January 26, 2022


Katelyn Workman


wedding planning

filed under

How to Plan a Wedding Timeline for Dream Photos

There are a lot of things that I remember being stressful about wedding planning, and how to plan a wedding timeline was definitely top on the list! I had NO idea how long photos would take, or the order of the day, or really anything. Looking back I should have hired a planner like we recommend… but we were on a tight budget and honestly I didn’t realize how important they are!! I remember going to my bff Pinterest and I’m pretty sure I just searched how to plan a wedding timeline and picked the one that had the prettiest template. 10/10 would NOT recommend. Pinterest is a great resource for helping put together the vision you want, but not for things as important as planning the entire flow of your wedding day.

So where do you start when planning your wedding timeline with your dream photos in mind??

We gift our couples with a bridal guide that contains extensive info and an example timeline, but I thought it would be helpful to write some of that info to get y’all started!! Most of our couples choose an 8 hour wedding day with us, and then sometimes will add a few extra hours later if they want us to stick around for more of the reception– so I’m going to share the basic timeline for an 8 hour day when the sunset is at 8:00 PM.

*Want to book the KWP experience? Just click the pink inquire button at the top to get started!*

KWP Wedding Timeline

  1. Bridal Details 2:30-3:15 This is such an important time of day! It allows us to capture all of your little details, get warmed up for the day, and grab a few “getting ready” candids. These details create beautiful pages in your heirloom album. TIP–> Have these things ready and all together when we arrive: rings, earrings, necklace, multiple copies of invitation suite, loose florals, bouquet, shoes, perfume, etc.
  2. Bridal Prep 3:15-3:45 After the details have been photographed, it is time for the bride to get in her dress! I usually ask the mother of the bride and bridesmaids already be dressed and ready for these photos. This is such a big moment! After the bride is in her gown, I will get photos of her putting her earrings in, friends helping with shoes, and all that!
  3. First Look 4:00 We always recommend a first look! Read why here: The First Look Explained
  4. Portraits 4:15-4:45 After the bride and groom have their moment, we will do posed portraits. Remember I will find the best locations depending on the light, so you don’t have to worry about that!!
  5. Bridal Party Portraits 4:50-5:20 Now it’s time for the bridal party portraits!! Always make sure you have a buffer for unexpected things that come up. Inevitably you will run behind at some point, so with these buffers that won’t cause stress!
  6. Bride in Hiding 5:30-6:00 This is your time to hide from guests arriving, and just take a few minutes to touch up, eat a snack, drink some water, and get ready for the ceremony!
  7. Reception Details 5:30-6:00 During this time we will take a few reception detail photos if the reception is in the same place; if not we will get set up for the ceremony. how to plan a wedding timeline
  8. Ceremony 6:00-6:30 Most ceremonies last 30 minutes so this is usually what we recommend planning for unless you are having a catholic mass or some other type of extended ceremony. how to plan a wedding timeline
  9. Family Portraits 6:40-7:10 Family portraits can easily be chaos, but we have a system in place to make this run super efficiently and allow about 30 minutes total for this. how to plan a wedding timeline
  10. Just Married 7:15-7:30 Even if you do a first look, we love grabbing some extra “just married” portraits in the perfect glowy light! how to plan a wedding timeline
  11. Reception Begins 7:30 This is when introductions happen and my timeline isn’t as strict because the natural light is always gone. Depending on sunset time, so couples choose to sneak out for 5-10 minutes to get a break at the reception for some fun sunset portraits.
  12. The Exit 10:30 This timeline is based on 8 hours of coverage so that we can be there for the main events of the reception and about an hour of dancing. If you’re interested in having your exit photographed, there are a couple of options. We can either add additional hours or plan a faux exit with just your bridal party!

I know wedding planning can be SO overwhelming, but we love being able to help!

Want to see some wedding inspo? Check here:

West Virginia Wedding

Fincastle Country Club Wedding


Katelyn Workman




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The timeline for your dream day can such a tricky thing! We provide timeline planning help for all of our KWP couples, but for now, grab our free sample timeline!

dream wedding timeline!


A lot of moving pieces go into planning a wedding day timeline and we know it can be overwhelming! Grab our free sample timeline to help guide your day! 

Grab Your Guide