What does a Wedding Day Photography Schedule look like?
  • For Photographers
  • Helpful Hints
June 12, 2012

Don’t stress! This is something I always remind my brides. It is so easy to get caught up in all the details and lose track of the special moments happening all around you. This is the most exciting and pivotal moment in your life and you should be enjoying yourself. Let us take on the stress and keep your day moving! My brides are always so relieved to know that I help with their wedding day schedule. It is a flexible schedule that can be built around your needs, but at the same time keep the day moving at a pace that will allow for the photography to flow seamlessly. We typically work on a 8-9 hour day here at POPography. We usually make the schedule for the wedding day 4-6 weeks before the wedding day. The schedule is then passed along by email or facebook to the family and wedding party so everyone feels comfortable on what time and place they should be for wedding day. This puts the bride and groom at ease and allows for our team to get all the coverage the couple so desires.

Here is a run down of how we like to schedule a wedding day. This is in no way a concrete schedule and can be changed or shifted to fit different needs. Our hope is to take care of our couple and give them the most amazing photos. πŸ™‚

The first thing we do is have the bride and groom fill out a detailed POP Wedding Questionnaire. This helps with two important things. First, it helps us know where they will be on wedding day pre-ceremony and their plans with their guests for the rest of of their day. This plays a huge part in making the schedule. And secondly, we use the information for vendors to go on their custom website! We like to make sure everyone is credited for their work on your special day! Some brides like to share our POPography Facebook page weeks in advance with their family, friends and wedding party so they can find themselves in the sneak peaks and TAG!

WORK BACKWARDS– We start off the conversation with your EXIT TIME. We then start backwards from the exit time to create a photography start time. In this example, they are exiting at 10pm with Sparklers. So, we determined that photography of the bride and groom will start at approximately 2pm. Most times our team will arrive 30min-1hr prior that time to start getting the details. (Ceremony site, Rings, Shoes, Dress, Grooms Details, Flowers, etc) Jeffrey and myself tackle this together. This lets the bride know we are there, but we are not up in her face shooting away the minute we arrive πŸ™‚

GETTING READY– This is a very important part of the storytelling process for us. The story of your day is our job, so having us there pre-ceremony is super important. These are the intimate moments with your closest friends and family and we value this time. We typically start with the bride and her ladies and then move on to the gentleman. This allows for the bride to have her portraits done before guests start arriving and also to calm herself before ceremony. Here are some things we have found really make for successful preparation photos.


  1. Keep the room as clean as possible. Put all belongings in the furthest, darkest corner OR keep in bathroom away from the ‘getting ready’ area.
  2. Set up hair and make up in the brightest window. Try to make sure the chair is positioned so that the light is not directly on the person, but rather an indirect light
  3. The bride should be the last one to finish. Hair first and Make up last. (We typically shoot her getting her make up done right before she gets dressed)
  4. All bridesmaids fully dressed with hair & make up as bride gets final touches on her makeup.
  5. Bridesmaids are fully dressed and can now help the bride get dressed.
  6. Mom’s like to be present so that they can help with finishing details such as earrings, jewelry or special gifts
  7. Some brides like to have their fathers see them for the first time in their wedding gown before portraits.
  8. Formal Shots of Bride, Bridesmaids, Flowergirls
  9. Drink lots of Champagne πŸ™‚
  1. Casual, Hanging out shots of the Groomsmen
  2. Groom gets dressed with his best man FIRST.
  3. Post yourself up close to a natural light window
  4. Groom Shots: Buttoning shirt, Fixing hair, Putting on Coat, Best Man Helping with Tie or Details
  5. Formal Shots of all the Men, Ring Bearers, Ushers
SAME DAY SLIDESHOW– We pride ourselves in our Same Day Slideshows! <- Feel free to read more about this here! Jeffrey will continue to shoot reception details and guests and I will sneak away to start preparing your same day slide show for the iPad. This usually takes about 15-20 minutes and then I join Jeffrey again to start shooting as guests start arriving.
CEREMONY– We all know how this goes down! πŸ™‚ After the wedding party exits we have the immediate family stay for Legacy Photos (Formal Family Photos)
LEGACY PHOTOS– The shot list is pre-made and we stick to it. We are just as excited to get to the reception as you are, therefore we make sure to keep these photos under 15 minutes. We try not to stray from this schedule so that we can honor the bride and groom’s wishes. All other photos will be taken in the reception area. The wedding party will follow the family with their whole group shots.

BRIDE & GROOM PORTRAITS– Single most important part of the day! You haven’t seen each other all day with the hustle and bustle and excitement. So, we like to sweep you away for a few brief minutes and just let you be together! It is YOUR wedding day after all. We have already scouted the best locations for your portraits and we try to keep these within a 15 minute window. These will make beautiful photos for your new home!

RECEPTION– We ask the bride and groom to give us a head start as we make our way to the party. The bride and groom can go freshen up or have a drink before they make their way to their guests. Most likely the DJ or wedding coordinator will have a schedule for the rest of the evening. If we see that there is no one conducting the evenings timeline we will be glad to keep things moving along. We have found that the bride and groom will most likely do one of two things. Eat or Dance πŸ™‚ Here are two very common reception schedules we have seen.

  1. Enter Reception–> First Dance–>Formal Dances—>Eat—>Mingle—>Toasts—>Cut Cake—>Bouquet/Garter—>Dance & Exit
  2. Enter Reception–>Eat—>Mingle—>First Dance—>Formal Dances—>Toasts—>Cut Cake–>Bouquet/Garter—>Dance & Exit
EXIT– We always ask our brides if they are firm on their exit time. There are two responses: YES, we don’t care if we are the only people left in the building. We are exiting at 2am! πŸ™‚ OR NO, we want our family and friends to be there to see us off so that mean we leave earlier. Β Either way–we are fine with whatever you want. We have found that most guests leave shortly after cake & a few dances. It is important to us that you get exactly what you want. This is why the schedule is so important to us. (We will be posting about perfect exit plans for the time of day, place & style of your wedding soon!)
We hope this helps you see how is easy it can be to schedule your big day! We are so excited to work with you!
Leaha & The POPography team


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