Wedding Schedule

Typical Wedding Schedule

In most cases, the couple hires me for approximately 8-12 hours, and I try to photograph every moment in between. The typical wedding schedule looks like the one below;

11:00 am – 12:30 pm Getting Ready

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Wedding Ceremony

2:00 pm – 2:30 pm Family Photos (at ceremony location)

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Location Photos

6:00 pm – 6:15 pm Introductions

6:30 pm – 7:30 pm Dinner

7:30 pm – 8:00 pm First Dance, Parents Dances, ect.

8:00 pm – 9:00 pm Reception

9:00 pm – 10:00 pm Cake Cutting, Bouquet/Garter Toss

  • I need the hour and a half in the morning during the “Getting Ready” portion of the day to take photos of the details, such as shoes, dress, flowers, jewelry, several portraits of the bride, and some photos of the bride with her bridesmaids and family, along with the groom and his groomsmen.


  • In most cases the drive to the church takes 10-20 minutes, and 10 minutes is left for the bride to get situated and I use that time to set up and take a few more photos of the groom.


  • The ceremony itself takes approximately an hour. The shortest ceremony I have ever had was 9 minutes and the longest, a Indian ceremony, was an almost two hours.


  • Usually, I take all family photos right after the ceremony at the ceremony setting. Due to my experience this is the best time, because all of the family and friends are in one place and it is easy to get everyone together for the photos.  Depending on the size of your family, this can take between 20-40 minutes.


  • If the couple decides to have a receiving line after the ceremony, an additional 15-30 minutes needs to be accounted for in the schedule.


  • Normally, the ride to the location for photos will take between 15 and 30 minutes. It is very important to find a location that is remotely close to either the ceremony setting or the place of reception.


  • Depending on the size of a party, the location photos will take a minimum of one hour, usually taking about an hour to two hours time.

  • The road back to the restaurant will take 15-20 minutes, typically, and another 15-20 minutes of break once we get to the place of reception for the couple as well as the photographer.
  • During the dinner there are normally no photos taken, but I try to take as many photos as possible while the couple walks around and thanks the guests for coming. There is no guarantee of every guest being in these photos although most guests should be featured.
  • I take photos of all of the main events such as the first dance, the bouquet and garter toss,  along with the cake cutting and the dancing with parents.
  • Most of the time I do not stay until the very end of the wedding, I only take a few photos of the guests during the dancing and party portion of the wedding before ending my work.
  • I ask the couple for two extra photo sessions during the reception, one after dinner, around the time of sunset, and one right before I leave for night time photos.

In an upcoming post I will talk about how we can save time to accommodate the both of us, I will have more time for photos, and eventually you will have more time for a break in-between without feeling rushed. You can even find out how you can save time and money by asking for a package with a shorter time span while still getting all of the photos that you want.

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