Ideal Wedding Day Timelines for Photographers

bride and groom have their first dance. Shot at Chelsea Piers NYC with real film and a Leica by NYC wedding photographer Angela Cappetta.

Ideal Wedding Day Timelines for Photographers

Wedding Day Timelines for Photographers Written and Shot by NYC Wedding Photographer Angela Cappetta


So, what is a timeline exactly?  From a wedding photography point of view, a timeline looks different for each and every wedding. Attached below are a few examples. I could explain what every wedding day was like from a photography standpoint. However, because this article is about being an organized shooter, it really is better to show you examples of timelines. In addition to this, no matter what kind of event the Client is throwing, the photo itinerary will always follow a certain structure. Likewise, this makes photo requests easy to follow.

The Ideal Wedding Day Timeline Primer Two brides after their wedding on a NYC rooftop. Shot by NYC Wedding photographer Angela Cappetta.

Joan and Egee’s Itinerary

5:30  Guests arrive. Drinks on roof and 6th floor. 

6:00  Angela and team arrive. Candids on roof.

6:15  Five minute warning.

Brides hide in the side room. Ushers bring people to their seats.

6:30   Ceremony starts. Here are the ceremony milestones:

  • Brides enter together.
  • The brides’ romance story is told by the rabbi.
  • Rings are brought up by nieces.
  • Hand fasting with Hebrew blessing.
  • Equally important, the Rabbi explains the “Yichud.”
  • Vows, rings, kiss.
  • Recession.

7:15  Yichud begins on the roof with Angela for dusk marriage photos.

7:30 Brides make their entrance. Angela follows them. Second shooters are already downstairs covering cocktail hour.

  • Toast by Joan’s sister.
  • Dessert service.
  • Candid dance pictures 

Moreover, these must-have candid reception photos are lsited. To enumerate:

  • While he is working, Andy the DJ 
  • Both brides with Adrienne 
  • Later in the night, grab the swim team for a photo: Joan, Joelle, Luisa, Lesley. 
  • Big candid family photo during a reception at a table, brides to organize it on the spot

8:30-8:45 DJ announces cake cutting w/Tara.  Cake cutting and dessert service.

9:00 Official end of Angela’s time.


So, why do we write these? To ensure that wedding photography must-have shots are listed? Yes. But not only for that reason. A great photo itinerary keep everyone organized. Moreover, it manages expectations beautifully.

The Ideal Wedding Day Timeline Primer Olive oil wedding cake by Salty Bakery Brooklyn, NY

2:00 PM Bridal party loads in.

4:00 Angela and media team arrive

5:00 PM At this time, all line up for Procession.

5:00-5:30 PM Ceremony beings. Heretofore, candidis only of guests and ceremony.

5:30-6:00 PM Cocktails begin.

FORMAL FAMILY SHOTS against the brick in main room:

  • H&M, H’s parents, M’s parents, Ginny, Nick, Nate, James & Ericka, Janet & Richard, Stephen.
  • H’s parents
  • M’s parents
  • M, Ginny, Nate

6:00 PM

  • SOLO PORTRAITS of couple alone
  • All walk to the F York street train for pics in turn style area. Try for the roof of rebar to shoot bridge-in-background pics

6:30 PM

Couple is announced as they head straight into the first dance.

6:35 PM Buffet opens. Dinner service starts.

7:15 PM Toasts as follows:

  • Nate –Best man
  • MOH 
  • Richard 
  • Bride’s Dad 
  • Groom’s mom will make a speech.

7:30-8:00 Fast dance set-candids.

8:00 PM Father-daughter dance / Sam Cooke song.

8:30 PM Cake cutting.

9:30 Coffee is served.

Must-Have Still Life Shots:

  • ROOM wide view, populated okay.
  • MARGARITA BAR inside lounge (signature drink)
  • CUPCAKES and showpiece cake too cute
  • FAVORS Jordan almonds, chalkboard explaining the significance of 5 Jordan almonds

Important to note, every itinerary, even one for City Hall wedding photography, should include a disclaimer at the bottom so that expectations are managed. You can’t wave a wand and make everything go perfectly.

For example:

DISCLAIMER: Photographer will make every effort to provide a work product in conformity with the Itinerary for the event and to produce all photos that Client requests, however full conformity with the Itinerary or Client requests are not guaranteed. Photographer recognizes the importance of Client-requested photo opportunities. Nevertheless, the Client recognizes that Photographer maintains artistic independence and that human error, limitations of equipment or venue, interference, acts of God, or communication breakdown can thwart the Photographer’s intentions. Photographer and her assistants or agents cannot guarantee that all requested images or photos on the Itinerary will be delivered and are not responsible for such omissions.

Ideal Wedding Day Timeline

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