Putting Together Your Wedding Day Timeline

Can we be honest for a second? Planning and celebrating a wedding day is an incredibly exciting rollercoaster of emotions. 

A wedding is also an incredibly complex and delicate dance of advanced planning couples don’t get enough credit for. You spend months planning macro to micro details. Everything from choosing your vendors, to making sure your save-the-dates and invitations go out on time, to selecting a gold vs. silver cake cutter, to making sure Uncle Joe has a ride to the ceremony AND reception, to matching your oh-so-fabulous shoes to your ring and other jewelry. And the list goes on…

The last thing couples need on a wedding day is not to be able to enjoy all their hard work, family, and friends because of a shaky timeline. There are so many moving parts to realizing your day as you envisioned it and a significant factor in this is allocating enough time for each part of the day to be documented. Just as your wedding day requires advanced preparation, so does the wedding day timeline. 

As your New Orleans wedding photographer, I’m here to be your resource for all your wedding photography questions! I take the time with each and every wedding to listen to what means the most to my couples and help ease the stress of drafting a timeline for the day months in advance. With my help, I hope you find creating your timeline to be a breeze! 

I like to work closely with you and your spouse 3-4 months out from your wedding to start preparing you to think about your timeline like a pro! As we get closer to the 2 month mark, we really start to iron out all the details in your timeline.



-Do you have a wedding day coordinator?

-Where will you be getting ready?

-Do you want your spouse’s prep documented? Where will your spouse be getting ready? How far is their prep location from yours?

-If you’re not getting ready at the ceremony location, how far is the prep location from the ceremony location?

-Are you planning to see each other before the ceremony for a first look?

-What time is the ceremony?

-How far is the ceremony from the reception venue?

-What time is the cocktail hour and reception? Is there a break between the ceremony and the cocktail hour?

-How large is your wedding party?

-How many family formal groupings do you desire?

-Do you want photos of you and your spouse or you and your wedding party at multiple locations?

-Do you have a special exit planned?

These are all factors I work with you to weigh when drafting the photography timeline for the day. It may seem like a lot of questions initially, but in my experience, these are the questions that really help us prepare so you can enjoy your day stress-free and get the images you love! 

One of the factors people often forget is travel time between locations and preparing for possible travel delays. As a New Orleans wedding photographer, I know that some of the most popular venues we all adore can be tucked away in busier parts of the city.

It’s my goal as your wedding photographer to make sure we’re as prepared as possible for the amount of time it takes to get from Point A to Point B. This is to avoid you having to sacrifice large chunks of time in your photography coverage.

If you are working with a wedding day coordinator, which I always highly suggest, it’s best to connect us as quickly as possible in the planning process so we can work together to help you perfect your timeline!




With each part of your wedding day carrying its own importance, it can be tricky to understand how much time to allocate to photography coverage. Based on my experience, here’s what I typically suggest: 

Bridal Details & Bridal Party Prep: 30-45 minutes

Bridal Prep: 60 minutes

Ceremony Decor Photos: 15 minutes

Family Photos: 30 minutes (if you have larger, extended families, it may take closer to 45 minutes)

Bridal Party Photos: 30 minutes (if you have a larger wedding party, it may take closer to 45 minutes)

Couple Portraits: 60 minutes 

Cocktail Hour and Reception Decor Photos: 60 minutes

Travel Time: This varies but usually 15-20 minutes between locations



Below you can see sample timelines of a day with and without a first look. This is a general guide and not a perfect fit for every single wedding. But that’s ok! I work with you and your spouse-to-be to tailor the timeline to your needs and the vision for your day. 

With First Look

1:30: Photographer Arrives to Document Details and Bridal Party Prep 

2:15: Bride Steps Into Her Dress

3:15: Depart for First Look

~Travel Time (15 minutes)~

3:30: First Look and Bride and Groom Photos

4:30: Bridal Party Photos

5:00: Ceremony Decor Photos

5:30: Ceremony Begins

6:00: Cocktail Hour and Family Photos

7:00: Reception Begins

9:30: Photographer Leaves or Extended Coverage Begins

11:00: Reception Ends

Without First Look

1:30: Photographer Arrives to Document Details and Bridal Party Prep

2:15: Bride Steps Into Her Dress

3:15: Depart for Ceremony

~Travel Time (15 minutes)~

3:30: Ceremony Begins

4:00: Family Photos

4:30: Bridal Party Photos

5:00: Bride and Groom Photos

6:00: Cocktail Hour 

7:00: Reception Begins

9:30: Photographer Leaves or Extended Coverage Begins

11:00: Reception Ends

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