Wedding Portrait Guide | Wedding Photography Timeline | Northern Michigan Wedding Photographer


*Suggested itinerary/ timeline

Each wedding is unique as each couple is unique.  But there are some standard timeframes and events that may help you plan your day.  Each of my couples will receive a written “Questionnaire / Itinerary Form” during booking that will assist in organizing your locations, family portraits, and events throughout the day.  This acts as a guide to keep the day on track so we don’t miss any of those special moments. Wedding days have a lot packed into them and I want to make sure my couples’ minds are at ease before the day even begins.  My goal is to stay in the background and let you shine and enjoy each moment as it comes!


Approximately 30 minutes
Location may be in the hotel or bridal suite.  I may take the dress/rings to a more appealing or less crowded area for creative shots.  These are well worth it!

When arriving at the first location, I will come introduce myself and then steal away for the details of the rings, dress, shoes, and empty ceremony/ reception location (if nearby) before more activity and company arrives.



Approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour
Location may be in the hotel or bridal suite

At this time, we capture brides getting into their dresses, first looks between brides and their fathers/mothers, makeup and jewelry application, possibly a lingerie sneak peek, laughter and tears between family and friends.

At this time, we capture brides getting into their dresses, first looks between brides and their fathers/mothers, makeup and jewelry application, possibly a lingerie sneak peek, laughter and tears between family and friends.


Approximately 15-20 minutes
Location in the bridal suite, hotel suite, venue lobby, or venue garden.

Right after prep is the best time for individual portraits of the bride and groom (separately). Makeup, hair, and outfits are fresh so this is a great time for a quick break from the busy-ness to get some classic portraiture.



Approximately 30-60 minutes
Location could be an empty venue hall or garden

Some couples prefer to have a moment to themselves before walking down the aisle.  The quiet and intimacy of seeing each other for the first time is so special.  But if you prefer to wait until the ceremony, not to worry as we will still catch that “first look!”

First looks can also be captured between dads and daughters/ mothers and sons and they are equally touching.

Usually couples wait for their actual bridal portraits for after the ceremony (see the “couples session” section below). However, if you prefer to start the reception right after the ceremony, please allocate about 45 minutes prior for some classic portraits of just the two of you.


Approximately 45-60 minutes
Location could include the venue grounds or garden or an off-site location of choice.  Please consider travel times to and from the off-site location.

Portraits of your wedding party will begin with classic posing and clean lighting.  We will include the bridal party as a whole and pare down to just groomsmen and just the bridesmaids in a few variations.

From there we can grab some fun and creative shots that show why you love each other as a group and what friendship is all about. I realize each person chosen for the wedding party has special meaning to you, so we’ll make sure to get individual shots as well.


Approximately 30 minutes
Location is usually directly after the ceremony at the venue for the convenience of the guests.

Usually we will start with the largest groups and pare down to immediate families and then parents and siblings.  With a list of who you’d like included and the compliance of the guests, this portion can move rather quickly.

We all know how much weddings mean to the immediate family, and we want to make sure we’re capturing enough pictures with them.


Approximately 10 minutes and 30 minutes
Location could be held on the venue grounds, beach, or riverfront

There are two times of the day that these images are taken.
1) During the bridal party session (daytime), we will take the two of you aside to grab some more intimate portraits.  These are usually 10-15 minutes while the bridal party enjoys drinks and casual conversation.
2) The second session (night), we’ll sneak away from the reception to catch the sunset, fireworks, or starry sky.  A good time for this is right after grabbing a bite to eat or while the dance floor is open  and you’ve danced a few songs and would like a break.  These images are SO worth it and usually end up being couples favorite choices for their wall portraits.


In between all of the “scheduled” moments, you can bet there will be plenty of opportunities for candid and groups shots between your guests.  I take great care in capturing a wide variety of images to encompass the day and moments that you might even miss!  You’ll want to remember those smiling and laughing faces of those that were there to celebrate your special day with you.

Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *