Bride and groom walking, holding hands, and sharing a laugh.
Dominique & Chad enjoying a walk together.

We all know the the phrase- “team work makes the dream work”. And nothing can be further from the truth. How many times we've seen things go south at a wedding? Nearly all of them. Some minuscule, where it didn’t make an impact. Sometimes we’ve seen major changes happen on the fly. Other times, which is rare, the wedding sadly falls apart. We hate for plans to change given the fact that most couples work ten times as hard and spend thousands to have their dream wedding. This is our guide for couples planning their timeline process so that whoever is a part of the team can enjoy the planned dream wedding stress free.

*Note. This will not work for all types of weddings. Use this as a guide to build your own timeline with your significant other, planner, coordinator, or person-in-charge.

Getting Ready

Time: 3-4 hours

Plan capture time: 1-2 hours

The beginning of the day sets the tone for the entire day, so let's get this right. This moment should be a calm one. Not one where you feel like you're scrambling or anxious and not present. If you're feeling overwhelmed with knocking things off your checklist, it's okay to designate duties to your trusted bridesmaids or groomsmen while you have a refreshing pick-me-up. Communicate to your make up and hair team (and to the people you're getting ready with) to de-clutter the space for amazing captures.

*Consider Travel Time

Time: n/a

Capture time: varies

The biggest thing to consider here is the time it takes to travel from the hotel or house to your venue. If you're getting ready at the venue then there's not much to worry about. Even while traveling, do something fun like toasts champagne and for the guys a round of beers.

Indian couple sharing a sunrise moment.
Ami and Neil sharing a sunrise first look.

First Look

Time: 10 minutes

Capture time: 5 minutes

If this is happening at your wedding, your photo/video team with the help of your planner/coordinator will find a secluded location for this to happen. The question for you is if you would want this to be just an "us" thing or if close friends/family are allowed to witness happiness from a distance.

First Look with Parents, Bridesmaids, or Kids

Time: 10 minutes

Capture time: 5 minutes

Why should you do a first look with parents or simply with anyone other than the person you're marrying? It's just another way to say "thank you" to your parents. With your girls, it's a way to feel the ultimate love and much needed adulation before getting married. Think of it as an acknowledgment energy booster to get you pumped right before your first look with your soon-to-be-husband.

Prelude or Guest Arrival

Time: 15 minutes

Capture time: various

During this time, guests are signing in. They might be grabbing a drink, mingling, or greeting family that they haven't seen in some time. Your choice of music is played to provide a great atmosphere. You photo/video team should capture little gems during this time.

Processional or Walking Down The Aisle

Time: 8 minutes + another 3 for the Bride to settle.

Capture time: the entire time.

We've seen this play out in more ways than one. It's been comical, serious, heart-warming, breath-taking... pretty much anything you can image. All we can say is- have fun, be present, and enjoy this fantastic moment especially if you're seeing each other for the first time.

Bride and groom kissing after announced husband and wife.
Bryanna & Rick Announced as Husband and Wife.


Time: 25-30 minutes

Capture time: the entire time.

Make this your own. Yes, have the traditional vows, rings, readings, prayer, etc. but do something different. Something you will remember. Something that says something about your journey. Something so deep that it leaves your guests feeling the love you feel for each other.


Time: 3 minutes

Capture time: the entire time.

Once you've been announced as husband and wife, proceed with your first kiss. Then take the time to soak it in for a moment before making your leave. Have another kiss right at the end of the aisle for a gorgeous shot of your loved ones celebrating you.

Group Photos

Time: 30 - 45 minutes

Photo capture time: the entire time.

Video capture time: varies.

To make things smooth and fast. Have a list of combinations of guests, friends and family. Then slowly release them one-by-one into the cocktail area.

Short Portrait Session

Time: 15 minutes

Photo Time: 15 minutes

Video Time: 15 minutes

Anytime you have photography and video capturing moments like this, make sure you introduce them to one another before they meet in person at the wedding. Why? It's important to do things in synch or for your team to take turns so that time is not extended for this part of the day. In addition, it won't be fair if photography gets this part in and video doesn't or vice-versa. Remember one service is not above the other. You're hiring both to capture flawless moments and preserve memories.

Cocktail Hour

Time: 60 minutes

Capture time: varies.

This might coincide with your portrait session. Ensure your photographer and videographer has a second shooter to capture moments that you're not able to see. Unless you're timeline is spaced out evenly so that your main photog