When brides inquire about booking their wedding with me I always LOVE letting them know that I can help with their wedding day timeline! It’s so intimidating trying to do this on your own since you want your day to be absolutely perfect and you’ve probably never done this before! That’s where I come in. I can help you find a wedding day collection that best suits your wedding day coverage needs and help you plan out when I should start/ end, help you plan when certain things happen based off when your ceremony begins, and make sure there is enough time to photograph the details, family photos, reception dancing, etc. If you haven’t already planned when your ceremony begins take a look at my blog post about When You Should Start Your Wedding. This blog post is especially important if you’re not planning to have a first look at your wedding. I’ve photographed weddings where the bride and groom didn’t want to have a first look and we knew we would be racing against the sun after the ceremony since we had 20 minutes to photograph the family, bridal party, and bride/ groom photos before the sunset. That can be stressful and not necessary if you plan out the day well.

Below is a sample wedding day timeline that I send all my brides. I also send a questionnaire which helps me get a better understanding of their wedding day. Every wedding is different which is why I let my brides know they can edit it any way they want. What I’m looking for is to make sure their is enough time to photograph what’s requested and to see when I should have my second shooter come join. If I have a super organized bride who already has a timeline ready for me that’s perfect to! Brides don’t have to use my timeline but so far all brides love that they can use it since it’s so helpful!

General Information
Bride’s Name:
Groom’s Name:
Wedding Date:
Ceremony Address:
Reception Address:

Start time for photographers:
Departure time for photographers:

Details  (X:XXpm) 45 Min Please have your details ready: veil, shoes, rings, invitations, jewelry. It’s recommended someone keeps these items in a box ready to hand to your photographer.
-Wedding dress, veil, shoes, jewelry, bouquet, invitations
-Brides engagement ring in bouquet

Bride + bridesmaids getting ready at location (X:XXpm)  1-2 Hours
Where will the bride and her bridesmaids be getting ready?
-Brides dress being put on
-Close up of dress/bouquet
-Bride with each/all Bridesmaid  (NAMES)
-Bridal portraits

Are there any family photos we could do during this timeframe?
Will there be a father/ daughter first look

Groom (X:XXpm) 45 Min-1 Hour
Where will the groom and his groomsmen be getting ready?
-Groom and groomsmen getting ready/ interacting
-Groom’s mother (NAME) putting on corsage
-Groom with each/ all Groomsmen (NAMES)
-Groom portraits

Are there any family photos we could do during this timeframe?
Will there be a bride/groom first look?
If different getting ready at a different location, how far is that location away from the ceremony location?

Ceremony X:XX 30 Min – 2.5 Hours (depending on ceremony type)
Guests entering ceremony
-Grandmothers, Mothers (NAME) walking down the aisle
-Groom’s expression when he sees the bride
-Bride and Father (NAME) walking down the aisle
-Bride kissing father as he “gives her away”
-Exchanging of vows, ring ceremony, first kiss, introduction of Mr. and Mrs.
-Newlyweds walking down the aisle

After Ceremony: Family Photo Time (20 Min)
Bride’s Family
-B&G with Grandparents (NAME)
-B&G with parents together (NAME)
-B&G with Mother (NAME) with flowers
-B&G with Father (NAME)
-B&G with Brother (NAME)

Groom’s Family
-B&G with Grandparents (NAME)
-B&G with parents together (NAME)
-B&G with Mother (NAME)
-B&G with Father (NAME)
-B&G with Siblings (NAME)

Bridal Party (10 Min)
-Bridal Party portraits

Bride and Groom (10-15 Min with sunset photos later)
-Bride and Groom portraits

Reception X:XX
-Overview of reception location
-Reception details and centerpieces
-Introduction of Mr. and Mrs.  (X:XXpm)
-Dinner (X:XXpm)
-First Dance (X:XXpm)
-Father/Daughter Dance (X:XXpm)
-Mother/Son Dance (X:XXpm)
-Bouquet Toss (X:XX pm)
-Garter Toss (X:XXpm)
-Cutting Cake (X:XXpm)
-Bride & Groom exit (X:XXpm)
-Sarah Leaving at  (X:XXpm)

Hope this helps! If you have any questions or would like to talk to me about photographing your wedding, email [email protected]

Here are some more tips for brides that you may find helpful!

7 Commonly Asked Wedding Questions
5 Ways to Destress During Wedding Week
The Importance of Engagement Sessions
Should you have a First Look

Sarah Botta is a Northern Virginia based wedding photographer whose work can be described as organic, natural, and timeless. Sarah specializes in capturing people’s stories and building connections with each client to help tell their story.

Sarah has photographed over 30 weddings across Virginia and Maryland from rustic barn ceremonies to elaborate golf course receptions. Her natural timeless style shines brightest with outdoor locations. Sarah is available for travel worldwide and is passport ready.