1. What time does the sun set on your wedding day?
  2.  Do you want a first look with your significant other?
  3. What time is your wedding ceremony?
  4. What time do you want to enter the reception?

Winter weddings are usually those that take place between the months of November - February.

Suggested timelines

The timelines below are also for weddings where all the events take place in one location. If your ceremony and reception are in separate locations, you’ll want photography to start sooner.

make sure to plan for travel time.


With this timeline, photography starts earlier.

All bridal party portraits will take place before the ceremony.

Your cocktail hour can be a bit shorter since that time will be used for just family photos and bride & groom portraits.

This is a great option if you want to attend cocktail hour and spend time with your guests before dinner.

12:00: Photographer starts with detail/getting ready shots

12:45: Bride gets into the wedding dress

1:00: Groom finishes getting ready

1:30: First look

2:00: Bridal party portraits

2:45: Pre-ceremony photography concludes; a moment to breathe!

3:00: Ceremony

3:30: Family Photos

4:00: Bride & Groom portraits

4:45: Moment to breathe!

5:00: Reception grand entrance


Moving your ceremony up an hour when you don't have a first look is crucial to make sure we have ample time after the ceremony to capture all the photos.

I recommend keeping your family photo list short after the ceremony, meaning images with your immediate families only.

If there are extended family you want photos with, we can get those during the reception when we have more time.

This is a great timeline if you have a second photographer with your package.

12:00: Photographer starts with detail/getting ready shots

1:00: Bride gets into the wedding dress/Groom finishes getting ready

1:15: Groomsmen/Bridesmaid photos

1:50: Pre-ceremony photography concludes; a moment to breathe!

2:00: Ceremony

2:30: Family photos

3:15: Bridal party photos

3:45: Bride & Groom portraits

4:45: Moment to breathe!

5:00: Reception grand entrance

as you can see, i like to schedule in "moments to breathe". These are important for the couple to spend a few moments together during a fully packed day. time doesn't slow down - take advantage of these breather moments. these "breaks" are also important to your photographer/wedding coordinator to make sure everything is on track and running smoothly.

Suggestion Reception Timeline

this timeline is a wonderful pairing to one of the timelines above.

Reception Timeline

Every couple structures their reception timelines a little differently.

It is important to note what time your photographer will be departing.

I rarely stay through the end of the reception since most couples prefer pre-ceremony coverage instead of hours of dancing (having a slideshow of 800 reception photos may sound appealing, but I promise you it's not as fun as it may seem. haha).

Below is an example of what 8 hours of photography coverage would look like paired with one of the timelines above.

5:00: Reception grand entrance

5:15: First dance

5:20: Toasts

5:30 – 6:45: Dinner

7:00: Father/daughter, mother/son dances

7:15: Cake cutting

7:30: Anniversary dance/other special dances

8:00: Photographer is finished for the day!

Emma Craven Photography is a wedding & birth photographer located in Western Pennsylvania. She believes in capturing life's biggest moments - the days you can't "redo". Her photos will reflect your day as it truly was - with a natural, moody feel, inspired by nature, she aims to capture every little detail so you can be present in the moment.