Wedding Day Schedule and Timings: How long should everything take on your wedding day?

Are you getting married soon and wondering how long your morning prep should take? Here's a suggested timeline to get you started. Not all weddings will be the same but this is a good foundation to start with your wedding timeline writing.


All together you should set aside about 2-2.5 hours of your photographer's time for your hair & makeup.

First things first - hair and makeup! On average, you should schedule for 2-2.5 hours of photographer's time for hair and makeup for yourself and your bridal party. However, this time frame can vary depending on the size of your bridal party, the complexity of hairstyles and makeup for each person, and the travel time between where you get ready and the ceremony location. To avoid any potential delays, it's crucial to plan well in advance.

Typically bridal prep can vary depending on different reasons, such as:

  • the size of your bridal party
  • the complexity of the hairstyles and makeup for each person
  • travel time between where you get ready and where the ceremony will be held.

All of these can contribute to the timing for getting ready, which is why it is really important to plan well in advance.

Some brides choose to get their hair and makeup started before arriving to the venue at their hotels etc if the venue restricts arrival time in the morning.


Typically the photographer will arrive about 2 Hours before the end of Bridal prep time and start photographing details and candid getting ready shots.


Tidy the environment (make beds, pick up objects and litter, hide the suitcases and bags, etc…).

Have all the detail items out and together. Remember to keep ALL the rings together. We will help coordinate to get them back in time for the ceremony.

Get ready in a room with as much natural light as possible – artificial light produces strong yellow tones that are hard to Photoshop out. Try not to mix artificial and daylight as these light sources are two different colours and can affect the colour of your finished images.

If you are getting professional hair/makeup, plan for longer than the stylist says, as this part of the day is most likely to run behind schedule. It will happen, so build a buffer into your timeline.

  • The getting ready time can be broken down into parts (these are all average, but this is typically how it plays out)
  • Details and general candids: 30 minutes - 1 hour
  • Bridesmaids together in robes: 5-10 minutes
  • Bride getting dressed and finishing touches: 30 minutes (wait to put on earrings, jewellery, and shoes until after you’re dressed)
  • First look with dad/parents: 5-15 minutes (this can be faster if it happens and coordinated in the same room. If you have to find another place it will take longer as you will have to move all the participants and tidy the environment.

If you have two photographers, your partner can be photographed at the same time, and for men, getting ready is usually as simple as putting on jackets, pocket squares, and ties. With two photographers usually theres a lot more time for groomsmen groups shots and greeting guests as they arrive for the ceremony which is usually missed with a single photographer.