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Strouse Photo Tip #29: 7 Tips for Planning Your Wedding Timeline

I was a classic OCD bride when I was planning my wedding. I had lists on lists on lists and a timeline so in depth it should have scared my entire wedding party away. While I'm not a wedding planner, I am a wedding photographer and can offer some great tips when it comes time to plan your wedding timeline!


I was a traditional bride. I didn't want Brad to see me until we were in the church. While I loved the traditional and customary aspect of it, I would have LOVED to have a private moment with Brad before the wedding. First Looks cover that. They also offer a chance for your photographer to get intimate, romantic and personal moments that you might not have time to get without a first look. It also helps get you to your cocktail hour a lot quicker since a lot of your pictures will be done before hand!


If you can. It will cut down on travel time and increase picture taking time!

#3 - Make a detailed Family Shot List

We ask our brides for a list of family members they'd like in the more formal/posed family pictures. We do this so when Brad is shooting all the pictures, I can mark off the names. Feel free to be super details with it (ie: do you want a picture of you, your significant other and grandma as well as a picture of just you and grandma?). We always try our best to get all the pictures your heart desires.

PS - Once you have made that list, be sure to tell your family members at the rehearsal to meet in a desginated area for pictures so someone doesn't have to go run off and find them!

#4 - Budget time for details shots

With our couples, we discuss their timeline about a month before the wedding during our final consultation.

We live for detail shots so we work with our couples to budget extra time for them. Not only do we love all the work you put into planning your day and want to capture it, we also use this time as our "warm-up" time. You warm up for running, sports and singing, so we do the same for photography!

#5 - Ask your photographer for input

Every photographer is different and has their own routine. Be sure to ask them for input on your timeline so they can help guide you with the best times to plan for. This will help ensure you get the pictures you dream of for your wedding day!

#6 - Give your bridal party and family a copy of your timeline

That way they know where to be and when (and can help you stay on track!)

#7 - Be Flexible

It is your day so if you are running 10 minutes late, it is A-OK! They aren't going to start the wedding without you. I promise. Plenty of weddings start about 30 minutes late anyways. Things happen so take a deep breath and use that time to sip more champagne!

Here's a sample of time we like to have for certain aspects of our clients weddings!

30-45 min - Detailed Shots/Getting Ready Shots

1 hour to 1 hour and 30 min - First look/Bridal Party before the wedding

30-45 min - Family Pictures after the ceremony

If there is no first look, we really need that solid cocktail hour for family, bridal and couple pictures.

15 min - Sunset Pictures around sunset

The rest of the day, we adapt to your timeline and reception events.

As always, we appreciate more time because that means more time to get creative with you!

What tips can you add to our list?

Need more STROUSE PHOTO TIPS? Read them HERE!

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