Sample wedding day timeline

Because a timeline is what keeps the train running...

Need a few tips for putting together your wedding day timeline? It can be tough to know how long each event should be, how much time you should set aside for photos, etc. After shooting 25+ weddings, I can easily help with creating a timeline. So whether you're a bride planning or a photographer looking for a little help... Let's dive on in.

Based on 8 hours of coverage...

  • 12:00 Start hair & makeup
  • 1:30 Photographer arrives & begins detail photos
  • 2:00 Put on dress + Reveal to bridesmaids
  • 3:00 First look
  • 3:15 Couples portraits
  • 4:00 Bridal party photos
  • 5:00 Ceremony
  • 5:30 Cocktail hour starts
  • 5:35 Family Photos
  • 6:30 Reception Begins
  • 6:40 Grand Entrances
  • 6:45 Dinner & Speeches
  • 7:30 Sunset photos
  • 7:45 First dance & parent dances
  • 8:00 Dance floor opens
  • 9:30 Photographer leaves

Okay... that was a lot let's break it down

Hair & makeup

This is something you’ll want to coordinate with you hair & makeup artists that you’ve hired, but typically a bride’s hair and makeup takes about two hours combined (on average). This depends on each bride & a variety of factors. Make sure you do a trial before your big day so you have a good estimate!

First Look

As a wedding photographer... I am ALL for first looks. This gives a wedding day such a relaxed energy to it. You get bridal party photos out of the way before ceremony... which means MORE time to partyyy!!! However, if you aren't doing a first look (& that's totally okay!!) we move everything to after ceremony!


Speeches typically don’t take longer than 15 minutes, but make sure the people giving a speech know that they have a time limit! Although speeches are super great and sentimental, there’s nothing worse than a best man jabbering on & on & on for 20 minutes about drunk memories!!

It's about You!

Don’t forget to make time for what’s important to you! Be sure to incorporate time to truly enjoy your day with your fiancé. If you want to set aside 10 minutes to be alone with each other, then do it!! This day is about you and no one else. So enjoy it!!!