One of the questions we always get when our couples are choosing their wedding package is
“how many hours of photography and video will we need on the wedding day?” Below are some helpful
questions to ask yourself to help narrow down which number of hours of coverage is right for you.
Questions to ask yourself (or let us ask you) when considering a wedding day timeline:

Where will you be getting ready and where will be ceremony and the reception be taking place?
These bits of information can all influence the wedding day timeline greatly – for example, will everything
from getting ready to the reception be happening at the same location or do we need to make sure there
is extra time in the schedule to travel from the getting ready hotel, to the church, to the venue.

Are you planning on doing a First Look?
Well first of all, do you know what a first look is? If not, it is when the couple sees each other before they
walk down the aisle. We love this option because instead of all your guests watching you see your spouse for the first time, you two can have a private moment to see each other. Also, if you do a first look, we generally get all of the couples photos, wedding party photos, and family photos done before the ceremony so that means you can attend your cocktail hour! Woo! If you are not going to do a first look that is totally okay, we will just need to adjust the timeline accordingly.

Do you want a second photographer?
If you do, it can save you time when photographing the wedding party and family photos – we can literally
photograph two things at the same time! And the second photographer can cover the cocktail hour and
get more photos of your guests while the primary photographer does photos of the couple or reception
detail shots.

How big is your wedding party?
Large wedding parties take time to gather together and get out the door and down the aisle! Taking a
photo of a large wedding party can take longer than a smaller group. Maybe just a few minutes difference, but you never want to be rushed on your wedding day so we might need to add a little bit of extra time if you have a large wedding party.

How many guests are you expecting?
A 250 person guest list will require much different timing at your venue than a 14 person guest list. Your
caterer will need more time to serve more people at your reception so that will also affect the number of
hours you may need. If you want us to capture some great party photos (just say yes!), then we need to
make sure everyone is fed and dancing and partying long before we are scheduled to leave. If the night
gets a little behind and we are scheduled to leave at a certain time, we will always check with you before
we leave to see if you want to add additional time with us before we go. We don’t want to miss your cake
cutting or your crazy uncle on the dance floor!

Are you planning something “extra?”

Fireworks at the end of the night? Sparklers? We should make sure we are still there! Are you planning a boat ride in the middle of the day or a ride on the carousel in Congress Park? We definitely need a few minutes for that – that sounds amazing!

What will my wedding day timeline look like?
Surprise, you get a wedding planner and photographer in one when you hire us! We send you a detailed
timeline a few months before the wedding to let you know what time everyone needs to be ready, what
time family photos are, etc. Want to know your timeline earlier? Just ask! We are happy to send a mock
up timeline of what the day might look like and we can edit along the way to your wedding day. We will confirm the timeline about a week before your big day to make sure we’ll all on the same page and nothing gets missed!

Lets put it into practice
Let’s say this couple is getting ready at two separate location. And it’s about a 15 minute drive to the
ceremony/reception space (both at the same venue) and they have a small wedding party (2 bridesmaids,

2 groomsmen), and a moderate guest list (right around 100). This couple would like two photographers
and they want to do a first look because of an early sunset and late ceremony time.
Now we create the timeline, and you can decide how many of these hours you want covered! Do you
want someone there until the very end? Do you want someone there to capture the details and see the
anticipation and excitement of you getting ready? It’s ultimately up to you – but now you can have a better
idea of how many hours of coverage you might need!
12:45pm detail photos – dress, shoes, jewelry, rings – this is where we would do a nice flat lay of your
details – if you paid for it, you should have a photo of it!
1:15pm hair and makeup candids with bridesmaids / now is the time for that matching robe photo you
keep seeing on Pinterest
1:30pm hair and makeup touch ups with the bride anyone helping the bride will want to get dressed first so that they look great for the rest of the photos
1:45pm second photographer arrives to capture the groom finishing getting ready – we need a photo of
the guys watching YouTube to figure out how to tie a bowtie (and if all else fails, Rob will tie it for you)
1:45pm the bride steps into her dress – photos of her getting ready (this can include solo portraits, first
look with her parents/bridesmaids etc)
2:15pm the groom leaves for the first look location
2:30pm the bride leaves for the first look location
2:45pm first look disclaimer, the first look probably won’t take 30 minutes but we always add in a little extra time incase things get behind on the wedding day. We don’t want you to be rushed or stressed!
3:15pm Wedding party photos (we don’t need a ton of time for these with a small wedding party and two
3:45pm family photos – we will make this efficient and organized with the use of your pre-made shotlist
and the help of our assistant!
4:15pm hide the couple as the guests arrive / set up for ceremony / photograph ceremony space &
arriving guests (this is a great time to freshen up, relax, grab a bite to eat or something to drink – or you
could even try using the bathroom in your wedding dress for the first time!! Good luck, that’s a whole
separate blog post
5:30 – 6:30pm Cocktail Hour – this couple gets to go since they did a first look!
6:30pm reception begins / introductions
this timing can change quite a bit depending on what your entertainment/caterer/venue feels is appropriate, but dinner shouldn’t take more than 90 minutes / 2 hours with only 100 guests! We expect that the party will be in full swing by 8:15/8:30pm at the latest!
10:30pm reception ends

Our goal in helping you set up a timeline is to give you an accurate picture of what you can expect on
your big day. Everyone needs to know what time to be there, what time to be ready, and what time to hit
the open bar! We hope this was helpful in giving you some clarity on what a wedding day timeline might
look like and how many hours you may need. Of course you can contact us any time if you have further