Your wedding takes years to plan, ever detail must be perfect, after all this is one of the most memorable days of your life, but where do you start? 

My aim in the timeline below is to give you a  tool that can help you to start to plan your wedding, in the knowledge that you have enough time for all your needs and have the confidence that you are getting the most out of your investment in your photography.

 Remember that whilst some of the times on this timeline may seem long on paper your actual wedding day will:
1) Seem to go by in a blink of an eye
2) Run a little behind schedule, but by planning your wedding day and knowing on average  how long different aspects of your day will take, you can ensure that you will protect your memories of your day and at the same time have fun. 


This section is designed to help you maximise your time with me and also to make sure that we can prepare each scene the best way possible.
For Example:
Couples can sometimes forget to account for events which can commonly cause delays within their wedding timeline. Events which are completely out of your control, but can certainly affect the running of the day.

  • Delays in hair and makeup                                     
  • Emptying rooms for checking out of hotels
  • Wardrobe malfunctions, small rips              
  • Moving bridal party and families between locations
  • raffic, parking loading and unloading

The way around these delays is to pad your timeline.

Tell your vendors that you need to be ready a little earlier than you actual need to be, e.g. 30 minutes, because if you overrun there will be nowhere in the busyness of the wedding day to regain that time from, other than the time you have allocated for your wedding photos. 

Another key tip is to ensure that your hotel bedrooms are tidy with the bed made and the window area clear of wedding bits and pieces this will really help in the making of your photographs.

Top Tip
Some wedding venues might even let you use one of their made up rooms just for your photography, it’s worth asking.


If the wedding is taking place at a venue where both the bride and groom are getting ready then I usually arrive an hour before the scheduled start time to check any last minute details.

I then start by photographing any details you want captured. I recommend that brides have ready the dress, shoes, invitations, ribbons, earrings, garter, perfume in fact anything that you would like included in the story of your day. 


Time: Up to 1 hour

Venue: A hotel bedroom, lobby

II normally start my photography on your wedding day by photographing the details. I find this works well as it allows everyone in the room to become accustomed to my presence and start to relax.


Time: Up to 1 hour

Venue: A hotel bedroom

If I am photographing the groom first I start be shooting the details, i.e. socks, tie, cufflinks, shoes, watch, ring, etc. while the groom is getting towards the final stages of getting ready. Ideally these items can be ready for my arrival. If I am on my own and need to get to the other partner then I suggest to the grooms party that we stage some getting ready photos.

e.g. The groom opening a gift or message from the bride,
The groomsmen getting ready,
The groom giving his groomsmen their gifts,
Pictures of the groom solo portraits, with his father and mother, siblings and groomsmen.
If time allows we may move to the bar and take some drinking images.


Time: 1 Hour

Venue: Hotel Bedroom

With the bridal details photos done we are ready to photographing your final stages of getting ready. Intimate and fun moments between you and your bridal party as you finalise your makeup and hair.
When your hair and makeup is completely finished your mum and bridesmaids should be completely dressed ready to help you into your dress. This is where your bridal portraits start.
Bridal portraits
Having a glass of champagne with your bridesmaids,
Reading or opening a gift from your future husband,
Photos with your mum and each of your bridesmaids,
This time is the perfect time for individual and group photos with your bridal party.


Time: Approx 1 hour

Venue: Venue, church or registry office

This part of the day is about recording both yours and your finances reactions and that of your guests and to aid with this I would suggest, suggesting an Unplugged ceremony: See my article on What is an unplugged wedding?
The wedding ceremony is totally photo journalistic but here are a few tips for you to ensure you get the images you want.

When walking down the aisle:
Everyone should walk down the aisle slowly, relax, and enjoy the moment.
Wait for each bridesmaid to reach the aisle end before another starts the procession.
Everyone should hold their flowers low on your body this gives a relaxed and sophisticated look.
Smile and interact with the guests,
Keep your posture but breath and relax.

The Official bit
As this is a legal ceremony I must obey the rules set down by the vicar or registrar. I will consult with them prior to the service about where they will allow me to stand and will be limited in my abilities by the rules set down by them.
Equally we as photographers may not take photographs of you signing the actual marriage register as it is a legal document; however the registrar provides a dummy register for the purpose of taking photos.

Top tip
If your ceremony is in a different place from your reception you will need to leave about 45 mins to 1 hour to allow for travel time in both directions.


Time: 1 hour

Venue: Gardens of venue or inside (depending on weather).

This is the time for family portraits. During this time I will take photos of the two of you and your closest friends and family. These photos tend to get overlooked in the planning process and so I have created a guide to help you get the most out of this section of your day. Please see my article on Wedding Group Photos.


Time: 1 hour

Venue: Wedding venue, somewhere close by

Congratulations you are married, you have taken all your family photos and now it is time to take photos of the two of you together for the first time as married couple. If the timeline allows ideally we would have 45mins to an hour together but in reality it is more likely to be approximately 30mins and therefore we need to make the most out of this time together.
The best time for your couple’s portraits is 45 minutes prior to sunset as it allows us to capture the stunning colours of the sunset.


Time: 2 hours and into the evening

Venue: Wedding venue

There are a number of different alternative to the reception timetable, “ Please see my article on Wedding reception tips.


Time: 10 mins

Venue: Wedding Venue

The cutting of the wedding cake normally takes place in the earlier part of the evening reception. The cutting of the cake symbolizes the first activity done together as a couple. Please see my article on How to choose your wedding cake


Time: 10 mins

Venue: Wedding venue

The first dance is traditionally done straight after the cutting of the cake and may be followed by a father daughter dance.
Whilst I will of course take photos of your first dance I would also suggest that you also consider, depending on the venue, maybe thinking of a posed first dance prior to your guests sitting down to dinner. This way your wedding reception will be looking at its absolute best.


Time: 15 minutes

Venue: Outside wedding venue

Sparkler exits need to be planned in advance. The idea behind them is to create an epic image with all your friends and family holding up sparklers to send you on your journey into
married life. Now this does not mean that you need to leave the party it is just another aspect that can lead to some fantastic photos. Please see me article on* Sparkler Exit.*


Venue: Nighttime wedding photography

I always try to take just a few minutes of your time during the evening reception for your night portraits. As I want maximise the time you have available to party I will set up ahead of time only calling you both out at the last possible moment for your night photos.