4 Planning Tips To Achieve The Perfect Wedding Photography Timeline

Your wedding is one of the most magical and busiest days that you could ever have. While you might think that all you need to worry about is the ceremony and the reception, you’ll be more prepared if you know that you also need to prepare and do various things for the entire day, including photography sessions.

Positive moment of the bride with friends before wedding

Your wedding day is the only time you could get the perfect wedding photos with your partner, friends, and family, preferably before the wedding ceremony. With this in mind, the importance of creating a wedding checklist to efficiently tackle each step of the planning process is vital. Having a checklist means you won’t miss out on any essential things you need to have on your wedding day. 

Moreover, listed below are the planning tips to achieve the perfect wedding photography timeline: 

1. Know The Duration Of Each Shoot

To ensure you plan your wedding photography timeline well, you first need to confirm the duration of each shoot so you can effectively plan the entire day. In this way, you can immediately know what time you need to get up and start preparing so your photographers would have enough time to capture your best photos throughout the day. 

On your wedding day, your photographer will need to capture plenty of shots. From your preparation down to your reception photos, these may include the following: 

  • Preparation photos 
  • Wedding gown and suit 
  • Wedding accessories
  • Behind the scenes preparation
  • With the groomsmen and bridesmaids
  • With family members
  • Any specific photo request from the bride and groom 
  • Gift-giving (if any) 
  • Ceremony photos
  • Couple shots 
  • Grand entrance to the reception
  • Reception photos

With all of these things in mind, the photographers should provide a specific timeline about how long it will take them to finish their work for each particular shoot. In this way, you won’t be rushing your photographers because you will perfectly lay out the whole day accommodating the time they need to complete the photoshoot. With enough preparation time, you can achieve better-looking photos, especially because your photographers can cover several angles. 

wedding photographer takes pictures of bride and groom in city. wedding couple on photo shoot. photographer in action

2. Start With The Ceremony Time

To be effective with your wedding photograph timeline planning, you should begin at the ceremony time and work your way backwards. In this way, you won’t have any problems guessing an appropriate start time. 

Before the ceremony, you need to set a specific timeline for when you can prepare for hair and makeup, dress up, and have photo sessions as nearly wed, with your family, with your friends, and other specific requests, if any. 

You can work more with your schedule by including gift-giving, and work your way backwards to the preparation photos. In this way, you can set a specific timeline for them and strictly follow them as much as possible.

For your preparation photos, you need to ensure you’re almost done with your hair and makeup. Start getting ready for a shoot when you’re doing the finishing touches. Your photographers don’t need to take a photo of every makeup you need to apply on your skin as they only need to have a shot of you applying it. Depending on your preparation timeline, you can begin one to two hours before the preparation photoshoot, especially because fixing your hair can take a while. 

3. Don’t Forget Your Bridesmaids

In most cases, your groomsmen don’t need too much time to prepare as they only need to put on their suits, fix their hair, and they’re good to go. However, your bridesmaids need to put on their makeup and fix their hair, along with getting dressed. With that, you should accommodate the extra time they need so they’ll be ready when it’s time to take photos with them. 

You can rely on your wedding timeline to know which time of the day you’ll need to take photos with them. You can work your way forward and see what time they can begin fixing themselves and preparing for the photoshoot. 

If your budget allows it, it would be great if all of your bridesmaids could stay at the same hotel as you are, so you wouldn’t have to worry about distance. This will help to eliminate any travel issues or traffic concerns. 

4. Include The Travel Time

If you’re hosting the wedding in various places (e.g., venues are different for the preparation, the ceremony, and the reception), you should consider the travel time you need to make, to avoid being late. While a few minutes might seem harmless, you can never anticipate when heavy traffic might build up and ruin your schedule. 

If you still haven’t booked any venues, try to look for ones where you can perform all the photoshoot in the same general area to save time. However, if you have limited options, try to look for ones that are only five minutes away from each other to lessen any inconvenience. 


Planning for your wedding day timeline is critical as you need to ensure every minute counts. You’d be surprised to know that you need to prepare hours before your wedding, so you can capture the best photos in a day. While it may be tiring, it’ll all be worth it once you walk down the aisle and wait for your partner to be with you. 

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