First wedding? Need some insight?

If you're reading this you have probably booked a date with us, in which case, we are so excited to be working with you and hope this eases your way into planning your timeline. If you haven't booked with us, that's ok, you will after this. The timeline is based on an 8-10 hour wedding (roughly) with a 5pm sunset with the whole event taking place at the venue. You can adjust the times accordingly, keep in mind travel times if you're not getting ready at the venue. We've included times for those who chose to do a first look and those who chose to wait until the ceremony.

Dan and I are no strangers to helping out with a majority of the wedding planning and creation of the timeline so we hope our insight helps!

I must also mention - Make this day your own! This is by no means the way things have to be done, it's merely a general template to get an idea of how a typical wedding goes from the eyes of a photographer. We embrace individuality and love how unique every wedding is, so if you want to do things a little differently, we're in!

Lets start with a timeline including a first look


If you're on the fence about first looks we don't blame you! There is something about your partner seeing you for the first time walking down the aisle HOWEVER a first look provides a great Segway into bridal portraits and a great way to get family photos out of the way so you can enjoy cocktail hour! No one wants to miss out on the hors d'oeuvres.

This is also an opportunity to spend some time intimate time with your partner before the chaos of guests and vows. When we photograph first looks you can find us in the bushes or on the outskirts, this is a special moment for you and your partner so we do our best to be as small and out of sight as possible.

  • 1:00 pm - 2/2:30 | Photographers (Dan and I) arrive at the bridal suite or bride’s getting ready location to capture the bride and bridesmaids getting ready and the groomsmen's finishing touches. Dan and I will split up to capture both the brides perspective and the grooms.
  • During this time we will also capture details of rings, invitations, special memorabilia like something new, blue, borrowed, or weird (because not every wedding is the same)
  • 2:45 pm | First-look and bride & groom photos
  • We will likely steal you away for 15 - 20 minutes during sunset as well for more portraits.
  • 3:15 pm | Wedding party photos (bride & bridesmaids, groom & groomsmen, full wedding party)
  • 4:00 pm | Family Photos (usually the most time consuming)
  • For the sake of time, we recommend including only immediate family members. That means: parents, grandparents and siblings + their spouses. The bigger the crowd the more time it takes to organize and photos with other guests can always take place during the reception.
  • Communication is KEY and we also recommend assigning someone from your bridal party to be the "collector" for any missing family members.
  • 4:45-5 pm | Prepare for ceremony (YAY)
  • 5:00 pm | Ceremony begins
  • 5:30 pm | Ceremony ends and cocktail hour begins
  • photograph reception decor and signing of the marriage license, more family photos if needed
  • 6:30 pm | Grand entrance of wedding party
  • 6:40 pm | Bride & Groom first dance (cute)
  • 6:45 pm | Father-daughter dance/Mother-son dance
  • 7:00 pm | Dinner is served
  • This is around the time we steal you for sunset depending on the time of year
  • 7:40 pm | Cake Cutting
  • 7:45 pm | Speeches
  • 8:00 pm | Dance floor opens


The reception is much easier and flexible when it comes to the timeline. Most of the major events of the day are over and now its time to enjoy yourself!

Keep in mind this is just a guide, we want you to plan your day how YOU want it to be.


Now lets see what a timeline looks like without a first look

Time of year, ceremony time, and time of service will be based on the same as the wedding above.

The beauty of not doing a first look is of course - tradition. Waiting until you walk down that aisle for your partner to see you for the very first time, its always a tear jerker.

  • 2:00 pm | Photographers (Dan and I) arrive at the bridal suite or bride’s getting ready location to capture the bride and bridesmaids getting ready and the groomsmen's finishing touches. Dan and I will split up to capture both the brides perspective and the grooms.
  • During this time we will also capture details of rings, invitations, special memorabilia like something new, blue, borrowed, or weird (because not every wedding is the same)
  • 3:30 pm | Groom & groomsmen portraits
  • 3:45 pm | Bride puts on the dress
  • 4:15 pm | Bride & bridesmaids portraits
  • 4:30 pm | Bride freshens up, gets tucked away from early arriving guests
  • This is our time to photograph ceremony decor & reception decor
  • From 3:30 to 4:30 can also be used to photograph the bride with her side of the family and the groom with his side of the family. This will give you more time at your cocktail our and less photos tot are after the ceremony.
  • 5:00 pm | Ceremony begins
  • 5:30 pm | Ceremony ends
  • 5:45 pm | Cocktail hour starts
  • 5:45 pm | Family photos (usually the most time consuming)
  • We always leave 10-15 minutes for the rush of congratulations and love you will receive after you day "I do"
  • For the sake of time, we recommend including only immediate family members. That means: parents, grandparents and siblings + their spouses. The bigger the crowd the more time it takes to organize and photos with other guests can always take place during the reception.
  • Communication is KEY and we also recommend assigning someone from your bridal party to be the "collector" for any missing family members.
  • 6:15 pm | Bridal Party photos
  • Both sides separately and together. Dan and I usually photograph an individual portrait for everyone in the bridal party.
  • 6:40 pm | Bride & Groom portraits
  • Finally a few moments of peace and just the two of you (and Dan and I) we'll take you away from the chaos for a bit and spend some time photographing just the two of you. Keep in mind we will steal you away for some sunset photos as well.
  • 7:15 pm | Grand entrance of wedding party
  • 7:15 pm | First Dances
  • 7:30 pm | Dinner is served
  • This is around the time well steal you for some mantle worthy sunset photos
  • 7:40 pm | Cake Cutting
  • 7:45 pm | Speeches
  • 8:00 pm | Dance floor opens
  • 10:00 pm | Photographers leave


Wether you do a first look or not is completely up to you and your partner and there are pros and cons for each. If this guideline doesn't seem to shed any light for you we've also included how long it typically takes to photograph each section of your day.

Keep in mind these are all rough guidelines and if family photos need to be done in 25 minutes you better believe Dan and I will get them done!


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Details & Getting Ready Photos: 60-90 min

This involves photographing all the amazing details you've worked so hard. From the invitations to the details on your vail, we don't like to miss a thing! As well as candid of you and your bridal party, getting your dress on (or tux), and the finishing touches. These are personally some of my favorite shots of the day, there is so much anticipation and excitement in the air, it's intoxicating and makes for some raw and emotional photos.


Bridal Party Photos: 30-45 min

Dan and I will usually spilt up with each side of the bridal party for the first part of these shots. While I photograph the bride/ bridesmaids, Dan will be photographing the groom/groomsmen. Once the separate photos are done we'll link up and do all of the group shots. It's important to keep in mind the time it will take to get to the location for the photos and the time it takes to organize, especially if its a larger bridal party.


Bride & Groom Photos: 20-40 min

To be honest, we could spend all day photographing just the two of you BUT we don't have that kind of time and for some reason time seems to move quicker during a wedding. In a perfect world every wedding would run on time but that's not that case and that's totally okay. A solid 90% of weddings run behind schedule and for so many reason but these are some of the most important photos of the day, the ones you'll hang on walls and frame for family. Even if we have 10 minutes for these photos, don't sweat it, Dan and I have your back. We left a large time gap for this because you never know what the day will have in store but Dan and I will make it work no matter what. We'll talk about location prior to the wedding or scope out the venue earlier in the day, we'll also borrow you guys for sunset which makes for some of the best portraits.


Family Photos: 45 min

We mentioned above that this is usually the most time consuming part of the photos depending on the size. Not that we don't love our family but these are the ones we want to get done in an organized and timely fashion, not one wants to miss a picture with the bride and groom. It's a great idea to create a list of the family members you would like to be photographed to make this process less chaotic on the day of. It was also recommended above to assign a member of your bridal party as the "collector" for any wandering family members needed for photos. Dan and I will direct most of this but communication is key and will keep you on schedule!


Again, this is just a template that seems to work well for a lot of weddings. Dan and I love every wedding no matter the timeline so feel free to get creative! This day is about you and your partner.