Wedding Timeline Assistance Guide

How do you want your wedding day to flow?

Part 1

Getting Ready

Prep the room:

Don’t be the couple with the messy room with things everywhere while you and your bridal party are getting ready. Clutter is distracting! There are tons of plastic bags that come with the rented suits so make sure to throw it away or keep it in the garment bag the suit comes in. Photos are happening during that time and the last thing you’ll want is a photo with a bunch of clothes, hangers, deodorant, and bags in the background. Take the time to move those items into a closet or another room that isn’t being used if you’re not in a hotel.

First things first:

Details. As a photographer, it’s helpful if you gather all of your important items together so when we first arrive it’s all together and can be taken care of while you’re early in prep with hair and makeup. Examples for the ladies are your wedding dress, shoes, earrings, necklace, bracelet, purse or clutch, bouquet, garter, perfume bottle, and of course the wedding rings.

Groom, have your suit jacket, tie/bowtie, cufflinks, pocket square, boutonnière, shoes, socks, cologne bottle, glasses/sunglasses, and any other detail about you that day ready to go to be photographed before you get ready.


Fellas, I’ve been there myself but remember to iron and hang up your suit properly before the day of. Those creases and wrinkles stand out and even more so with you being surround by the other groomsmen in the same suit.

Hanging the bride’s dress:

Plastic looks cheap I’m sorry to tell you. Pick up a simple wooden hanger or one with a metal design that spells out bride or your name to add a little class to that sass.

Matching hangers for the bride’s maids dresses will also look great if you’re looking to have a photo with all of the dresses hung up together.

To First look or not to first look?

A first look can change the whole day and how it flows.

How so?

With a First Look:

Doing the first look you really capture the emotion of the moment. You have more time to capture the private moments with you and your soon forever person before the ceremony. 

Another option after the first look would be to include photos with the bridal party group and all their variations. Some go as far as to include some of the family photos before the ceremony. This allows you to go from ceremony to reception much more quickly. You do allocate more time with your photographer and videographer at the beginning of your day to make up to the faster transition to the reception and get most of the time taking photos out of the way.

Without a First Look:

You, the bride, are with your bridesmaids and he’s with the groomsmen. You can take photos of those groups separately and even knock out the bridal party photos but you’re missing any images that would include the two of you together. Those images are taken after the ceremony along with other specific family photos and of course the portraits of you and your new spouse. Waiting to see your fiancé at the ceremony you gain great suspense and sometimes with that suspense the emotion really shines as you see your fiancé at the end of the aisle before you commit yourselves to one another for life.

Father & Bride First Look:

Having a moment where the father of the bride comes in and sees his daughter makes for a great memory and also a beautiful moment to be captured. If you decide to do this in the same room where the girls are getting ready, make sure the room isn’t filled with clutter. Better yet, opt in for a different location or room. Try going outdoors at your venue to celebrate this moment.


Time to get those sweet portraits of you, your bridal party, and your family. Since we’re in a time sensitive situation it’s easier to work from larger to smaller groups to clear out the ceremony location. Working with family first is a good idea so they can move on to the reception to join the rest of your guests. You start with your whole family and transition to photos with your parents.

Then with your bridal party left, you can work in a couple of variations of the groomsmen and bridesmaids. Again it works well starting with larger groups and then moving on to quick single portraits with each of them.

Now we have time to get some of those photos with just the two of you.

Some couples choose to move from the ceremony straight to the reception while others decide to take portraits in various locations. If you decide to have portraits taken at other locations determine the number and order of those places. Talk with the manager of the site to make sure photos are allow at the locations you choose. Have a backup plan for weather if you’re choosing an outdoor area. Make sure you’re budgeting in the time for travel as well as the sessions. Having portraits done can take more time than you think so be cautious when scheduling out this time.

Have fun working with beautiful locations with your new husband or wife and bridal party. Using what’s covered in my guide to posing, you’ll have more confidence in how you look in your wedding portraits.

Time for the reception which will be covered in Part 2 of this guide to Wedding Timeline Assistance.