Building the Perfect Wedding Timeline: Photographer Timeline Template – Free Guide by Alex Gordias Photography.

Your wedding day is a mosaic of moments, each precious and fleeting. As a photographer, my mission is to capture these moments, weaving them into a visual narrative of your day. To ensure that every significant scene is beautifully captured, selecting the right photography package and crafting a seamless wedding timeline is essential. Let’s explore how to make these crucial choices.


Understanding Photography Packages

At Alex Gordias Photography, I offer three distinct packages:


  • Package 1 (5 Hours): Ideal for intimate weddings, focusing on key moments or capturing the most important parts of the day
  • Package 2 (8 Hours): A balanced choice, capturing the majority of your day. (Starting from getting ready, up to the first half of the reception).
  • Package 3 (10 Hours): Comprehensive coverage for the entire wedding journey.
  • Package 4 (Custom Coverage): Fully Tailored Package Based on your preference.



Creating Your Wedding Timeline


The key to a perfect wedding timeline is understanding what you wish to capture. The average amount for the perfect photography coverage. Here is the photographer’s perspective:


Getting Ready


  • Girls: Allocate 1-2 hours to capture the beginning of your day. This period is rich in emotions and details, from the bridal gown to the joyous interactions among the bridesmaids.
  • Guys: Generally, 30 minutes to 1 hour suffices, capturing the time together and the finishing touches of dressing up.

Even if you don’t have a wedding party with you in the morning, your photographer can capture some great moments. Based on my experience 1 hour for the girls and 40 minutes for the guys is enough amount of time to capture your morning shots.


First Look vs. Aisle Meeting


  • First Look: A private moment before the ceremony where the couple sees each other for the first time. This can be a deeply personal and emotional encounter, allowing for intimate photos. It also helps in easing nerves and can free up time post-ceremony for other photographs.

Having the first look allows you to capture all the important parts of the wedding day prior to the ceremony: Your romantic photos, wedding party, and formal family photos can be captured beforehand. Thus you can enjoy the cocktail hour.

  • Meeting at the Aisle: Traditional and often preferred for its suspense and emotion. This option keeps the couple separate until the ceremony, building anticipation. However, it may require more strategic planning for post-ceremony photos to ensure all desired shots are captured.

I recommend extending the cocktail hour in this scenario. My experience allows me to capture your romantic stage shots, wedding party, and romantic photos for 1 hour +. With that effort, most likely, you’ll have the wiggle room to attend the end of the cocktail hour.



Bride and Groom Portraits


  • Timing: Allocate 30-60 minutes for this session. Often, I ask to have 5-15 minutes during the ‘golden hour’ to capture that magical lighting.
  • Location Variability:
    • One Location: If you’re opting for a nearby spot, less travel time is needed. Choose a location that resonates with your style or holds sentimental value. This option allows for a more relaxed session and can be comfortably done in 30-45 minutes.
    • Multiple Locations or Long Drive: If you desire portraits at multiple locations or there’s a significant drive involved, plan for at least 60  – 90 minutes. This ensures you have ample time to travel and settle into each spot without feeling rushed. It also allows for a diverse range of backdrops, giving your photo album more variety.


  • Planning Tips:
    • Scout in Advance: Visit potential locations beforehand to get a feel for the environment and lighting.
    • Travel Logistics: Consider the mode of transportation and the time it takes to move between locations.
    • Buffer Time: Always include extra time in case of unexpected delays like traffic.


Continuing the Timeline

  • After the bride and groom portraits, the timeline should smoothly transition into the cocktail hour and reception. It’s important to rejoin your guests in a timely manner to maintain the flow of the celebration.



Wedding Party

The time needed depends on the party’s size. For smaller groups, up to 15 minutes can be enough, but for larger parties (>20 people), plan for 30-50 minutes.

Family Formals

Start with a 30-minute window, extending up to an hour for larger family groups. It’s a balance of getting everyone together and capturing those heartfelt family connections.

Cocktail Hour

Traditionally lasts for 1 hour. If key photos are completed during this time, consider extending them to 1.5 hours to ensure relaxed, candid captures of guests and decor.

Choosing the Right Package


In delving deeper into the photography packages, it’s important to consider not just the duration each package covers, but also the kind of moments and details they are likely to encompass. Each package is tailored to suit different needs and preferences, ensuring that every couple gets a service that aligns perfectly with their vision for the day.

  1. Package 1 (5 Hours): This package is particularly suited for couples planning a more succinct yet meaningful celebration. It’s perfect for capturing the essence of your wedding, focusing on the ceremony and the core parts of your reception. This package is ideal for those who prefer a more concise photographic narrative, highlighting key moments such as the exchange of vows, the first kiss, and essential parts of the reception like the first dance and cake cutting.
  2. Package 2 (8 Hours): Offering more comprehensive coverage, this package is designed for couples who desire a fuller story of their day. It includes enough time for some getting-ready photos, which are a wonderful way to capture the anticipation and excitement of the day. It also covers the ceremony in full, along with the majority of the reception, including speeches, dances, and the start of the party. This package strikes a perfect balance, ensuring a thorough capture of your day without missing out on any significant moments.
  3. Package 3 (10 Hours): The most extensive option, this package is tailor-made for couples who want a complete documentary of their entire wedding day. From the early moments of getting ready, with both the bride and groom, through to the ceremony, reception, and late-evening celebrations, this package ensures that no moment is left uncaptured. It’s ideal for those who have planned various events throughout the day and wish to have a detailed and complete chronicle of every smile, tear, and dance move.
  4. Package 4 – (Custom Coverage): You can choose the amount of hours you need, 6,7,9,11, or even more.


In summary, each package is designed to cater to different scales and styles of weddings. The key is to consider the flow of your day and what moments you most want to be immortalized. Whether it’s the intimate moments of preparation, the emotional depths of the ceremony, or the vibrant energy of the reception.


Tips for a Smooth Timeline

  1. Communicate: Discuss with your photographer which moments are most important to you.
  2. Buffer Time: Always add extra time as a buffer for unexpected delays.
  3. Prioritize: If time is limited, prioritize the moments that matter most to you.



Wedding Photographer Timeline Template – Your wedding is a story waiting to be told. By choosing the right package and crafting a thoughtful timeline, you ensure that your story is captured in all its beauty and emotion.As a Boston Wedding Photographer who works on Cape Cod, Newport and all over the US, I am committed to helping you preserve these timeless memories for years to come. Remember, your wedding day is a unique reflection of your love, and your photography should be too. We can always schedule a Zoom call consultation to find the best coverage for your special day.