Kitchener Wedding Photographer
International Adventure Elopements

Wedding Timeline: Photography

March 16, 2021

wedding timeline for first look for a Disney wedding at Disney's Wedding Pavilion couple holding each other at picture point

Are you feeling stuck on how to plan your wedding timeline? To do a first look or too not? One thing I do to assist all my clients is build a wedding timeline with them. While you may have a good idea of how you would like the day to flow, there are may variables that the photographer may required or need to ensure they get all the images within that working time frame.

Before we dive into some sample wedding day timelines, let’s discuss some of those variables I mentioned above that may need to be accounted for.

  • Seasonal Lighting: You may or may not know that depending on the season the lighting of your day will change. If you are thinking about a summer wedding for example, the sun will not set until 8 or 9pm. So you will have plenty of working daylight hours for all your photo needs. However; if you are having a winter wedding, when the sun sets around 5pm, and you want golden hour photos, it may be best to do all the photos before hand. Which brings me to my next point, the first look.
  • First Look: While I know many couples dream of that traditional first look at the aisle, there are many perks to seeing each other before the ceremony begins, starting with that lighting. If natural lit photos and golden hour is important to you, then I would suggest doing a first look. This will ensure you get that golden glow and warm sunshine. The first look is also a great idea if you would like to attend your cocktail hour with your guests instead of dipping off to take photos. Or how about those wedding day jitters? It has been mentioned by past wedding couples that a first look really helped to calm their nerves, so if it worked for them, I bet it will work for you too.
  • Tardy Family Members?: Oh you best believe I said it, but it is a valid point. If you opt to do a first look, as mentioned above, you can also do family photos before the ceremony as well. Say WHAT! This will allow both yourself, your wedding party and your family to all be at cocktail hour having a good time socializing together. But, the main point here is that by doing family photos before hand, this will ensure that everyone, will be on time for the ceremony. So if you have that one, or two, family members who are notorious for being late, no need to worry about them walking in when the ceremony is about to begin when you choose this option.

For these wedding timeline options, I am going to base it off everything happening at one venue. This will leave no buffer time for travel. So if you are not going to be at one location all day, please schedule in the drive time that is appropriate for your locations.


  • 1:00pm – 2:30pm: Client #1 Prep
  • 1:00pm – 2:30pm: Client #2 Prep
  • 2:30pm – 3:00pm: Ceremony Details + Candids of Guests Arriving
  • 3:00pm – 3:30pm: Ceremony
  • 3:30pm – 3:50pm: Cocktail Hour
  • 3:50pm – 4:05pm: Family Photos
  • 4:05pm – 4:30pm: Wedding Party Photos
  • 4:30pm – 5:00pm: Couple Photos
  • 5:00pm – 5:05pm: Entrance into Reception
  • 5:05pm – 5:10pm: Couple’s First Dance (can be done after dinner)
  • 5:15pm – 7:00pm: Dinner & Toasts
  • 7:00pm: First Dance (if not done prior to dinner)
  • 7:05pm – 7:10pm: Special Family Member Dances
  • 7:30pm: Cake Cutting
  • 7:30pm – 7:45pm: Sunset Photos (if a summer wedding)
  • 7:45pm – 9:00pm: Reception Candids


  • 1:00pm – 2:30pm: Client #1 Prep
  • 1:00pm – 2:30pm: Client #2 Prep
  • 2:30pm – 3:00pm: First Look / Couples Photos
  • 3:00pm – 3:30pm: Wedding Party Photos
  • 3:30pm – 3:45pm: Family Photos
  • 3:45pm – 4:15pm: Ceremony Details + Candids of Guests Arriving
  • 4:30pm – 5:00pm: Ceremony
  • 5:00pm – 6:00pm: Cocktail Hour
  • 6:00pm – 6:15pm: Couples Sunset Photos while guests move to reception
  • 6:15pm – 6:30pm: Reception Details + Couple freshen up
  • 6:30pm – 6:35pm: Entrance into Reception
  • 6:45pm – 8:00pm: Dinner & Toasts
  • 8:00pm: First Dance (if not done prior to dinner)
  • 8:05pm – 8:10pm: Special Family Member Dances
  • 8:30pm: Cake Cutting
  • 8:30pm – 9:00pm: Reception Candids
wedding timeline with a first look. couple walking over bridge at disney's wedding pavilion at walt disney world in wedding attire.

While I do not anticipate these exact timelines working for everyone, as all weddings are different and each photographer does shoot differently, this is what I would use to give a general idea as to how you can lay out the plans of your day. Timing can vary based on the number of people in your wedding party and the number of photo combinations you have for family photos.

Wanna read some more wedding day tips? Check out 5 perks to having a second photographer here! Did you know that this stunning venue is at Walt Disney World? Disney Fairytale Weddings offers many beautiful wedding venues for couples all over the world.

  1. […] you liked these wedding tips, check out some sample wedding day timelines here! But maybe you are looking for more wedding planning tip or to create a wedding website for your […]

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