After covering many weddings over many years, I’ve learned a few things that might help some couples logistically. This little page is a collection of helpful insights intended to help you in the planning process. 

The suggested timing in this wedding guide are suggestions/estimates to give you a frame of reference when planning. I should note that this guide is structured primarily around what tend to be the most common types of weddings that I’ve photographed throughout the years and not intended to be a catch-all guide. If the wedding you’re planning is more personally tailored, I’m happy to consult with you on specific timing and best practices around your event. If you’re working with a wedding planner, I’m more than happy to coordinate and collaborate.

If you have any other thoughts or concerns specific to your wedding, please don’t hesitate to call or email me!

Your day is going to get started before I arrive as you begin hair/makeup and any other odds and end. But here are a few things you may want to consider leading up to and after my arrival.



If you got some matching robes or PJs and want a group photo with your besties, be sure to carve out some time for that or at least let me know in advance.

Cute PJs for a Photo?


If the hair and makeup folks have a lot of people to work on, make sure you've got some buffer time built in. You may find that requests for tweaks and adjustment can cause unexpected delays in finishing on time. It's also not necessary to save the bride for last, since for photography, we can always capture the touchups right before/after you get into the dress if those photos are important to you.

Hair & Makeup


Gather any important details such as shoes, rings, stationary and the dress and set them aside in one area so that we can take care of those all at once upon arrival. It's usually the first thing we photograph and gives a little time for everyone to adjust to new people in the room.



Plan for at least 1 Hour for getting ready. This should be enough time for some details, candid coverage and the key elements of getting dressed / hair & makeup touch ups. I typically like to start as the makeup artist is finishing up.

Coverage Time


If it's important to you to keep clutter out of your photos, designate a darker corner of the room or extra space/closet as the dump zone where you can toss things like packaging/luggage/clutter. Or don't!

Tidying up


The BIGGEST tip I’ve got for the guys is: practice, practice, practice tying your ties and bowties–especially if you’re completely new to it! Click here for a great youtube video on How to tie a bowtie!

I typically cover the guys getting their ties and jackets on if you’re wanting any photos for getting ready. Afterwards, my assistant will chill with you and just capture candids of you hanging out and whatnot.

Don’t feel pressured to perform for the camera or anything. Just hang out and enjoy yourselves.


If you're planning to exchange notes or gifts to each other or to your wedding party, make sure to wait til I arrive if it's a moment you want documented.


The main reason couples choose to do a first look is to allow for a genuine, private moment before the ceremony and some flexibility in getting some portraits out of the way.

Block off about 15-20 minutes if you’re planning for the first look, and another 30-45 minutes for couples & wedding party portraits after.


First Look Location

I typically will decide where the first look will be and set the stage for the couple in real time. This typically happens earlier in the day when the sun is quite bright overhead so I normally look for a more shaded area if possible.

I err on the side of quality of quantity. I'd rather take some time in one spot to set up a good photo than try to move around too much with a group of people. I typically recommend about 20-30 minutes for wedding party photos (will vary depending on the size of your group)

Wedding Party Photos

This section is possibly one of the most important in the wedding guide…

When properly organized, group portraits can be done beautifully and quickly so that your family go off and have fun. I recommend having a designated family member from each side of the family help corral your family together and communicating with them ahead of time so everyone knows when and where to be. Estimating 2-3 minutes per combination is a good starting point. Groups of 8-10 or more will take around 5+ minutes to set up. A typical set of Family combinations like the list below should take about 20-30 minutes.

Both Spouses Family 
  • Couple + Both Parents, Grandparents, & Siblings

Spouse A Side: 

  • Couple + Spouse A Parents, Grandparents, & Siblings, & Close Aunts/Uncles
  • Couple + Spouse A Parents, & Siblings
  • Couple + Spouse A Parents

Spouse B Side: 
  • Couple + Spouse B Parents, Grandparents, & Siblings, & Close Aunts/Uncles
  • Couple + Spouse B Parents, & Siblings
  • Couple + Spouse B Parents

For large groups, we’ll need either steps or chairs to help stagger people like in the above photo so everyone can be seen. I also recommend creating a list with names so we can see exactly how big each group will be for planning purposes.




The ceremony is obviously going to be guided by the officiant, but there’s a couple things that are worth keeping in mind if possible…

As you make your way down the aisle, make sure to look at each other or your guests–just don’t look down at your feet (I know, it’s tempting when you’re trying to watch your feet!). But trust me, you want to see your eyes lighting up and meeting the gaze of your guests and each other. It’s one of my favorite moments to capture!


If it's important for you to capture, be sure to hold that kiss for at least a couple seconds to make sure we not only get the shot, but can possible get a couple different perspectives of it.

The Kiss

Even though the it'll be tempting to stare at your officiant the whole time they're talking, try to keep your eyes on each other so your faces aren't turned away from your guests (and the camera) for too much of the ceremony. Also be sure to look out at your guests as well and take it all in!

Eye contact!

The ceremony is obviously going to be guided by the officiant, but there’s a couple things that are worth keeping in mind if possible…

Whenever possible, try setting some time for portraits about 15-20 minutes before sunset for the best light. In general I only need about 20 minutes for a small set of good portraits. However if you want a variety of spots around your venue, more time will be needed. As a bonus, think of this as alone time for you to have together amidst a bustling day of activity. It is your wedding so don't forget to celebrate with just each other if only for just a few minutes!

(I think we're alone now)


For the most part, I’ll be following the timeline on this set up by your coordinator. But similar to the ceremony, there are some things that you might consider.



After eating dinner, couples sometimes like to visit tables and greet their guests. I will typically cover this organically as candids unless you want to set up each table for a photo. In either case, plan on at least a minute per table as you make your rounds. Formal table photos can be organized, but it will still take a lot of time away from actually greeting your guests.

Table Visits

Most people have toasts before dinner service or after (sometimes both, depending on how many speakers you'll have). It usually is not happening while the couple is eating. So this is the perfect time for us to take a quick break to eat as well to cover the toasts and anything you might do during dinner.

Dinner & Toasts

The best piece of advice in this wedding guide I can give you is to forget about the camera. Take in every moment you can and remember this is your day to enjoy to the fullest. Focus on each other and your loved ones that have come to celebrate with you. I promise you’ll love the photos more if you let yourself be in the moment!