6 Things Your Photographer Needs You to Consider When Creating a Wedding Day Timeline

When you think about the details of your wedding, it’s easy to get caught up in the small touches - like handmade signs, personalized place settings, and signature cocktails. And, while important, one of the most critical details of wedding planning, the wedding day timeline, is often overlooked simply because it’s not actually visible to your guests. However, just because it can’t be seen doesn’t mean that it can’t be felt.

When planned properly, the wedding day timeline is what allows the entire day to go smoothly, giving professionals, like caterers and photographers, as well as your guests, the information they need to know what’s happening and when. Planning this timeline is also beneficial for the bride and groom because it ensures that nothing important gets forgotten - and that you never run out of time.

As professional photographers, we’ve learned that there are six super important aspects of your wedding day timeline that you need to consider. This information helps us know when you need us, where you need us, and exactly how long you actually need us to be at your wedding.

  1. Getting Ready Photos. Many couples love having photos that show them and their wedding parties getting ready. These intimate photos, which often happen at a venue different from the wedding, help to create a stunning collection of wedding photographs and allow couples to remember every moment. Knowing if you want these photos will help you determine if you need one or two photographers (one for the bride and one for the groom) and if you need more time with your photographers in order to capture these moments.

  2. First Look Photos. Traditionally, the first look happens as the bride walks down the aisle. And, while many couples still choose to honor this tradition, many couples today want to capture the moment in a more private setting. If you are wanting first look photos, be sure to include this in your wedding day timeline. Most couples who choose a “first look” session, ensure there is ample time between getting ready and the start of the ceremony.

  3. Cocktail Hour. Do you want to allow your guests to enjoy cocktail hour while you and your family take portraits? Or, do you want to enjoy cocktail hour with your guests? This decision will determine the rest of your wedding day timeline. If you choose to enjoy cocktails, then planning another time for portraits (that is, of course, if you want portraits) is crucial.

  4. First Dances. Letting your photographer know if you are doing traditional first dances (and how many) is important so that they are ready to capture the moment. If there are multiple first dances (bride and groom, bride and father, groom and mother, etc.), then you’ll want to make sure you’ve budgeted enough time so that your photographer doesn’t miss anything.

  5. Big Surprises. While it’s fun to surprise your guests, keeping your photographer in the loop makes sure that they are ready when the big reveal happens. Whether it’s a live band, a rehearsed rap, or a grand exit, give your photographer a timeline that includes these moments.

  6. Sunset Portraits. Knowing how much time you need with your photographer is important. If you are wanting sunset portraits (a great opportunity to get intimate shots or family shots, especially if you take part in cocktails), then be sure to budget for a longer session with your wedding photographer. In many cases, getting the best sunset shots require a slight change in location, so budget timewise for that as well.


Taking the time to plan your wedding day timeline down to the details ensures that you, your guests and all of your hired professionals don’t miss a thing. And, remember, your wedding day timeline should keep everyone relaxed - not on edge - so give yourself plenty of time between moments so that there’s never any stress. Want to make sure no detail of your day is overlooked? Consider hire a wedding planner and they’ll take care of your timeline for you! We can recommend a few if you need help.

Your Wedding Season Survival Checklist: 8 Friendly Reminders That Will See You Through

Whether it’s your big day or if you find yourself lucky enough to be on a guest list, wedding season is officially upon us. This means that, for some of us, we’re starting to get anxious. With all of the dos and don’ts (not to mention the unique expectations of each bride and groom), it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. And, in this state of overwhelm, it’s also easy to forget what’s really important. Not to fear. Below is a list we’ve compiled for you of the 8 things everyone should remember as we enter this busy wedding season.

Your Wedding Season Survival Checklist: 8 Friendly Reminders That Will See You Through - VILD Photography

Embrace The Weather. In all honesty, there’s really no other good option but to accept whatever Mother Nature has created for you. As photographers, we can attest to the fact that some of the best pictures have come in “unexpected” or less than ideal weather. So, while you might have your fingers crossed for blue skies, don’t for a second think a wedding is ruined if the weather does something different. Do what you can to be prepared and then do everything in your power to make the most of it.

Care For The Environment. Summer weddings are often outdoor weddings, which is one of the reasons why we love them so much. But, it can be horrible to witness the “aftermath” of some weddings. You should always live by a “leave no trace” mantra, which means that you should pay attention to the impact you’re having in the environment. While we love getting creative in order to find that perfect shot, we never do it at the expense of the environment. You can do your part at a wedding by being a good example and educating others. Everyone, whether guest, bride, or attendant, should take total responsibility.

Your Wedding Season Survival Checklist: 8 Friendly Reminders That Will See You Through - VILD Photography

Make Guests The Top Priority. Yes, details are important, but nothing is more important than the people at the wedding. Go out of your way to interact with guests - they were invited for a reason! Create memories (and let your photographers capture them on photo!)

Be Organized. A wedding day is meant to be enjoyed, which means the more organized you can get before the big day, the more you and everyone else will be able to enjoy it. While you can get away procrastinating almost any other day, don’t let yourself think anything wedding-related can wait until the day of. Plan and organize now and you’ll be so much happier (and so much less stressed!)

Tell People What You Need. While it’s true for everyone (the bride and groom have gone out of their way to make sure all guests are comfortable and happy), it’s especially true for the wedding party. If you want something, need something - speak up! A wedding is something you’ll remember forever, so don’t live with any regrets. Take charge and live in the moment!

Make Sure The Location Can Be Found. It might seem obvious, but so much stress surrounding a wedding takes place in the “getting-to” the venue. Do everything you can to make sure guests know where they are going and, if you are a guest, do your homework ahead of time, bringing up questions about directions well before the day of.

Your Wedding Season Survival Checklist: 8 Friendly Reminders That Will See You Through - VILD Photography
Your Wedding Season Survival Checklist: 8 Friendly Reminders That Will See You Through - VILD Photography

Enjoy The Moment. There is so much trying to be squeezed in on one day that it’s easy to get stressed about when and how everything will happen. While you can plan ahead, being as realistic as possible, the best thing you can do is to relax. Embrace the pace that things are going at and enjoy. The worst thing you can do for anyone at the wedding is to stress.

Don’t Compare. Every wedding is unique - and it should be! Don’t take away from the big day by comparing it to any other weddings you’ve been to or seen pictures of. As photographers, we know that the best pictures are the ones that are unique and personal. Don’t try to imitate. Do what makes you happy and the rest will come.

Always keep in mind this one thing: a wedding is a celebration! The more fun you can have and the less stressed you can get, the more the day will be enjoyed by everyone. (And, those “worst case” scenarios you keep playing through your head? They can actually turn into the best photographs!)

Your Wedding Season Survival Checklist: 8 Friendly Reminders That Will See You Through - VILD Photography