The Perfect Wedding Photography Time line | Elim Studio | Elim Studio | Gauteng Wedding Photographer | Stunning Photography

The Perfect Wedding Photography Time line | Elim Studio


wedding timeline

Your photographer and your wedding planner is the best persons to advise you on your wedding timeline. In fact, the photographer and the wedding coordinator have the most control over how a wedding day is run, which means two things:

  1. You get to create the best photography schedule to help make YOU successful.
  2. You need to create the best photography schedule to help make the WEDDING successful.

In other words, we need to set ourselves up for success with every wedding we shoot, because it is our job to create the best wedding day experience we possibly can for our couples and their families.

After years of shooting weddings of all shapes and sizes, we’ve fine-tuned a schedule that has become our foundation for every wedding we shoot.

This schedule changes, of course, based on the unique logistics of a particular wedding day, but the real value of this schedule isn’t so much the exact timing as it is the principles behind the timing – giving ourselves time and space to photograph what we need to and when.

Alright, let’s get on to the basics:-

Below is our basic schedule that we use for every wedding

We Start planning the timeline around the Church Service. That will already be set and is the one thing that will remain constant. The rest of the day will float around it.

1:00 – 1:30 – Venue details

1h30 – 2:30 – All Hair and Makeup final touches

2:30 – 3:15 – Bride put on dress, shoes, garter, perfume, Bridesmaids and bride, Mom and Bride

3:30 – 4:00 Groom and best men outside the church in the garden

Service at 4:00 pm – allow for 1 hour – from the bride entering the church to the throwing of

the confetti will take 1 Hr – guaranteed

Family at 5:00-5:30 Allow 30 minutes for family photos. Arrange with bride beforehand to have somebody shepherd the family to the allotted spot and make sure everyone is there.

Retinue at 5:30 – 5:50 allow for 20minutes. Make sure the flower girl and page boy is present

5:50 – 6:30 – Bridal couple creative shoot.

6:30 – Bridal couple enters the hall …..

In the winter, the sun will set earlier, so the ceremony is earlier and everything just moves to an earlier timeslot.

Note to yourself:-  Be Flexible

Stuff happens and it’s a very rare wedding that runs perfectly on time. You need to not only be flexible, but you’ve got to be flexible with a smile on your face. Adhere to the wedding timeline like it’s a guide and not a set of rules. It’s a wedding day, not an army exercise. If the makeup and hair run long (which it will), if they can’t find Uncle Tom even after he was told to stay for photos four times or if Grandma gets lost before the ceremony, your job is the smile, move things around and find pockets where you can make up the photo later or catch up to the schedule at a later point in the day.

How we work:-

Wedding Details



We like to do the details of your venue and the chapel first thing. That way it is all fresh and the guests have not been in the hall. We can make time to capture every detail that you have spent a lot of time planning for your special day.

This is the only way we’re able to capture as many details as we do – we make them a priority and we schedule time specifically for this purpose.

Of course, if the ceremony and reception are at different locations, then we make sure that the details are photographed, before proceeding to you

Getting Ready


We always give ourselves plenty of time to shoot getting ready details such as jewellery, the shoes, the dress, make up being done, etc.

We will then proceed to the men and get photos of all his detail as well as images where he starts to get dressed. We do not neglect him in the process and will photograph all his detail

The time before your ceremony should be a time where everyone is relaxed – perhaps a little jittery – but above all, excited.

We also schedule a specific time for the dress to go on, and we allow at least 30 minutes for this.

This helps the makeup artists, hair stylists, Mom, and bridesmaids know when they need to be done, dressed, and ready (and allows for a cushion if they run late).

It won’t take 30 minutes to put on most dresses, but it allows the bride to relax while she puts on her dress, poses with the garter, slips on jewellery, hugs her mom, and laughs with her bridesmaids. We like the bridesmaids to dress before the bride so they can be in the photos helping her put jewellery on. And of course they are in the photos fawning over her, this makes for fun photos as there are different facial expressions to capture.

Plus, we get to spend a few minutes photographing just her before heading out for the Chapel to photograph the groom and Best men

Groom and Best menDSC_5391a


Catching the Groom before he walks into the church is a good way of relaxing him. A Couple of nice sh ots with and without his best men and he is in the right frame of mind to see his bride walking down the aisle. It is a good idea not to push to hard for photos as he will be a bit stressed out but excited.

Family Portraits




After the ceremony we allocate 30 minutes for the family shoot. This is normally done outside with someone in the family getting them all together. We do Moms and Dads and bridal Couple. Then with brothers and sisters and not forgetting Grandparents. There will be time in the evening for the extended family shoots.

The Retinue



Now is the time for the Bridesmaids and Best men with the bridal couple. We do group photos of everybody and then som e of the girls and some of the guys. If there are pageboys and flower girls we include them in the settings.

The Couple


Then we send them away and only work with the couple. It is best not to have people standing around making comments and putting the couple off while we are working. We will do of her alone then let him join her and then move her away and work with him. We move through park using this method and it creates continuity for us.

Then we move to setup in the hall while they catch their breath and then they walk in…

Should we go around to tables for photos?

If you don’t know what this is, it’s basically walking around to each table during the reception and getting a formal like shot with the table. This is kind of an old school thing to do but sometimes we still get requests for it. Instead of doing table shots we like to get more candid looking shots of people interacting and enjoying the start to your reception party. We find table shots to be an inconvenience to guests. They usually don’t like getting out of their seats to huddle awkwardly around a round table for a picture. And then there is the table centrepiece to negotiate so that you get all the faces in the photo. Depending on how many guests you have this can take a lot of time. And there’s always that one guy who just happened to be at the bar, getting drinks that you’re waiting for to return before getting your shot. Not to mention people are chatty and when you stop by their table it’s not just a quick picture. Multiply 10 minutes by the amount of tables you have and that will give you an idea if it’s worth it. We recommend table shots where all the tables comes to bride and groom for a group photo. That way you get everybody on a photo. Because they know other tables are lining up, the hugs is very short and interruptions very few.

As a substitute, we really like to encourage our guests to add on a photo corner at the reception. Especially if they have a really large amount of people attending. What I mean is we set up lights and the venue decorates the corner with a couch. These are really great for grabbing all those distant cousins, fraternity brothers, co-workers, you name it.