Typical Wedding Day Timeline

The Wedding day goes by real fast. If you haven't already heard this, you will eventually hear this for the 11th-teenth time, yes I know that isn't an actual word but you get the point.

There is a ton of truth to this and thinking about your wedding day timeline is as important as picking out your venue and picking out your photographer! I will take you through a typical Wedding Day Timeline with Jay Zhang Photography to help the newly engaged couples plan out their day with their photographer. 

Getting Ready Wedding Photography Jay Zhang Photography

Getting Ready

Getting Ready is the first thing you do on the wedding day, you wake up and you're excited, or nervous, or hung over. Grab that cup of coffee, send that quick I love you text, and start getting ready! For Photography, this is supposed to be fun, light hearted, easy going, and filled with tons of morning bloody mary's, mimosas or shots of whisky (for the hardcore wedding parties). For the ladies, and Man buns, make sure your hair + make up people are coming at a relatively early time to make sure all these preps are done, with a couple of last minute touch ups and finishing the bride off for the Photographer to take pictures. Coordinate these times with your Photographer and Hair and Make up together.


Details are all the rage, between sunflower bouquets to the Iconic Dress shot to the shoes and earrings you'll be wearing throughout the day. This usually occurs with the Getting Ready Timeline since these details are available before the Bride or Party get dressed to impress. Make sure to list out and collect everything you want to have the photographer take a photo of in terms of details so that they know what to grab. Have someone be the designated details holder and helper to the photographer to grab these during Getting Ready/Details (one of your wedding party peeps).

First Look

First Looks are my Favorite! This is the moment where you'll finally be seeing your soon to be Spouse! (Husband or Wife) You probably can hardly believe that its even happening. The first look not only helps the timeline flow better, but you'll get to see all the guests and family you've invited since you did invite people you wanted in your wedding... yes? Good, then you want to have a first look. There is no running away now!

Couple's Portraits

Right after the First Looks is couples portraits where you're probably taken around the first look location or another location to take some portraits while both of you are still excited about seeing each other for the first time today! If you've done your engagement usually this will run about the same fashion with your photographer, getting you guys to tell each other secrets or do some thing silly that only your goofy and quirky significant other only does. Then laughter will ensue.

Wedding Party Portraits

When its time to bring the girls and boys of your party, its time to get serious, seriously crazy! your boys might already have an idea on what they are going to do with you, and your girls will want to make you look your best. Or everyone will want to do one of those running dinosaur photos, whatever it is, this is the time to do it so plan accordingly!


Its finally time! Its time to officially tie the knot in front of all your guests, in front of all your loved ones, and most importantly, in front of your fiance who will at the end of all this, will be your spouse. Some of you might have taken a ton of time to get to this point, maybe because of financial, political, or family troubles. Whatever it took, it doesn't matter anymore because now you're here, together, finally. Prepare to cry!

Family Portraits

Right after the ceremony is the best time to get family portraits, because that's when all of the family members that you listed with your photographer has been coordinated. If you wanted these to run fast, they will be quick, especially if you want to enjoy that cocktail hour! If you've followed the timeline as such so far, you'll get enough time to enjoy cocktail hour with the guests you've invited! Congrats!

Cocktail Hour

This is the chance for the photographer to catch a small break and/or get some photos of the guests that you've invited, maybe you'll get a photo with them as well if you've been enjoying  the cocktail hour and you finally saw your friend who you've been friends with since elementary school and you didn't get a photo with them yet!

Reception Introductions

Right at the beginning of reception is the intros, that's when your wedding party and your parents are all introduced. So get ready for your names and to do a great introduction! Do something sweet, or do something funny, everyone's going to be bringing your A game, so bring yours!

Reception Shenanigans

What else is there to say? There will be drinks, and they will be shenanigans. I will personally capture them. You've been warned!

Night Photography

If there's time, we will go out for some night photos, so don't get too sloshed, but even if you do, we'll make some great photos.

If you've followed this timeline, you wont be disappointed, but not every wedding is the same, so plan with your photographer accordingly and make sure you keep them in the loop, because at the end of the day, what is left are your photos to remember all the shenanigans, and all the hard work you've put into bringing two or more families together.

Jay Zhang Photography is an Albany Based Wedding Photographer servicing the Capital Region and beyond. Jay Zhang Wedding Photographer aims to capture moments that are unforgettable and irreplaceable and exceptionally creates memories that last a lifetime.