wedding photography timeline checklist

Today I thought I’d share a wedding photography checklist & timeline.You can purchase editable checklists right here on my etsy store too!

Since all weddings are different, it’s challenging to pinpoint timelines down.

However, there are ideal time lines which you can consider for your wedding day and work with your photographer to work out what will be best.

Some of these timelines may seem long on paper but some points to remember;

  1. The day goes by super quick
  2. Sometimes weddings can run behind schedule
  3. The photo sessions are always fun – so you won’t realise the time frame on the day!

Let’s break it down!

Rings, Shoes & any other details

Wedding Photography Checklist & timeline
Wedding photography checklist & timeline – Detail shots

Time – 30 minutes – 45 minutes
Time of Day – Morning
Location – Bridal Suite or Hotel Suite

Having at least 30 minutes gives us photographers a chance to get that perfect photo of the rings, shoes, dress and any other details you may want to have photographed. There are times when a hotel room is too crowded or unappealing and so we may request to take the dress to a different room or location to make sure we get some beautiful photos for you. Trust your photographer if they suggest to photograph certain things in different parts of the hotel or house.


bridal prep
Wedding photography checklist & timeline – Bridal Prep

Time – 60 minutes
Time of Day – Morning or Early afternoon (depending on ceremony time)
Location – Bridal Suite or Hotel Suite

Having at least an hour of preparation time gives the photographer a chance to photo as much as possible such as make up, hair, and the general energy in the room on the run up to the ceremony. It’s a great time to get photos of bridesmaids and groomsmen whilst they are getting ready. These make for some fun shots during this time of the day so try not to cut it too short here as it really adds to the story of the day.

Immediate Family & Friends

Wedding Photography Checklist & timeline
Wedding photography checklist & timeline – Formals

Time – 30 – 45 minutes
Time of Day – Post Ceremony
Location – Venue Lobby, Venue Garden, Beach, Park, Off-site Location

Immediate family photos or formals can take around 45 minutes. Some people choose not to have many formals, or very few formals so this can depend on the number of formals you want. I usually recommend something in between. You will usually discuss formals with your photographer in advance so you can communicate what would be an appropriate time frame. I would highly recommend 5 minutes per photo since it can take a couple of minutes to round the groups up. This is a great time for the bridesmaid and groomsmen to come and help the photographer and do a role call to keep things flowing.

Ceremony Details & Venue

Wedding Photography Checklist & timeline
Wedding photography checklist & timeline – Ceremony Details & Venue

Time – 30 minutes
Time of Day – Morning or Afternoon

Before you have the guests seated for the wedding breakfast, it’s important that the photographer has access to the area to photograph the details without any people in the room. You don’t want uncle bob in the photos!

Couples Session

cheshire manchester wedding photographer woburn abbey wedding photography

Time – 45 mins
Time of Day – Post Ceremony
Location – City, Nearby grounds, Venue Garden, Beach, Hotel Lobby, Park etc

This part of the day is a nice get away for the couple, to spend some time alone with the photographer and capture some portraits. Usually this would take place post ceremony and before the wedding breakfast however it can be different depending on the plans for your day. If it’s a summer wedding, a great time is 30-45 minutes before sunset during golden hour. If you are having photos in the city or indoors, the lighting isn’t as important. If you booked your venue due to the scenic views, it’s best to set more time away for the couples session so we get the photos you envisioned!

Reception Detail & Venue

liverpool town hall wedding photographer

Time – 30 minutes
Time of Day – Early Evening
Location – Reception Site

Please allow 30 minutes for the photographer to take pictures of the reception room with no guests or vendors around. Similar to the ceremony details mentioned above, it’s the only time we have to capture the gorgeous details of the reception room prior to guests arriving.

Some photographers also love to photograph in the evening – I’m a huge fan of this especially during the summer weddings. It’s a great time to get some creative photos for eg; if you have an area with interesting light, water fountains, sparklers, fireworks, city scapes. This time is important if you appreciate the night time photography the photographer can deliver if it’s something they offer. The best time for theses photos is after you’ve eaten and either before the cake cut, or after the first dance when you need a breather.

If you’re looking for a Manchester Wedding Photographer or a North West Wedding Photographer who is also available for Destination weddings – Shoot me an email here – I would love to hear from you!

Much Love

Priti x

You can see some Real Weddings here


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