your morning . 
  • For getting ready shots you will need around Two hours before the ceremony ( that will cover the last touches of hair and make up, some candid shots of bridesmaids getting ready, details shots: dress, shoes etc ; bride putting dress on ) 
  • Aim to be ready at least 15-20 min before you need to leave for your ceremony for the following unexpected emergency: problems with buttons and zips on the dress is real and I have been too many weddings where these things happened usually at the last moment, this means it turns a very relaxing morning into last minute stress. You want to avoid that!
  • You will need around 20 min to put your dress on; you might need more if its a complicated dress with lots of buttons + veil if you have one.
  • First look or Reveal to your friends and family takes 10-15 min to organise and photograph
  • If you are planning First look you will need more planning depending where and how you would like to do it. This can take from 15 min to 30 min to photograph
  • Guests arriving to the ceremony usually 30 minutes before ceremony. Great time to photograph a few candid shots of the guests .
  • Ceremony usually takes from 20-30 min to an hour ( Church –usually 40 min , Civil registration 20-30 min and Humanistic around 40 min or longer depend on the couples plans )
  • Exit from the church or wedding venue straight after the ceremony + confetti takes around 20 min 
  • For the reception you will need around 2 hours from the end of ceremony ( including exit and confetti) to the wedding breakfast
  • 20-30 minutes : group shots and extra 10-15 min for one big group shot if you want them.
  •  30 min couple shoot. ( It is so important take time for these shots. You need to feel relaxed and comfortable in front of the camera to achieve those natural images. If you feel awkward it will reflected in the photographs. So take your time, enjoy the moment and you will have beautiful photographs and memories of that moment !)
  • After you have done your couple shoot add an extra 40 min for reception drinks, so you have a chance to spend time with your friends and family. This is where your photographer can take candid shots before everyone goes into the wedding breakfast.   Depending on the venue you might have to wait for 1 hour or more to clear the room for dance floor unless it is in a different room. This time is great for games, chats, throwing the bouquet or having extra group shots with friends.
  • Cutting the cake -10-15 min . Once people are gathered together and the cake cut, it is best to go straight to the First dance so you don’t need to gather all the guests together again. 
  • First dance + Dance floor 15-20 min for photography 
  • If you are planning Sparkles exit best to do 15-20 min after the first dance with a few of your friends/guests. It will take around 15 min -20 min to gather everyone and take a few photographs.


  • 2 hours Getting ready shots includes :
  • Candid shots of bride and bridesmaids getting ready
  • 15-20 min Putting dress on
  • 15 min Reveal to friends /parents
  • 30 min Guests arriving
  • 20 min Civil Ceremony / 40 minutes Church or Humanistic Ceremony
  • 2 hours from end of Ceremony to Wedding breakfast inc :
  • 20 min exit and confetti shots after the ceremony
  • 30 min Group shots
  • 30 min couple shoot
  • 40 min reception drinks / candid shots of guests , table decor .
  • 2 hours wedding breakfast
  • 30-40 min speeches ( for 3 speakers)
  • 5-10 min Cutting Cake
  • 15-20 min First dance + dance floor shots
  • 15-20 min Sparklers exit shots

Every wedding is different . You might not want first dance and cutting cake or your ceremony might take one hour and that is fine ! We would work together and plan your perfect timeline so you have a great day and stress free experience :)

If you are looking for artistic & natural wedding photography get in touch to check if I am available on your wedding date.

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