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Everything You Need To Know To Build An Outstanding Wedding Timeline


One of the most important aspects of every wedding is the wedding timeline! It is intimidating, and although it is not the most exciting aspect of the wedding day, it affects the wedding day the most! The timeline can determine the pace of your day, the overall feel and memories of the day. The wedding day timeline should fit both your needs and your photographer’s needs. Your photographer might need a little more time during different portions of the day. Because the timeline is so important, we’re going to talk about how to build your wedding timeline to optimize it for your wedding photography…

Questions To Ask Your Photographer

There are some key elements to ask your photographer to make sure you know what they need. Here are some of my suggestions as a local Carmel wedding photographer:

  • How long should my getting ready photos take?
  • How much portrait time we need? We have X amount of bridal party.
  • How much sunset portrait time do we need?
  • How long do family portraits take and when would we do that?
  • Do you shoot in film or digital?

It’s so important to know what your photographer needs for timing as you build your wedding day timeline. This will help you and your photographer capture what’s most important to you, the way you want it. We’ll also look at different aspects of the day to help you understand why.

Couples Details

Every couple loves having those beautiful shots of their wedding details.  It’s an important part of the story and I love having some time to shoot the dress, shoes, jewelry, invitations, rings, and vows to one another.  This portion sets the stage for the day and helps tell the story for the viewer of your day. I normally like to allow at least 45 minutes for this part of the day so I can combine both couple’s pieces together. We are building a visual story and as much as I love to photograph the unseen moments, believe it or not, your invitation suite is part of your story and tells all when looking at your wedding album.  As a local Carmel wedding photographer, while I’m shooting details, I’m also capturing some shots of the bride and her girls getting ready while my second photographer is with the groom!



After the couple takes their time with the First Look, photographers will begin taking a few romantic portraits of the two of them while the initial excitement is still present!  Remember, the LIGHT determines where we shoot. We want to make sure that there is plenty of light available for portraits and this will depend on the time of year your wedding day is and where it’s located.


Bridal Party Portraits

Some things to think about: how many people are in your bridal party? Are there more than a few? Do we have over ten people? Is there a dog or small flower girl and ring bearer? This is a great thing to think about when there are more people you might want to build in time to get everyone on the same page. I like to buffer in extra time throughout the day just in case we have some unexpected things that hold us up for bridal party portraits.  One way to make sure we stay on schedule for bridal party portraits is to have someone put the boutonnieres on the guy’s BEFORE they arrive for portraits. As a local Carmel wedding photographer, I like to plan ahead and make sure there is extra time for them just in case!


Family Portraits

Family portraits I say are usually the most stressful time for couples on their wedding day. There is always that one parent or aunt or uncle who wants to direct everyone and everything. Well, guess what, they won’t have any time to especially when we build out your list. I understand this can be stressful for families and there could be some conflicting relationships, thats okay. I’ll help you build your family list and give you actional steps to prep them so we are smoothly moving so we can make sure we get everyone on that list! I recommend making a list starting with your nuclear family with both you and your partner and then separately. This is also a great time to grab Grandparents, Godparents and anyone super special to you!



These are just small examples of what to think about and how to build out your wedding day timeline. Above all, work closely with your photographer and coordinator on this timeline so that everything has enough time!

Want to work with an expert local Carmel wedding photographer that will assist with your timeline? Reach out here!

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