Creating the Perfect Timeline for Your Wedding Day!

For many brides, the idea of creating a timeline is completely overwhelming.  How do you know how long it will take to photograph detail shots?  What if the Reception Venue is not ready when you are?  What time is the sun setting and how long will it take to corral the whole family for Family Formals?

This is where your photographer comes in to help you plan your day!  After years of shooting weddings, I know how long it takes to photograph most parts of the wedding day.

Carolina Country Club Wedding in Spartanburg SC

There are a few factors to consider when planning the timing of the day…here are just a few of the things I keep in mind:

  • Where is everyone getting ready and how long will it take them to get to the Venue?
  • Distance from the Ceremony site to the Reception site?
  • How many people are in the Bridal Party and will we need additional time because of a large party?
  • Are there special moments that the Bride wants to include (possibly First Look with Dad)?
  • Are the Bride and Groom doing a First Look?

Based on each individual wedding and the Bride & Groom’s desires for the day, we will create a Custom Timeline and work with them to make it a perfect fit! 

Here is a Sample Timeline based on a 30-minute Ceremony, First Look and the Bride & Groom getting ready at the same location.



Arrive at Location; Detail Photos of Dress, Jewelry, Rings, Shoes, Florals, etc. – 20 minutes

Getting Ready Photos of Bride & Bridal Party – 30 minutes

Bride Gets into Dress – 20  minutes

Getting Ready Photos of Groom & Groomsmen – 20 minutes

First Look with Bride & Groom — 20 minutes

Bride & Bridesmaids – 20 minutes

Full Wedding Party – 20 minutes

Groom & Groomsmen – 20 minutes

Pre-Ceremony Photos and Guests Seated – 20 minutes


Processional & Ceremony – 30 minutes

Recessional & Bridal Party/Guests Congratulations – 30 minutes


Additional Family Photos – 20-30 minutes

Additional Bridal Party and Bride/Groom Photos not previously captured – 20 minutes

Bride & Groom go to Cocktail Hour to mingle with guests and we capture candid photos


Photograph Reception Space & Details prior to guests entering if possible

Introduction of Wedding Party & Bride/Groom

 Prayer & Welcome Speeches

Dinner Service (typically 60 minutes)

 Sunset Portraits with Bride & Groom

 Toasts & Cake Cutting

 Dances (First Dance, Bride & Father, Groom & Mother)

Open Dance Floor & Bouquet/Garter (30 minutes)

Photography End Time


Believe it or not…when all added together, this perfectly equals an 8 hour Wedding Day! 

The main thing I would love for you know, if you get NOTHING else out of this little post…of all the pictures that are taken during an 8 hour wedding day, the ones that will wind up on the walls of your home are the ones that are taken during the 20-30 minutes of portrait time that is specifically set aside.

If you skimp on anything during the day, do not skimp on that portrait time!!  It is critical and will be the pictures you treasure the most!!


Pin for Later!!!

Creating a Wedding Day Timeline is tough! Read one Photographers tips and check out a sample Timeline!!


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Hey y'all!! I'm Kelli! It's so nice to have you here! I am a blessed Mama to 5 and the wife of the most handsome farmer around! I use this little corner of the world to share my latest Sessions and to offer encouragement and tips to Brides, Wives, and Mamas everywhere!


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I believe

"...We are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10



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Kelli Duncan



Kelli C Photography