Planning a wedding is no easy task! There are so many things to consider when planning out the day’s events. It’s so important that you communicate with your photographer to make sure everyone is on the same page, and there is enough time allotted for the photos you want. I’m going to share my sample wedding photography timeline with you, so you can reference it for typical time needed for each part of the day. You’re going to want to Pin This post!

Sample Wedding Photography Timeline


Sample Wedding Day Photography Timeline

A guide to help you plan.


Michigan bride getting ready

1. 30 minutes to one hour – getting ready shots. This is a time for me to “warm up” and get into the zone before the ceremony starts! I like to capture images of the pre-ceremony excitement while everyone is getting ready. These are mostly candid images, with some “scene setting” images mixed in. I try to stay out of everyone’s way, and just hang out & blend in.

2. 40 minutes – pre-ceremony groups (optional). If you don’t mind seeing each other before the ceremony, I highly recommend doing all of your family and wedding party portraits before the ceremony! Everyone will be fresh and not caught up in the excitement that occurs right after the ceremony is finished. This also lets you relax and not have to worry about it for the rest of the day!

Scottish wedding at Meadowbrook Hall

3. Capturing your wedding ceremony. I like to move around a lot if I can, capturing different angles. The venue and layout of it affect how well I can do this, and I always try to remain as unnoticed as possible!

4. Group photos. If you choose to do family/group shots after your ceremony, this is typically how it goes.

a. 25 minutes – family group shots. I like to keep these as simple as possible.
*Couple with each set of parents
*Couple with each set of parents and siblings
*Couple with each extended family
*Extra shots if requested (allow extra time)

b. 15 minutes – wedding party shots. I also like to keep these as simple and short as possible.

*Entire wedding party
*Each “side” of wedding party
*With just the maid of honor & best man

*With flower girl(s)/ring bearer(s)

5. Creative Portraits. 20 minutes to one hour – photos with the two of you, alone. This is the best part of the day, when the magic happens, so the more time I have, the better. It’s best to have everyone else leave at this point, to minimize distractions. It’s the perfect time to just relax, breathe, and enjoy each other in the middle of such a chaotic day.

Wedding guests at Meadowbrook Hall.

6. Reception.
If possible, I like to try to take you both out of the reception for about 10-15 minutes, right around sunset if possible, to do a few shots when the light is magical!

Lume Photography- two brides

Keep your photographer involved when planning out your wedding timeline to ensure your photography experience is the best it can be! For more information on what to expect when working with a wedding photographer, contact me here, or email me at

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