When Do You Take Wedding Photos: Timeline And More

If you don’t know when do you take wedding photos, here is a complete timeline of all the wedding photos you must take. These are the most critical moments in the wedding, and we’ll also list the wedding pictures that you will surely appreciate looking back.  

And speaking of photography, you can browse our blog for various guides for all your wedding photo questions. For example, do you know how to pose for wedding pictures?

when do you take wedding photos


When Do You Take Wedding Photos: Wedding Photography Checklist

Your wedding photographer will ask you about the inclusions you want for your wedding photography package. You must clarify if you also prefer pictures before the wedding ceremony or only want photos during the ceremony. 

Furthermore, there are conservative wedding ceremonies where it might be prohibited to take photos or have other visitors. Tell your wedding photographer about the restrictions in the venue, or have your wedding coordinator guide them. 


Morning of the wedding

  • Getting ready photos
  • First look photos
  • Bridal portraits (bride solo, bride with bridesmaids)
  • Groom portraits (groom solo, groom with groomsmen)
  • Wedding party portraits (solo and with the couple


During the ceremony


After the ceremony

  • Wedding exit
  • Reception entrance
  • Cocktail hour
  • Couple with their parents 
  • Couple with their extended family
  • Bride with their parents (and partner’s parents)
  • Groom with their parents  (and partner’s parents)
  • First dance
  • Guest table photos
  • Parents’ dance 
  • Guests
  • Candid shots
  • Speeches and performances
  • Bouquet and garter toss
  • Cake cutting
  • Dance floor shots


How Long Should You Take Pictures Before The Ceremony?

Besides knowing when you should take wedding photos, you should also be aware of the expected duration of each wedding photoshoot. Before the ceremony, here are the images that the wedding photographer usually takes:


30 minutes

These are for the wedding details like the wedding rings, wedding attire, wedding shoes, and other accessories that may be sentimental for the bride and groom. 


1 hour

The wedding preparations include the bride getting her hair and makeup done, portraits with the bridesmaids, and the groom with his groomsmen. This can be shorter depending on the shots that you want. 

There are also solo portraits of the bride and groom, and sometimes, if their mom or dad is preparing with them, they can have family photos. Discuss with your wedding coordinator early on to ensure that you won’t be late for the ceremony.

Read how long does wedding hair and makeup take as well. 


45 minutes

Another common photo shoot before the wedding is the wedding first look. This can take 45 minutes because the couple may want to have the photo session somewhere else.

Please allocate time for travel from the site to the venue to avoid issues with the ceremony time. Besides the initial first look, you may also want other pictures with your partner. 

If you have some extra time afterward, you can come to the venue early and have portraits with the wedding party and your close family. But at some weddings, these sessions happen after the ceremony. 


Which Wedding Photos Are Most Important?

Make sure to take photos in this list to ensure that you’ll have all the special moments captured when you’re looking back:

  • Wedding invitations, favors, and other homemade wedding elements 
  • Wedding accessories and heirloom
  • Wedding rings
  • Getting ready 
  • Portraits and candid shots from the wedding preparation, ceremony, and reception 
  • Couple first look
  • Wedding party
  • Each of the bride and groom’s set of parents
  • Greetings
  • First kiss 
  • Wedding exit 
  • Speeches
  • Dances
  • Tosses
  • Wedding cake


What Is A Wedding Portrait?

A wedding portrait refers to a formal or posed picture by the couple, their wedding party, family, and guests. Depending on the time, you can have these formal pictures after the ceremony or even before the ceremony. 

But nowadays, more and more weddings prefer candid shots as well. So you can ask your wedding photographer if you want a mixture of these two types of photos. 


Why Are Wedding Photos So Important?

Wedding photos are important because they capture all the critical details on your big day. You want mementos that can help remind you of your wedding day.

You may even find moments you didn’t notice, especially in the details of every photo. And compared to videos, you can print some of the wedding photos to have a tangible and readily accessible memento of your wedding day. 

If you have older relatives or friends who have no social media and can’t attend the wedding, you can show them the portraits and photos of the wedding. And as the years pass, you can create presentations and view the wedding photos on your anniversary. 


Are Bridal Portraits Necessary?

Bridal portraits are not mandatory, but you should still consider having one. They can even act as your stress reliever, and you can try your wedding attire, so it’s a dry run of the big day.

But of course, wedding portraits can also be creative. So if it’ll enhance your confidence, why not try a boudoir photoshoot?



And that’s it! We just learned when do you take wedding photos, which can be before, during, and after the ceremony. 

You should ask your wedding photographer to take candid portraits to have a diverse collection. But of course, guide them on when they can take photos, especially with traditional ceremonies and conservative venues. 

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