Wedding Day Photography Timeline

Our ultimate goal is to do everything in our power to ensure that you have the best wedding day and most amazing wedding photos possible. To help our couples, we’ve fine-tuned a schedule to help your day flow.

Wedding Photography Timeline

In our experience as wedding photographers, the most incredible photos are always completely natural. No forced awkward poses, simply just both of you having the best time of your lives. As cliché as that sounds, we’ve realised that much of the success of a wedding day happens due to just TWO reasons. The relationships we’ve formed with our couples in the months leading up to the wedding and as a result; open conversations about how best to equip us as your photographers to achieve the most beautiful results possible. By intentionally planning before the big day, it allows you to focus on what matters, enjoying the day.

We’ve created this guidebook as a resource specially for our brides and grooms, to ensure you not only get the best out of us (as a photography duo) but to know exactly what can help make your special day the best it can possibly be. So pour yourself a glass with your future husband or whether it’s with your maid of honour, and let’s begin this exciting planning process.

The Details

Dress, Rings, Shoes, Cufflinks, Speeches, etc.

Time required: 30 mins

We recommend allowing at least 30 minutes for details to ensure we have time to capture the all important wedding dress photo, rings, shoes, bouquets, vows, speeches and any other details of the day. At times the hotel room may be too crowded or simply unappealing; in these occasions we’ll take the dress into the main lobby or even outside – this may take some time, but as you can see from the results, it’s well worth the additional work.

We have designed the timeline so that when we arrive we can immediately begin photographing the details you’ve put so much time into preparing. This allows us to then turn our full attention to documenting the moments you experience and share throughout the day. Having all the important rings, bouquets, any wedding stationery (invitations, programmes) on hand in the bridal suite will allow us to photograph these details alongside all the other getting-ready excitement and emotions.

Getting Ready

Makeup, Hair, Dress On, Emotions, Bridesmaids, Groomsmen, etc.

Time required: 60 mins

You’ve spent months planning for this day. You finished your rehearsal last night, went back to your hotel room and most probably had some restless sleep. – And now here you are, surrounded by the people you care about the most, getting ready on the morning of your wedding. Your heart is full of anticipation as you prepare to marry the love of your life.

During this time, we’re getting close ups of hair and makeup being applied, bridesmaids and groomsmen getting ready as well as the candid moments that together tell the story of your wedding morning. Capturing the build up to your wedding can be of the most beautiful and fun parts of your day, from bridal party toasts to first views of you in the dress. For the Groom’s out there – we’ll capture those cherished moments that are often overlooked. The best man fixing your tie, the sip of drink to calm the nerves to the last minute speech adjustments. So you don’t want to cut time short.

Keep in mind these photos can easily become visually distracted by a messy room and poor lighting. So to help you get the best images, we’ve detailed tips below on how to pick the best getting-ready location and how to prep the room so its just as beautiful as those getting ready inside it…

Natural light: Natural light coming in from a window is the most beautiful and flattering light for getting ready scenes. With the room lights off we can avoid the over-saturated oranges indoor bulbs typically produce, allowing your skin, flowers and dresses to look natural. Choosing a room with plenty of space and great natural light will go a long way in creating the best ready photos. If you don’t have this option at home we’d recommend looking at renting an airbnb or getting ready in a light and spacious hotel room.

Room aesthetics: An ideal getting ready area would be an interestingly decorated space with windows and light walls (Ideally white) for lots of reflective light. Best conditions for lighting would be a room with large windows and enough light coming in through the windows to light the room evenly with the lights off. Avoid small dark rooms with lots of clutter, rooms with no windows are a real nightmare and anything with mixed light. It’s hard to see with the naked eye, but in photos a badly lit room can lead to odd skin colours.

Hair & Make-up artists: As we turn off all artificial lights in your getting-ready space to achieve the most natural looking shots, your hair and makeup artists will need to know to set up by one of the windows. This will ensure they have enough light to perfect your hair and makeup without the use of room lights causing odd skin colours. If for any reason the space doesn’t have sufficient natural light for them to work with and they require extra lighting, we’ll just ask them to pause for a few moments so we can capture photos in natural lighting.

Keep it clean: So many really great moments are happening and good lighting can help capture them in a more elegant way. Avoiding any unnecessary clutter is equally important. If you have invested time finding the most gorgeous space to get ready in, you’ll want to try and avoid any cluttered backgrounds. Tidying away extra clothes, shoes, rubbish, bags, and any other clutter will go a long way in making sure every image looks incredible.

First look

Optional, but recommended for the most authentic intimate moments

Time required: 20 mins

You feel the anticipation building in your heart beat. The door opens and the palpable tension is finally broken by moments of pure joy and happiness as you and your love finally get the chance to see each other and communicate verbally the excitement you both have before the ceremony. These private moments are some of the most authentic and real scenes we capture, filled with pure emotion and excitement.

We capture so many candid, emotional moments during the First Look simply because we allow time for the couple to relax, feel their emotions, talk about the day, and live in the moment.

Whilst many dream of the moment the door opens and eyes meet at the beginning of the ceremony, we’ve found that often the magic of the moment is simply overshadowed by the pressure of hundreds of eyes staring at you, along with the expectation that you hold your composure in front of everyone. With a First Look, there are no expectations or limit on time – it’s simply the two of you, having the space to fully grasp the coming reality of your marriage. We have found these moments tend to be more authentic and intimate. Additionally, First Looks are always completely private, no prying eyes allowed other than us. By sharing these quiet moments together, there’s no pressure when the ceremony begins, nothing but excitement as you walk in hand in hand.

Calm nerves together: Wedding days can often be a bit busy, stressful and emotional. The First looks provides the opportunity to get rid of any pre-ceremony jitters, laugh together, cry together and just be together. It’s all completely private, and completely yours.

Celebrate afterwards: When couples choose to see each other before the ceremony, we usually manage to capture the photos, including family pictures completed before the ceremony begins. This generally allows the newly wedded couple to feel more relaxed, celebrating straight after the ceremony with their guests. Without doing a first look, if you wish for family or wedding party portraits – these usually will take place straight after the ceremony between ceremony and reception.

Wedding party

Bridal Party Photos, Groomsmen, Group shots + Individual.

Time required: 45 mins

As the day unfolds, whilst our focus is weighted towards documenting you and your fiancé, we also pay special attention to those closest to you both. The guests you’ve chosen to stand beside you as you take your vows are hugely important to you, and we love finding creative ways to capture each wedding party on camera.

Ultimately our goal is to capture the personality and individuality of your wedding party, so let’s have some fun with these photos! This is your chance to be yourself alongside the people you’ve asked to be part of your special day. Simply hang out, be a bit silly and just be you – we’ll capture all the feels you have for each other.

Family portraits

Venue Lobby, Venue Garden, Beach, Park, Off-site Location

Time required: 30 mins

Whilst we spend the majority of your wedding day documenting love, joy and emotion as it naturally occurs throughout the day, we’re also committed to making sure we honour any special requests for formal photos of your family. It’s no secret that family portraits can be some of the most chaotic and stressful part of the wedding day. Making sure everyone is ready whilst not holding up the rest of the day can become quite tricky but if formals of your family are important to you we’ll try our best to keep it quick, smooth and painless.

Before the ceremony: If you opt for a First Look, we’ll be able to capture the entire set of formal family photos prior to the ceremony; so that you can focus on getting married and enjoy celebrating with family and friends straight after. We find this works best for our couples and recommend doing family photos 90 minutes before the ceremony to give everyone enough time to make any final touchups.

Clean background: When choosing a location for family photos, try and avoid any clutter or busy backgrounds. You want the focus to be on you and your family. It can be against a wall, trees or otherwise a clean simple background, anything to ensure these images look the best as possible. Soft lighting is the biggest priority, to make sure no harsh shadowing is visible.

Get people together: To make sure that we can fly through these photos quickly and painlessly, we usually ask the Best Man or Maid of Honour to gather all the family in one place, so that we can explain the process to everyone. We’ll then get you and your fiancé in place, and then it all begins.

The ceremony

Now It’s ALL about the both of YOU!

Time required: 30 mins

We want make sure your ceremony photos accurately reflect the months of planning you’ve put into this special day. The last thing we want is to arrive at an amazing location in the middle of the woods or overlooking a mountain lake and realise too late that your faces will be covered in harsh shadows or you’ll be constantly squinting because we’ve neglected to consider where the light source is coming from.

Time of day: The absolute best light of the day happens about an hour before sunset. This means I’ll schedule the photos with you and your new spouse during that space – however, it’s just as important to have amazing light for your ceremony. We usually recommend scheduling your ceremony about 2 hours before sunset if you choose to do a First Look (or about 3 hours before sunset if you opt out of the First Look). This will give you the best light possible for your ceremony and give us plenty of time for Bride + Groom photos as well, directly after the ceremony.

Backlighting: Regardless of your location, you’re by far going to have the best lighting results if you position your ceremony location so that the sun is behind the wedding party, the officiant, and you/your fiancé (facing your guests). This will ensure you don’t have nasty shadows covering your face and help prevent you from squinting the entire ceremony. Plus, backlight is usually the most flattering light in general so positioning your ceremony for backlight will make your photos look magical and avoid the harshness of direct sun. Generally speaking, if you have an afternoon/evening wedding, your guests should be facing west, whereas if you have a morning wedding, your guests should be facing east.

Bride & Groom photos

Venue Grounds, Gardens, Local Beach, Park, Off-site Location

Time required: 45 mins

Hands-down our favourite parts of every wedding day are the moments we get to spend alone with our couples after the ceremony. While we love every part of a wedding, it’s these quiet moments between two in-love newlyweds that we really love capturing – when all the chaos dies down and we can just capture the intimacy and emotion of your love on camera.

And if we’re being honest here, it’s not at all that the rest of your wedding day isn’t amazing and magical but the reality is that it’s these images, the moments of you and your new spouse basking in the joy and excitement of your new marriage, that will live on for years to come. These are the images you’ll hang on your wall, print in your wedding album, and publish on social media. Because at the end of the day, your wedding day is about your love – and that’s what we capture during these moments together.

That’s why we allocate the most time and the best light of the day to these photos – because your love is magical and unique and it deserves the absolute best moments of the wedding day.

Unscripted: Wedding days have schedules, timelines, places to be, times to be there. And that’s all well and good…but the hour that I spend with my couples after the ceremony is anything but scripted. Our time together is basically a spontaneous little adventure. A mini-elopement. A private couple’s photoshoot. This time is all about just letting you enjoy each other, spend some time alone, and focus on your relationship and the story you’re telling together.

Space to breathe: I’ve said this before but ultimately my focus on your wedding day isn’t about capturing images but rather about building relationships with you, curating moments together, and allowing your personalities and love to shine through naturally. That’s why it’s so crucial that this portion of your day happen privately, without the prying eyes of wedding guests, family, or well-intentioned friends. I want to make sure you have space to breathe, to really wrap your minds around the vows you just took and truly enjoy each other’s presence.

Plenty of time: Generally speaking, we try to estimate about 60 minutes for your Bride/Groom photos – this will give us ample time to take things slowly, breathe, and not feel rushed…which leads to the relaxed, candid, intimate photos you want from your wedding day. And okay, if we’re being honest here, we could totally photograph you and your new spouse for endless hours (elopement, anyone??) but chances are your family would miss you. 45 minutes allows enough time to capture the magic we’re trying to capture so we can deliver photos you’ll cherish forever while also giving you a short break from the constancy of your wedding guests and allowing you to focus solely on each other.

Golden hour: You’ve probably realised by now that we’re all about finding amazing light. Light is the foundational tool in a photographer’s toolkit and the hour right before (and just barely after) sunset is when the light is the most soft, warm, and overall flattering. That’s why we build all of our timelines around light – so that the images you care about the most are treated to the best light of the day and so that the memories we capture look as amazing as possible.


Speeches, First Dance, Partying

Time required: until late!

Vows have been made. The sun has set. The sound of excited guests provides the undertone for the band while the smells of delicious food filter through the crisp evening air – it’s time for a party. The wedding reception is such an anticipated part of your day and it’s always so much fun to capture the lightheartedness, joy, and pure excitement of the family and friends who have journeyed to make your wedding day such a special occasion.

…And you made it

We seriously can’t thank you enough for taking the time to read through this whole guidebook and it’s our hope that the work we’ve put into making this guide has been both insightful and informative when it comes to planning out your wedding day.

Additionally, as much as we’d like to think that we covered everything here, we’re very well aware that every wedding is unique and that there could be questions we may not have answered or situations we haven’t addressed. If that’s the case, please don’t view this guidebook as an end-all statement on how your wedding has to play out – send us a message or give us a call and we’ll do our best to help tailor our coverage and the timeline to your particular needs.