The Best Wedding Day Timeline for Photography

An 8 hour photo timeline is the most common package we sell.  For us, this works best to ensure all the key moments of your wedding day are captured and no special moments are missed. Here is a rough draft and example of a wedding day timeline with the ceremony starting at 5:30PM.

Bride and Groom wedding timeline

1:30 PM:  Photographers and / or Videographer arrive for getting ready photos.

Capturing the details of the entire day help to tell the complete story of your wedding. We tell our brides to be in the finishing stages of hair and makeup when we arrive, but not in the dress yet. While you and your bridal party are in the finishing stages of hair and makeup, your photographer or videographer should arrive to photograph the details of the wedding that you are going to want to remember. These details include your dress, shoes, jewelry, and bouquet.

2:30 PM: Bride Gets Dressed

An hour might not seem like a lot, but depending on your schedule you should be finishing getting ready around this time. Many brides request that we capture the moment of them getting into their dress while others ask us to come in after they are covered. Either way is fine with us as this is just a matter of personal taste.  If MOB is around, it’s nice to have them witness and even help you get into the gown along with your bridesmaids.

2:30 PM:  Groom and Groomsmen Final Preparation

On the groom’s side of things, the men should be finishing up getting dressed as well. We send over our 2nd photographer to take some fun shots of the guys getting ready. Guys have it easy…LOL!

3:00 PM:  First Look

This can be an emotional part of the day.  Once the location is set up, the groom will be placed in position and the bride will surprise him.  Usually this is just a moment between the bride and groom and the photographer or videographer on hand. See more here about why we love capturing  ‘The First Look’

3:30 PM:  Bride and Groom Portraits

During or after your first look, you will want to take some Bride and Groom portraits as well after your photographer or videographer captures the moments of the first look. We’ll pick out a special location with nice lighting and help direct you to ensure you look your best for these fun and romantic photos.

3:45 PM:  Family Photos and Wedding Party Photos

Once you have your  first look and bride and groom portrait session, the rest of the family can join in on the fun.  During this time, the rest of the wedding party will come in to take formal wedding photos with the bride and the groom.  Make sure that everyone in the wedding party is on hand about 30 minutes before 4:00 so that time is not wasted scrambling to get everyone together. Bridesmaids should have their bouquets and if there are children in the wedding party, they should be ready as well.

5:00 PM:  Preparing for the Ceremony

Ok now that the formals are out of the way, everyone has a few minutes to just relax, get a drink, and recompose themselves and get ready for the ceremony.  This is also usually when guests start entering the wedding venue and situating themselves.

5:30 PM:  Ceremony

Get ready to get married! Here comes the bride! All eyes are on you as you walk down the aisle. This is perhaps the most special moment of the big day and we cover it from multiple perspectives. It’s always nice to see your expression as you are walking down the aisle with all eyes on you…but let’s not forget about your groom! We make sure to capture his reaction as well and these are some of our favorite photos from a wedding day.

6:00 PM:  Family Photos and Cocktail Hour

Now that everyone is together, you can choose to take some extended family photos with other members of your family.  Depending on how big your family is, there could be a huge line of family members wanting to get their picture taken with the couple.

For the other guests, there is usually a cocktail hour where refreshments and Hors d’oeuvre are being served.  After the family photos are taken, the family can also get in on the cocktails and refreshments before going off to the reception venue.

We give the B&G a choice here to either venture out and take more fun couples shots in nice sunset light or if they wish to enjoy the last half of their cocktail hour, they can.

6:30 PM: Reception File In

Around this time guests should be arriving at their reception spots and should begin filing into the area.  There may be a sign-in sheet for guests to leave a note as well.

6:45 PM: Reception Begins

When the reception officially begins, some music may start being played and announcements or introductions of guests may begin.

7:00 PM: Grand Entrance

During this time, the wedding party will likely make their grand entrance, and the first dance will begin.

7:30 PM: Dinner is served

8:00 PM:  Speeches and Toasts

8:15 PM: Special Dances

During this time, whatever special dances you have planned for the night can ensue.  This may include Father/Daughter, Mother/Son, etc.

8:30 PM: Open Dancing

Party time!

9:00 PM: Cake Cutting

9:15 PM: Bouquet Toss and Garter Toss

9:30PM:  Photographers Exit. It’s rare for us to stay to the end of a reception unless there is a grand exit planned in which case more hours can always be added to the day.

• Of course not every wedding (or culture) can fit into this timeline and we certainly can customize a package to fit within your needs.

To inquire about our wedding photography services, please email us at

Sherwood Country Club Engagement Pictures.

We don’t often get the chance or the time to explore the course for great scenic shots on wedding day, but for this engagement session, we did some major exploring. Of course it helps that my clients happen to live in Sherwood and are members of the club. This hole is simply amazing.


Sherwood Country Club Wedding



Sherwood Country Club Wedding with a Marine… and his Beautiful Bride

Written by Andrea Schmitt:

We all get bogged down with the everyday stresses of life.  The one thing that always puts things into perspective for me is when I read a story, see a show or see photos of people in military uniform.  I have a deep respect for the men and women in the military, so obviously it was an honor to spend an entire day with Marine and his lovely bride.  Julie and Matt got married at  one of our favorite wedding venues, Sherwood Country Club .

Any bride will tell you that planning a wedding is insane!  Now imagine planning a wedding on the short timeframe based on the schedule of an active Marine.  Julie along with coordinators Allison and Heather from Sherwood Country Club, kicked butt putting together this amazing soirée.  It was the sweet, elegant details that I noticed- I mean look at that cake topper! Perfect.

No tux here..Matt wore his Marine formals and looked the part. Marines are trained to handle the most difficult situations and don’t show fear very easily. And his wedding day was no exception.  His nerves were in check and he seemed very excited to marry the love of his life! As for our stunning bride, her entire look, was nothing but gorgeous!  I was going crazy over that veil.

As a father I would imagine giving away your daughter on their wedding must be one of the most emotional days of their life.  Julie’s father’s toast was filled with emotion, but also happiness in knowing that his daughter would be well taken care of by this wonderful man.  For all you fathers out there this is the type of guy you want your daughter to marry!  He even called dad and traditionally asked for his daughter’s hand in marriage.

Julie and Matt may your journey be as beautiful as your wedding day!  And to both of you, thanks for the service and sacrifice for our country.

Click Here to view more Sherwood Country Club Weddings

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Sherwood Country Club 320 W Stafford Rd, Thousand Oaks, CA 91361 (805) 496-3036

For your Sherwood Country Club Wedding, please email us at

Rustic Wedding at Hartley Botanical Garden. Featuring Josh and Kelly.

Written by Andrea Schmitt

If you want a beautiful rustic and romantic outdoor setting for your wedding, you must check out the Hartley Botanical Garden.  The venue has beautiful grounds surrounded by vine covered archways, winding walkways and a private intimate garden setting.

The botanical details of the day were everywhere from the napkins and invitations, the green accents of suspenders and shoes, to the roses on her dress.  This dress was an extravagant work of art -love love love it!  Also, look at the bouquet – crafted by hand as one enormous rose. Brilliant!

Another original detail was the beautiful stained glass Cross specifically designed, for Josh and Kelly by Paul Martinez. We set up a special night photography shot illuminating the cross and it turned out to one of my favorites from the wedding.

A vintage Rolls arrived in time for the romantics we shot of Josh and Kelly.

“The Beginning of a Sweet Life” was the sign for the dessert table.  What a cute detail, inviting all to enjoy these delicate desserts- Marble Cake Shots, Sugar Cookie Sammies, Peanut Butter Cupcakes… oh yeah.

Josh being a musician himself, wanted their friend, Brendan James to sing a song he wrote for the first dance.  What an amazing performer-no wonder he has over a million hits on YouTube-check him out!

We love it when the couples have the bartender pour themed Signature Drinks. Guests enjoyed the “Tangney Tonic” and our friend Matt Gudis from Who’s that DJ kept the guests dancing and it made for a great party!  For an end to this storybook romantic wedding, Josh and Kelly along with the guests lit up their sparklers to make for an awesome grand exit.


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Hartley Botanical 4465 Balcom Canyon Rd, Somis, CA 93066 (805) 297-5268

Delicious food from one of our favorites Command Performance Catering

Cake Goodness

To inquire about Photo and Video Services, please email us at