Top wedding day photography timeline activities

Contemporary wedding photography can often be broken down into stages being the distinct activities that occur over the course of the day.

Some couples want every single moment orchestrated and captured from getting ready through to a grand sparkler exit with no time to spare. Other couples are less interested in photographing certain stages of the day, and ignore stages like getting ready or lots of detail photos.

Here are some of the most popular 30+ key stages/activities of the day that I commonly see with weddings in Brisbane that can be captured by your photographer, and you may want to consider including in your photography timeline.

For the record, I would not suggest you incorporate all of these activities into your wedding day photography timeline, just the ones that are important to you!

The less planned and setup photography moments, the more time you will have for guests and for simply relaxing and enjoying the day. Your photographer will always be able to take candid photos during these quieter times, which are often some of the best photos anyway.

  • Detail Off Person (Dress, Rings, Cuff Links, Shoes etc.).

  • Getting Ready Bride & Groom.

  • Bride & Groom Photos with Mum & Dad/Grandparents.

  • Groom & Bridesmaids Portraits or Semi Posed Candids.

  • Bride & Groom Individual Portraits & Detail (on person).

  • First Look with Groom/Father/Mother.

  • Ceremony Ambience & Detail.

  • Guests Pre-Wedding Arrival.

  • Groom Arrival & Mingling.

  • Bridal Car Arrival & Bridal Portraits Inside/Outside Car.

  • Ceremony Guest Candids.

  • Ceremony Processional (led by Father/Mother/Friend).

  • The Ceremony.

  • Signing Candids + 1 Photo to Camera.

  • Ceremony Recessional/Introduction.

  • Congratulations and Hugs from Guests.

  • Large Everyone Group Photo.

  • Smaller Formal Family Group Photos.

  • Bridal Party Photos (Bridesmaids/Grooms/Couple).

  • Couples Portraits (Posed or Semi-posed).

  • Grand Entrance/Guard of Honour.

  • Cocktail Hour/Canapes.

  • Bride & Groom Mingling/Table Shots.

  • Cake or Dessert Detail.

  • Speeches.

  • First Dance.

  • Father/Daughter Dance etc.

  • Cake Cutting.

  • Guests Dancing (DJ/Spotify/Live Band).

  • Some Epic Song (with guest involvement).

  • Garter Removal.

  • Bouquet Toss.

  • Groom or Bridal Party Cigar Smoking.

  • Night time Couple Portraits (normally 10-15 mins only).

  • Grand Exit/Sparkler Exit (accompanied with epic music).

Just how much time you allocate for any or all of these photography opportunities and stages will depend on what you arrange and discuss with your photographer (how long they are booked for, how much posing and setup is required etc.)

Be sure to schedule a pre-wedding consultation to discuss the above photography options with your photographer well before the wedding day, preferably with both partners, and for as long as required.

Then on the wedding day itself, your photographer will know exactly where they are supposed to be, and be prepared in terms of lighting and equipment to capture these activities as creatively as possible.

Chris Jack