Your day goes by in a blink of an eye. One minute you’re finalizing your seating chart, the next minute you’re sending out Thank You cards! Of course you’ll have images that allow you to relive your day, but there’s nothing like being in the moment. These Tips for a Stress-Free Wedding Timeline helps you stay in the moment and enjoy every second!

Getting Ready

Start early! I usually start my all-day coverage with the bride about 90-120 minutes prior to leaving for the ceremony or first look. This allows me enough time to capture details, candid photos and portraits of the bride. If you have a larger wedding party, make sure you hire enough hair and make-up artists to manage the workload. It’s really easy to fall behind at this point of the day. When this part falls behind, the entire day might get pushed back!

Fellas…don’t forget the rings.

Getting There

Make sure you buffer travel time! I do a lot of Philadelphia and South Jersey weddings and they all share one thing…traffic! Allowing an extra 10-15 (even more for summer/rush hour) minutes of travel time helps ensure your wedding timeline stays in check. Add extra time if you plan on driving your van to the bar on the way to the ceremony.


When it comes to your formal, bridal party and bride and groom portraits, the more time the merrier! While I don’t want your entire day to feel like a big photo session, the more time I have with you, the more variety you’ll receive. Ideally I love to have 30 minutes for family formals, 30 minutes for bridal party, and 30-45 minutes for bride and groom portraits. Of course there are a few factors that come into play, so here are my tips on keeping your portrait time efficient.

Keep your family formal list to your immediate family. This includes Grandparents, parents, siblings and their spouses and children. If you have aunts, uncles and cousins you’d like photos with, let’s grab them at cocktail hour or during the reception!

Ask your church how long you’re allowed to remain inside after the ceremony for your family formals.

If you plan on having a receiving line, factor in another 30 minutes, depending on the amount of guests you plan on attending your ceremony. Most of my clients ditch the receiving line and head straight to family formals, or the cocktail hour.

Assign an assertive family ‘captain’ that is responsible to gather all the family that is needed for the photos. This prevents anyone from wandering off and delaying your photos.

Have the bridesmaids bring flats to walk on grass.

Take a snack break before or during your bride and groom photos! Nobody likes it when you’re hangry. Just make sure you have some for me too. I like to eat.

Do a first look! They’re very common and all of your photos are done before your ceremony! You can read more about First Look pros and cons here!

If you’re not doing a first look, ask your venue if they have 90-minute cocktail hour options. While this may cost a little more, you won’t have to rush through your photos and might still have time to attend your cocktail hour.


I help all my wedding clients plan a timeline to help their day run efficiently! This helps you enjoy your day and helps me get those shots that make all your friends jealous. I hope you found these tips helpful!