For Brides: Timelines

When it comes to your wedding day, something you might not think about having to figure out is the timeline. As a guest at a wedding, you don’t really think about the timing or flow of events – you just go from ceremony to reception & enjoy! When it comes time for your own wedding, you realize pretty quickly how many things are included in the timeline & it can seem a little overwhelming at first (especially if event planning isn’t something you’re used to doing!).

If you’re working with a planner, they will be able to help you nail down a timeline for your day. Having a detailed plan allows all of your vendors to make sure they are on the same page to make your day go as smoothly as possible!


When you’re working on detailing out your timeline (whether it’s you or your planner), I recommend making sure your photographer is able to chime in as well. Your photographer is going to be the expert when it comes to how much time is needed to capture various parts of the wedding day, and can collaborate with your planner to make sure everything is lined out to provide ample time for each portion while reducing stress! If there are certain photos that mean the most to you (getting ready, details, bride & groom portraits, etc.), be sure to mention that to your planner & photographer so that they can be sure to build in sufficient time for those topics in particular!

If you aren’t working with a planner, don’t get overwhelmed at the thought of breaking everything down for a timeline. I always send a tentative timeline to my brides & grooms so that they have a starting place to go from, and can see how their selected amount of wedding day coverage will span the day’s events.

Here are a few tips for planning your wedding day timeline:

  • Break the day into sections (pre-ceremony, ceremony, & reception) to make it more manageable. Then look at just one section at a time & take a break once it’s planned!
  • Know what you want. Will you be doing a first look? Will you be doing a father-daughter first look? Do you want group shots of you & your bridesmaids during getting ready (think matching cute robes or monogrammed button downs!) & once you’re dressed? Are you doing something unique for your exit that you want to be sure you have in photos? Knowing all of the key moments that are important to you (outside of the ceremony) will be really helpful in making sure you can have intentional time scheduled for them!
  • Give yourself some cushion. One of my favorite things is when the timeline includes a bit of a breather for my bride & groom (& the rest of the bridal party) prior to the ceremony. I’ll be using that time hard at work photographing ceremony or reception details while you all get to relax, grab a bite to eat, or sip a coffee (or mimosa) real quick. Having a bit of blank time prior to the ceremony also allows some cushion if getting ready took longer than expected, and portraits need to get pushed back a bit.
  • Ask the experts. You’ve selected vendors that you love & trust, so let them help you plan the timeline! As wedding vendors, we do this all the time, but you shouldn’t have to feel like you need to be a pro at timeline structure. Don’t be afraid to ask for help in getting it all figured out!
  • Plan ahead, but be flexible. Wedding days always have curveballs that can throw a timeline off a little bit, and that’s ok! As your wedding photographer, I am prepared to be flexible (and after more than a decade of planning & running major events, I’ve gotten pretty darn good at adjusting throughout the day!).


For more in the For Brides series, check out these posts: 

For Brides: Why You Should do an Engagement Session

Kingwood wedding photographer - Why you should have engagement portraits taken by your wedding photographer

One thing I commonly hear from brides as they are planning their wedding and weighing options for photography is the question “Do we really need engagement photos?” Often times, engagement photos can be seen as just an extra cost – I strongly disagree!

Now, I’m not here to tell you you absolutely have to have them or your wedding/marriage won’t be a success. That’d be ridiculous.

I am here, however, to tell you the reasons why I think you should WANT to have engagement photos taken.


1. Yes, it’s nice to be able to have a great, professional image of you and your fiancé to use on your save the dates if you’re sending them out. Definitely a plus and sets the tone for your wedding – especially if the images look great AND capture the spirit of your relationship.

2. Getting professional portraits taken isn’t something that many of us do regularly throughout the year. For some people, the last real portraits they have are from their graduation, or from being a part of a friend/family member’s wedding. Getting high quality images that highlight this incredible time in your lives is of value. You’ll be able to look back at these years from now and remember the excitement, joy & love that filled this crazy season of wedding planning. Bonus: you’ll have great portraits of you at this age in something other than wedding attire!

3. Wedding planning can be stressful. (If you’re feeling that now, take a second to click through my To the Newly Engaged series… Seriously, I’ll wait.) Taking some time out for the two of you to be together and not be talking about color palates, seating charts or bridal party gifts is of value. You get to just take some time to really focus on each other, have some fun & enjoy yourselves!

4. When I get to spend the extra time with you during the engagement shoot, it allows me to get to know you better. While this may not seem like a huge deal to some brides & grooms to know your wedding vendors & for them to know you, in the case of your photographer, it is so important! Of all the vendors you select for your day, as the photographer, I am the person who is with you the most. I want my brides & grooms to be comfortable with me being by your side, and knowing that I’m there for y’all as your begin your marriage.

5. Most importantly, getting engagement photos done gives you the chance to become comfortable in front of my camera. If you’ve gone through an hour or two of taking photos with me, you’ll already be familiar with some of the poses & the way I will guide you/talk you through things during the bride & groom portraits. This eliminates the “awkward phase” that happens on pretty much every shoot from your wedding day photos!


So as you select your wedding photography package, I hope you get excited about including an engagement session!

I’d love it if you would take a second to share this post with one person you know who could benefit from it!

For more in the For Brides series, check out these posts: 

For Brides: Wedding Day Details

Kingwood wedding photographer - wedding details you should have ready for your photographer

When people think of wedding photography, they tend to think of bride & groom portraits, ceremony shots, first dance photos, etc., and rightfully so! Those are some of the key parts of the day and priorities for photographs.

But something less commonly thought of would be the details (especially the bride & groom’s personal details), and I just think they don’t get the credit they deserve!

The details are what make up the day – and they’re also such a great way to remember the way the day felt, and to really be able to see the full story of the day through your photographs! To remember the perfume you wore, the delicate pattern of the lace on your veil, the perfectly-designed invitation suite you sent out to loved ones to invite them to stand witness to the beginning of your forever.

Nacogdoches photographer images of bridal wedding details

Wedding day details have such great potential to be a place where the bride & groom can really bring their personalities into their wedding celebration, and it’s a great opportunity to highlight what’s most important to them.

For example, for me, family is everything so I had the first piece of jewelry my grandmother received from my grandfather wired into my bouquet, along with the lace trim of my mother’s wedding dress wrapping the stems. I am so incredibly grateful to have beautiful pictures to remember exactly how that looked since those flowers are long gone now. I will be able to take those photos & show my girls when they get older & ask about our wedding, or even as they plan their own.

Be sure to communicate with your photographer about any personal touches and sentimental details like that so they can be sure to get photos of them for you! This is included in the pre-wedding questionnaire I have each of my couples fill out because it is so important to me to honor those things for my brides & grooms! (Plus I love that it allows me to get to know my brides even better as they fill me in on the personal stories behind the special touches they’ve planned!!!)

Nacogdoches photographer images of bridal wedding details

Here are a few of the things I would suggest having on hand and ready for your photographer as they arrive:

  • Bridal accessories (shoes, jewelry, hair piece/veil, heirloom pieces, bouquet, rings, etc.)
  • Invitation suite (these tend to get lost post-wedding, so having a good photo of it is important!)
  • Letters or gifts you are exchanging with your soon-to-be spouse
  • Your perfume or cologne bottle
  • Any photos or mementos of lost loved-ones
  • Groom/groomsmen’s boutonnieres
  • Groom’s accessories (watch, cuff links, tie, shoes, etc.)

For more in the For Brides series, check out these posts: