Planning your wedding can be a daunting task.  There is so much to think about and so many decisions to make. One part that couples struggle with is how much time to plan for their photography needs. Events take more time then you think on your wedding day and there are many unknown or hidden time factors.  One of these "hidden time" factors is needing a photographer actually 30 minutes before the ceremony official start time to photograph guests arriving, groomsmen putting on boutonnieres, groom and best man at the altar, brides arrival, procession line up etc.  Other "Unknown or hidden time factors" are receiving lines at a ceremony which can take an easy 30 minutes or more and then there are the travel time between venues etc. and time needed for organizing groups for portraits.  These times start to add up and what couples plan in their mind as a 4 hour wedding can easily require up to 6 hours in reality.

Your wedding is one of the most important events in your life. You want to give it the time it needs and will actually require.  It is also a time when you family members will come from all across the country to attend. Often you have not seen these family members in years nor may see in the future.  You really want to use the time to capture these moments and have the time to do it without having being rushed and pressured. Prior planning and time alocation can make all the difference on your wedding day.


 To assist you with this I have provided a wedding planning timeline to help you determine how many hours of coverage would best be needed to cover your wedding day


Month  Location, Theme and Description


Getting ready groom

(Groom Prep) 

Groom and  groomsmen getting ready-shots of guys putting on tux and jackets, cuff links, boutonnieres, shoes, ties, portraits of groom and groomsmen (sometimes first look done with groom's mother)  1-hour

Mid April 

Wooster Square Cherry Blossoms

With hair and make up complete before my arrival, I recommend 1.5 hours shoot time for dress hanging detail photos, bride lacing/buttoning up dress, putting on shoes, putting on jewelry, window light portraits, portraits with mother, bridesmaids. Add 30 minutes to 1 hour for bridesmaids in robes  photo, final part of hair and make up photos of bride etc.  

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First look shots Groom and bride seeing each other for the first time.  Sometimes father and daughter seeing each other for the first time.  Can be done at getting ready location or a special location, Time can be extended to include bride and groom portraits. 15-30 minutes

Elizabeth Park Rose Blossoms


30 minutes before ceremony
  • Harkness Park Wedding ceremonies range from 30 minutes for a simple outdoor ceremony with a Justice of the Peace to 1 Hour average for a Catholic Ceremony with communion.  I have had some Catholic masses to go 1.5 hours
30 minutes to 1 hour average
June-August Other Beach Parks on the coast, Harkness State Park, Sherwood Island State Park   
July  Lavendar Farm Sometimes a receiving line is done after the church ceremony. Receiving lines can take more time than anticipated depending on number of guests etc. 20-30 minutes 
Portraits Portraits of the bride and groom together and separate.  Portraits of the bridal party with bride and groom in various combinations, family portraits  

1-1.5 hours average

1 hour to get standard shots 

1.5 to 2 hours for more groupings and combinations and creative time with bride and groom

Cocktail hour Cocktail hour is often included in the reception time, but keep in mind when planning time for your portraits that the (formal reception) begins with the introductions.  Portraits are often done during the cocktail hour but doesn't have to be that way  1 hour
Reception Photos of the reception room details, table settings, wedding cake etc., Introductions, first dance, parent dances, toasts, blessings, cake cutting, candid shots and dancing shots, (sometimes bouquet and garter toss)

4-5 hours average

(including cocktail hour)

Travel  times Travel time between venues and parking etc needs to be factored into your timeline.  Especially for those planning a Friday evening wedding when travel times can be much longer then expected to get to the venue and between venues  
Total wedding time Add up all these factors and determine the time you will need for your wedding day  



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