Wedding Day Timeline | Helpful Tips from Tracey Krick Photography

As all of my brides prepare for their wedding day, I thought I’d share a few helpful tips on creating a timeline for photography. Planning the perfect timeline helps to relieve stress before and during your special day, and allows lots of time for beautiful photos! The timelines below are examples that you may follow, and if you have any questions on how to create a timeline for your wedding, please don’t hesitate to let me know. I’m here as a guide, a friend, and a professional!

Please feel free to share this with others who may be planning a wedding of their own.


Timeline with a First Look and 8 hours of coverage

1:00 PM: Photographers arrive at venue or place you’re getting ready (3 hours prior to the ceremony)

1:00-2:00: Bridal shots, Details + Groom – Shoot final touches of getting ready, bride’s details (dress, jewelry, flowers, etc.) bride putting on dress, and groom’s final touches (shoes, tie, watch, etc.)

2:00-2:45: First Look + Bride and Groom Portraits

2:45-3:45: Bridal Party + Immediate Family Photos – Can be taken at this time. We feel that it’s much more convenient to get these photos out of the way so that EVERYONE can enjoy themselves during cocktail hour and head to the reception to party!

3:45: Relax – Breathe, and take a few moments for yourself; you’re about to tie the knot!

4:00-4:30: Ceremony

4:30-5:30: Cocktail Hour – Since we took all of your photos before your ceremony, you can now relax and enjoy cocktail hour with your guests! During this time we will shoot candids and all the little details you worked so hard on in your reception area.

5:30-10:30: Reception – Typically we’ll grab you and your new hubby for a few romantic shots during sunset!

Photographers depart at 9:00 PM


Timeline without a First Look and 8 hours of coverage  (All one location weddings or within close proximity ceremony/reception areas where the reception immediately follows the ceremony)

2:00 PM: Photographers arrive at venue or place you’re getting ready

2:00-3:00: Bridal shots, Details + Groom – Shoot final touches of getting ready, bride’s details (dress, jewelry, flowers, etc.) bride putting on dress, and groom’s final touches (shoes, tie, watch, etc.)

3:00-3:45: Brandon shoots Groomsmen Portraits and Groom’s Portraits; Tracey shoots Bridesmaid Photos and Bridal Portraits

3:45: Relax – Breathe, and take a few moments for yourself; you’re about to tie the knot!

4:00-4:30: Ceremony

4:30-5:30: Cocktail Hour – During cocktail hour, we would shoot the entire Bridal Party (15 minutes), Family Portraits (15 minutes) and Bride + Groom Portraits (30 minutes)

5:30-10:30: Reception – Typically we’ll grab you and your new hubby for a few romantic shots during sunset! Also, during the reception we will photograph any larger family group photos + special request photos.

Photographers depart at 10:00 PM

Note: This timeline only works if your ceremony ends before dark so we still have light to shoot during cocktail hour.


Timeline with a Receiving Line and 8 hours of coverage

1:00 PM: Photographers arrive at venue or place you’re getting ready

1:00-2:00: Bridal shots, Details + Groom – Shoot final touches of getting ready, bride’s details (dress, jewelry, flowers, etc.) bride putting on dress, and groom’s final touches

2:00-2:45: While Brandon shoots Groomsmen Portraits and Groom’s Portraits Tracey shoots Bridesmaid Photos and Bridal Portraits

2:45: Relax – Breathe, and take a few moments for yourself; you’re about to tie the knot!

3:00-3:30: Ceremony

3:30-4:00: Receiving Line (To keep this to a half an hour or less, it’s best to have just the Bride and Groom and Parents, rather than having the entire Bridal Party for the line-up.)

4:00-5:00: Cocktail Hour – During this time, we would shoot the entire Bridal Party (15 minutes), Family Portraits (15 minutes) and Bride + Groom Portraits (30 minutes)

5:00-10:00: Reception – Typically we’ll grab you and your new hubby for a few romantic shots during sunset! Also, during the reception we will photograph any larger family group photos + special request photos.

Photographers depart at 9:00 PM


Information on the First Look

“Doing a first look will take “something” away from our ceremony.” “I don’t want him to see me until I walk down the aisle.”

It probably depends on who you ask, but everyone we have asked has said that doing a First Look did not take anything away from the ceremony at all. It’s quite a different experience to share with one another, and by different, we mean AWESOME. ROMANTIC. SPECIAL.

Most couples spend the night away from each other before the wedding. You’re anxious for the first moment that you see each other. Why not have a First Look?

It is totally acceptable if you prefer to wait. We aren’t pushing First Looks as the best and only way to plan your wedding day photography timeline (although doing a First Look does give you a lot more flexibility in your timeline). It’s common for couples to say that they want to do a first look, but they think that it will take something away from the ceremony. It absolutely does not. If you want to do a First Look, then do one. If you don’t, then don’t. This is your wedding, so do what you want to do!


In addition to the above wedding day timelines, here is a rough guide to how much time we need to do the various types of photos that we usually do at your wedding:

  • Getting Ready: At least 30-45 minutes with both the girls and the guys, but the more the better!
  • Bride + Bridesmaids: 30 minutes (before the ceremony is recommended)
  • Groom + Groomsmen: 30 minutes (before the ceremony is recommended)
  • Bride + Groom: 45 minutes-or-so. If you do a “First Look,” that usually takes about 10 minutes and we usually recommend scheduling about 15 minutes right before sunset for the best light.
  • Entire Wedding Party: 20-30 minutes
  • Immediate Family: This is based on how many groups you want to do. We usually recommend about 2 minutes per small group (2-8 people) and about 5 minutes per large group (8+ people).
  • Extended Family: We usually recommend keeping family formals to immediate family and then doing less “formal” photos with extended family members as you see them during reception. But, if you would like to include extended family in the formals, then use the same timing calculations as for immediate family.
  • Ceremony Prep Time: 15-30 minutes. Don’t schedule any other photo sessions for the 15-30 minutes right before your ceremony so we can get set up, communicate with videographers about how we/they plan to shoot, etc.

If you graciously allow us these amounts of time for each aspect of your wedding day, we will be sure to give you some seriously gorgeous images!

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