How To Create A Wedding Photo Timeline

Dear Christa,    When you're talking with your brides, how do you make sure you have enough time for photos? Do you use their timeline or create your own and run it by them? I keep getting really confused communicating before the wedding on what happens when! Please help! 


Running out of time 

Dear Running out of Time,

I think many photographers can relate to your plight. We've all been there, sweating bullets as the guests take the escort cards before you have a chance to shoot them...STRESS CITY.  The day of timeline is crucial and something I start talking about from the very first consultation with each bride. You must start this conversation early to ensure you have enough time day-of, and aren't scrambling later. Manage your clients expectations for how long things take, educate them about the flow of the day and they will understand the importance of following your timeline.

zenith vineyard wedding photo christa taylor_0122

The first step to creating a schedule is to finalize their ceremony time. Once that is clear, you have a gauge for arrival and departure and can draft up a timeline based on the hours allotted in their contract.  For example, my most popular collections are 8-9 hours in length. For a classic 9 hour wedding with 5pm ceremony, it would look like this:

how to make a photo timeline for your wedding I email a rough draft of the photo timeline to the bride, right after her initial consultation. Later you will send this to the coordinator and ensure that everyone is on the same page. I keep a folder on my computer of all the wedding ceremony times (11:30am, 2pm, 4pm, 4:30pm, 5pm, 6pm, 6:30pm, 7pm) so I can review as needed.

Here's a sample 4pm Timeline:

how to create a wedding photo timeline


Any other questions about timelines- just leave a comment below :)