I'm Tonie - my hearts desire is to work with brides who are not afraid of stepping outside their comfort zone for a dance in the rain, a romp under a waterfall or a blustery day that might put wind in her hair!


Wedding Day Timeline for Tonie Christine Brides

Jan 16, 2014

Guide to Day of Wedding Photography:

After shooting over 250 weddings, it’s safe to say this is not our first rodeo 😉 We have seen all the good and hard parts of timeline planning and have found this to be the BEST tool for showing our couples the appropriate allotments of time for different portions of the day when it comes to your photography. Please keep in mind, this is just a guide and of course can be re-arranged or changed. It is put together to help you think through the timing of moving from one place to the next and to make sure we can capture all the significant parts of the day that are on your mind as well as the small details that otherwise may pass us by.

So, I definitely don’t want to overwhelm you with a massive email so I created this post to help you through the timeline process.  I promise this information will be worth it in the end! I just want to make sure I explain everything really clearly so that we’re 100% on the same page when it comes to the timeline and the amount of images, etc. 80% of my weddings have an INCREDIBLE amount of fun portraits that you may see because they opted for a first look. Below you will see a “sample timeline” that will show you about how much time is needed.


Below you will see what the *ideal* allotments of time is for each portion of the day! These are just ideal, and you can change them as you please, just know that it does alter how many photos from each category you will receive. This timeline also does not amount to 8 hours, so there should be plenty of “flex time” that I can help you work with!

Getting ready & Detail photos: 60 min

Bridal Portraits: 20 min

First Look & Romantic Portraits: 45 min

Bridal Party Portraits: 30 min

Family Portraits: 20 min and should be scheduled 1 hour prior to ceremony time so that we have about 40 min to tuck you away to freshen up as guests arrive and we get detail photos of the ceremony and reception spaces. (These should include parents, grandparents and siblings only. Any other larger extended family photos can take place during cocktail hour or the reception.)

Ceremony Here

Cocktail Hour

Reception Starts

Golden Hour Portraits (If applicable and lighting permits) 20 min and should be scheudled typically 45 min before sunset time. Typically it’s around dinner time and we pull you out for a few photos while your guests eat so that they don’t even see you are missing! 🙂



Suggestions if you DO NOT want to do a “First Look”:

While we strongly encourage you to consider a first look, we know that isn’t always what you may want!

So the options are to either do a first look or promise your photographer we’ll have ample time to get everything accomplished after the ceremony. 😉  For my typical 8 hour package I usually recommend a timeframe of 12pm-8pm or 1-9pm but of course this can be adjusted according to your venue and ceremony start time.

If you are considering not having a first look, please make sure to leave at minimum an hour to an hour and a half after your ceremony for Family Formals, Bridal Party Portraits, and your special Bride and Groom portraits! Trust me when I say I want you to be able to spend AS MUCH time with your guests as possible and the least amount of time with your photography team 😉 BUT doing a First look will help eliminate quite a bit of that time crunch stress!



FAMILY FORMALS: Family formals do not have to take over 20 minutes. However, this is only possible if we are organized beforehand! You really don’t need to break out images for you and just your parents. Think of yourself and your future spouse and ONE now. So it should look like couple+one set of parents, Couple+Second set of parents etc. Your questionaire has a place to list these out and little check boxes for the ones we usually automatically do.

Within these groupings, you can have more than one shot (ex. B&G with Grooms parents, B&G with Brides Parents, etc.) If you have a very large family and more than 10 group photos, I suggest saving some of the extended family shots until the reception so that family portrait time will not interfere with your romantic portraits and you will not keep your guests waiting at the reception. Also, there is a place on your questionnaire to please inform me of any family members that may not get along and/or may not want to be grouped with a certain other family members so that we can avoid and awkward interactions during family formals. We will do our best!



We will make sure to capture ALLLL the details of your ceremony and reception areas after we complete your family photos and tuck you away before the ceremony. This makes sure no guests see you, that your teams all have time for finishing touches, you get to freshen up before the ceremony and we get to document it all.

Should you need any more help beyond this tool, please feel free to reach out directly to your photographer, and just know that your questionnaire is the place we will be looking to pull the address where we will need to arrive, the locations, the people, your vendors and all the timing information. So please make sure that is filled out 4 weeks before your wedding and sent back to us. We are SO excited to celebrate you and showcase your amazing celebration!








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