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Tips for Creating Your Wedding Photography Schedule

Have a clear schedule for wedding photography

Having a clear schedule for your wedding day photography is key to feeling most prepared on your big day! Below is a list of a few things that are very common moments that are important to capture. Every wedding is different with its own personality and style, so this is definitely just a helpful guide! Here are general time frames that I suggest for each section:

Getting ready photos: 1-2 hours (candids as you normally get ready)

Dress, rings, floral details: 20 minutes (usually within the getting ready photos time frame)

First look + bride and groom portraits: 45 min-1 hr

Bridal party photos: 30-45 min

Family photos: 20-30 min depending on family size

Ceremony: However long your ceremony is!

Pre-reception details: 15 min

Speeches, reception moments: Candid as they happen

Bonus pre-sunset bride and groom portraits: 15-20 min

Dances: Candids as they happen


It's more than ok to take time :)

Scheduling all the big events is important, but it is totally fine to take your time and not rush all of these moments! Leaving margin in the day is key so you can relax even if things run behind schedule. Also, you're photos will much more natural if you and your hubby-to-be can go on a nice walk taking photos along the way, instead of crunch time where you have to put out your best romantic looks as fast as you can! ;) The balance is an efficient timeline, but not rushed.

Leaving aside time to just relax is also very important! For example, if ceremony begins at 6 we will want to be done with photos by 5:00 so there is time to relax and enjoying before it all begins :) Take some time to sneak away for even 10 minutes before the reception starts to soak in the moment with your new husband. These are the moments you want to remember! :)

to have a first look or to not have a first look

First looks before the ceremony are so great because you get to be up close and personal to capture all the expressions, especially in an outdoor setting. Some people love the tradition of not seeing your groom and not letting him see you until you walk down the aisle, and there is something so special and romantic about that! I say that either way to do it is totally fine! The main thing you want to think about is timing. I would suggest an earlier wedding if you don't want to do a first look, as we would need to do all the bride and groom portraits, some of the bridal party all together, and family photos after the ceremony 

First look before the ceremony

First look before the ceremony

No first look, but sneaky photos before the ceremony where they still didn't see each other :)

No first look, but sneaky photos before the ceremony where they still didn't see each other :)


For family photos, have a friend or personal attendant who knows the family members stick around for those to help organize people! You can send me a list of all the family photos you would like, we can just go down the list. This way we are sure to get all the ones that you want, and someone who knows people by name is extremely helpful!

Have fun and enjoy your day!

Don't forget - your wedding day is going to be a such a wonderful memory and meaningful time! Schedules are to do the work and planning ahead of time so you can just go with the flow and enjoy the day as it comes. As a lifestyle wedding photographer, I love to capture the natural moments that happen. Things can go different than you expect, but it's important to roll with the punches whatever happens on your day, and remember that it is not just about a wedding, but about starting a new adventure together with the one you choose and love :). 

Are you getting married and interested in talking about my photographing your wedding? I'd love to send you more information for specific pricing and availability!

Stacey Pitman

Minneapolis, MN, 55401, United States

Minneapolis hand lettering and photography