wedding photography timeline

ideal times for wedding photographer

With every wedding being different, and every culture celebrating in various ways. I wanted to compile a list of ideal time frames for your wedding. After photographing over 100 weddings, we have the wedding day down to the key elements. There are a few things to keep in mind 1) Time of your ceremony - especially if you are wanting sundown images 2) First look or No? 3) Your wedding day will fly by, so please plan these out in advance. 



  •  Ideal Time  – 45 minutes
  •  Ideal Time of the Day – Morning
  •  Ideal Location(s) – Getting Ready Location (hotel or venue)

*Most of the time photographers will take your details to various places throughout the venue for the best lighting and photography.

getting ready

  • Ideal Time  – 45 minutes to 1 hour
  • Ideal Time of the Day –  Mid-Morning or Early Afternoon
  • Ideal Location(s) – Venue, Bridal Suite or Hotel 

* Getting ready photos are a great capture to have for your wedding album. Some of your greatest moments are with your friends and family during this time frame. The lead photographer (Tracy Brewington) will be with the bride and the second shooter will be with the groom for 20 minutes during this time frame. The guys don't take as long to get dressed and we can capture some amazing moments between the groom, family and his groomsman. 


nashville wedding long hollow gardens getting ready


bridal portraits

  • Ideal Time Frame – 20-30 minutes
  •  Ideal Time of the Day – Mid-Morning to Early Afternoon
  •  Ideal Location(s) – Hotel Suite, Venue, or Venue


* Bridal portraits are ideal right after you get dressed. Natural light is a key factor with creating soft, feminine, bridal shots. 


  • Ideal Time Frame – 10 - 15 minutes
  •  Ideal Time of the Day – Mid-Morning to Early Afternoon
  •  Ideal Location(s) – Venue, Park, or Local desired area


* First Looks should be done in a private area and first looks are optional. 

Photo by oksana_nazarchuk/iStock / Getty Images


bridal party and wedding party photos 

  • Ideal Time Frame – 45 minutes
  • Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Afternoon
  • Ideal Location(s) - Venue, Park, Beach, or other desired location.

* This is a time to get some formal photos and some creative shots of your bridal party. It's great to have these photos to look back on with all of your closet friends. 





  • Ideal Time Frame – 20 minutes
  • Ideal Time of the Day – Prior to guest arriving 
  • Ideal Location(s) - Venue/ Ceremony Site

* This is very important to plan prior to guest arriving, and check with wedding planner or venue to see when this area will be readu/


  • Ideal Time Frame – 45-60 minutes
  • Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Afternoon
  • Ideal Location - Venue or desired location

Immediate family photos are very important to your family. They want to be remembered as being an important part of the day. When you work with Tracy Brewington, Nashville Wedding Photographer - we will work you to create a family list. 




  • Ideal Time Frame – 45-60 minutes
  • Ideal Time of the Day – 1 hour prior Sundown 
  • Ideal Location - Venue or desired location

Couples should save this time for sundown photos, the lighting is great and the sky is beautiful. So when planning your ceremony time, please check the predicted sundown time. You can contact us for our estimates are well. 


reception details

  • Ideal Time Allotment – 20-30 minutes
  • Ideal Time of the Day – Early Evening
  • Ideal Location – Reception Site or location

We capture details before guest arrive (if possible) . Please make sure that you communicate with all venue staff and caterers. Tracy Brewington Photography will send you reminders to get all of this information prior to the wedding. 


night time couples sessions

  • Ideal Time Allotment – 15-30 minutes
  • Ideal Time of the Day – Evening
  • Ideal Location – Venue or pre-determined location

While your guest are dancing the night away, I love to run away for nighttime portraits. We take anywhere from 15-30 minutes and set up a beautiful lighting situation at your venue. This gives you the romance and lighting only the nighttime can give you. It also shows your wedding day from the very start to the ending of the night. This is especially great if you do not have a formal exit planned.


a few more things to consider


  • Working with a wonderful Nashville or destination wedding planner is a great option. They will oversee the day to make sure that everything is running smoothly, and you are only to focus on looking beautiful and having a great time. 
  • If a full time Nashville wedding planner is not in your budget, please ask about day of coordination. This will allow a planner to be there on the day of your wedding - it is a lifesaver. Be sure to ask your venue if they offer this service, or contact us for our recommendations. 
  • Work with your wedding photographer to create a wedding day timeline, and when interviewing photographers - ask if this is a service they offer. 
  • Check the expected temperature and sundown times for your wedding day. The weather will always surprise us, we do live in Tennessee. But we can plan, especially planning a destination wedding photographer.
  • Hire a babysitter for the kids at your wedding, please contact us for babysitting recommendations within the Nashville area. 
  • Ask your venue about any photographer limitations. Some churches will have rules to follow regarding photography - you do want to know this upfront. 


happy wedding planning!