• Nina Bashaw

Wedding day timeline. Why you need one and how to make it.


Wedding timelines can be intimidating to write for the first time. Getting started can be the toughest part, you might be thinking, "I don't even know where to start with writing out a timeline for my wedding day." You aren't alone in those feelings, hence the reason for this post is to help you when writing out your wedding day timeline. As your Columbia, SC wedding photographers, I feel that it’s very important for bride and grooms to understand the logistics of the photography timeline. By having a well written out timeline this will ensure that your Greenville wedding photographer has ample time to capture your wedding day, therefore having better wedding photos!

It's important to keep in mind that your timeline is a guide to help relieve stress on your wedding day! Also remind yourself that your wedding will not fall apart if it runs a little bit ahead or behind. In fact, the most common thing that happens at most weddings is running behind time by a few minutes. And if it's not a drastic delay we usually make up for that time later in the day by adjusting the timeline and rolling with the day. However with that said, you should have a well thought out timeline, give a copy to your bridal party, family, and all your vendors so that you are all on the same page and everyone knows where they need to be and at what time. If you don't have a wedding planner or day of coordination you should definitely put someone in charge of the timeline.

Now on to two examples of a wedding day timeline. One with a first look and one without a first look. I always like to start the timeline from when the ceremony and then I work back from that time to schedule the rest of the day. Everything from getting ready to bridal party photos, bride and groom portraits, and family photos.


*Both of these examples are if you're have the ceremony and reception at one one venue with 8 hours of wedding day coverage. If you have multiple venues, you must consider travel time between locations.*

Wedding Day Timeline WITH a First Look! 12:00pm - Nina arrives to get detail shots (brides dress and bridal accessories, grooms suit and accessories, flowers, invitations, etc)

12:45pm - Nina captures bride finishing touches on getting ready, hair and makeup shots. Second shooter takes a few shots of groom getting ready as he puts on his jacket, tie, cufflinks, etc.

1:15pm - Individual outdoor bridal portraits of bride and groom(separately so they don’t see each other until their first look)

1:30pm - Bride and Groom first look and bride and groom portraits

2:15pm - Bridal party photos, Family photos and any important people you want formal shots with.

3:15 - Have bride tucked away from arriving guests, touch up hair and makeup if needed. Nina and second shooter takes photos of “untouched” ceremony area before guest arrive. And if the reception area is all ready we will also take photos of reception details.

4:00pm - Ceremony starts

4:30pm - More bride and groom photos and any, bridal party, or family photos we didn’t get before the ceremony. (if you're having a cocktail hour my second photographer will photograph that during family photos)

5:00pm - Bride and groom enters reception

5:15pm - Dinner is served

5:45pm - Bride and groom have their first dance - dancing for guest immediately starts after bride and grooms first dance.

7:00pm Cake cutting and speeches

(depending on the time of year you get married and the light, I like to grab the bride and groom for some golden hour shots right as the sun is going down, for about 15 minutes outdoors)

8:00pm - Photography coverage ends

10:00pm - Last call \ last dance

Wedding Day Timeline WITHOUT a First Look!

12:00pm - Nina arrives to get detail shots (brides dress and bridal accessories, grooms suit and accessories, flowers, invitations, etc)

12:45pm - Nina captures bride finishing touches on getting ready, hair and makeup shots. Second shooter takes a few shots of groom getting ready as he puts on his jacket, tie, cufflinks, etc.

1:15pm - Individual outdoor bridal portraits of bride and groom(separately so they don’t see each other until the ceremony)

1:30pm - Separate bridal party photos. Nina will be with the bride and bridesmaids, while the second photographer will take the Groom and groomsmen bridal party photos

215pm - Immediate Family photos separate, so bride with her family and then groom with his family.

3:15 - Have bride tucked away from arriving guests, touch up hair and makeup if needed. Nina and second shooter takes photos of “untouched” ceremony area before guest arrive. And if the reception area is all ready we will also take photos of reception details.

4:00pm - Ceremony starts

4:30pm - Family group shots, with everyone together. Entire bridal party photos with everyone together. Bride and groom shots

5:15pm - Bride and groom enters reception

5:30pm - Dinner is served

6:00pm - Bride and groom have their first dance - dancing for guest immediately starts after bride and grooms first dance.

7:00pm Cake cutting and speeches

(depending on the time of year you get married and the light, I like to grab the bride and groom for some golden hour shots right as the sun is going down, for about 15 minutes outdoors)

8:00pm - Photography coverage ends

10:00pm - Last call \ last dance


Augusta, GA wedding photographer | Best rated Charlotte photographer | Columbia wedding photographers

Greenville wedding photographer | SC fine art wedding photographer


Colorvale  -  Kindred Presets  -  Wedding Wire  -  The Knot  -  Artsy Couture  - Cola Today  -  Contemporary Weddings

Seattle Bride Magazine  -  South Sound Wedding Event Olympia & Beyond  -  Trends Wedding & Lifestyle Magazine  

Morilee  -  Basic Invite  -  Glittery Bride  -  Destinations by Design  -  Peer Space  -  The Carolinas Magazine 

Southern Living Hotel Collection  -  Neil Lane Jewelry  -  Martina Liana Bridal  -  Demetrios Bridal  -  Davinci Bridal

All Rights Reserved © Nina Bashaw Photography

Tampa, Florida  •  (386) 344-4434  •  info@ninabashaw.com