Michigan wedding Photographer | Wedding day timelines and how I can help

April 13, 2016


Photography provided by Captured Couture, LLC and her team of the best Michigan wedding photographers.

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! You’ve set the date and secured your venue now the planning can begin. I’m sure you’ve checked out wedding planning tools like this one from the Knot and it yes awesome but what about the actual wedding day? Have you started to think about that timeline?

For many couples, this is their first wedding and you have no idea what a wedding timeline looks like. Don’t stress I am here to help! Setting a timeline for your wedding day will help you better understand how long you’ll need your vendors (this may also help you save some money), It’ll help manage expectations for your wedding party and family (which should lessen stress for you) and it’ll ensure you get everything you want from your wedding.

Having photographed hundreds of weddings over the last 12 years I have learned that a schedule is one of the most helpful tools I can give to my couples. This is why I offer a custom timeline with each wedding photography package. This will help you see which of my photography packages will suit your needs best. Then we’ll revisit that timeline again about a month before the wedding to ensure things haven’t changed too much.

Before we jump into an actual wedding timeline example let’s talk about timeline factors and what they mean to me.

Details – 1 hour

 I love photographing the little details that go into your wedding. These are the little things you’ve spent countless hours selecting and putting together to ensure your day is perfect! I like to arrive about an hour before the bride is getting into her dress to pose her dress, shoes, rings, flowers and any other details she’s selected to wear on her special day. Additional time can be added if you’d like to include candid photos of you and your girls getting ready and hanging out.


Time can also be added to the schedule to capture the groom’s details. An alternative to adding time would be to add a second photographer so you can have coverage of both parties prior to the ceremony.

First look!

1 hour

Travel time will be accounted for if we need to travel from the getting ready location to the ceremony location. After the getting ready portion is complete it would be time for your first look!

A first look is not necessary at each wedding and I feel it is a very personal choice for the couple. Some couples prefer to save the moment when their soon to be spouse sees them coming down the aisle, other couples like to have a little private time before the ceremony. If you are planning a first look we will also complete your couples photos and wedding party photos at this time so make the most of your party!

Time to make it official! 

1 hour

The ceremony portion of your timeline will take about an hour. I’m sure you’re thinking an hour?! My ceremony will only take 15 minutes! Let me explain, I need a little time prior to walking down the aisle to ensure I have my lighting correct, I have my place secured and I am ready to capture every detail as you make your way to your spouse-to-be. While the actual ceremony may only take 15 minutes we’ll need to account for the time it takes for your guest to make their way to cocktail hour. This allows me to move quickly through the family formals without distraction.

Family formals 

15-30 minutes

These are pretty standard and I try to get through them quick so your family members can greet your guests and also enjoy cocktail hour. Family formals can take me between 15-30 min.

Bridal party (if we didn’t do these after the first look)

15-30 minutes 

I love getting feedback from my couples before the wedding to discuss what you’re looking for in the bridal party photos. Some couples like super fun photos, while others prefer their images be a little more formal. Either way we’ll take care of these before your couples session to ensure I can have the bride and groom alone for their couples session (AKA my FAVORITE part of the wedding) Bridal party photos can take between 15-30min depending on the amount of locations we’re using.

Couples session (if we’ve not done this at the first look)

30 min to 1 hour

Your couples session is a time to create those stunning, romantic images you’ve seen in my portfolio. It is also a great time for the two of you to breathe. Your wedding day is busy and you’re consistently talking to people, hugging them, and hearing well wishes from them. This small amount of time will likely be the only time you have alone on your wedding day. For this time I like as much time as you can allow me. Most couples try to stay within the cocktail hour for photos. This session usually lasts 30 min but I will gladly take more if we can make time for it.


2 hours +

This portion of your timeline will be broken up into a couple parts. We’ll cover your entrance, cake cutting, speeches, dinner, and formal dances. This portion usually takes 2 hours including time for dinner.

And Last but certainly not least a night time session or a backlit session

15-30 min

This is an extension to your couple’s session. This session would just be the two of you after formal dances are complete but before I leave for the evening. This session allows you to have some diversity in your gallery and offers some unique images with artificial lighting.

Captured Couture is a Detroit, Michigan wedding photographer specializing in modern storytelling. Available for events in Ann Arbor, Denver, Santa Cruz and all over the United States.

Interested in having Captured Couture preserve memories for you? Contact Jennifer

 Email: Jennifer@capturedcouture.com 

Phone: 248-891-2124



Great information for every bride!

Very good information! Timelines are sooo important for the wedding to run smoothly 🙂

Love this! What a great resource for your clients or any other couples that are working on a wedding timeline!

what a beautiful wedding! the setting and couple are gorgeous!

This is so helpful! Beautiful images, too 😀

Wow! all these pictures are amazing. i love all the information that you gave!

Love seeing a collection of your style in this post!