Why should you ask your photographer for your wedding timeline? You don’t get married every weekend… we do! We want you to have as little stress as possible on your wedding day. Low stress means you’re happier and we capture better photos. There are a lot of details that you don’t think of unless you are a wedding photographer, and we want to make sure we have gone over all your expectations as well as help you prepare for the unexpected. During our first meeting, we will go over your timeline and get an idea of your vision. We will also discuss where and how we can get the most mind-blowing images possible. When your photographer is on track with the wedding timeline, you can enjoy your wedding day without the worry of making sure each moment is being captured! Each and every timeline will be unique but here is a guide to helping understand your day starting from the beginning.

Guys Prep

Most of the time when we start with the guys they are dressed in their shirts and pants, then we take pictures of them putting on their jackets, ties, and flowers. Very often the groom’s parents want to be present and we encourage them to be involved if that is something you want. It is nice to include parents in prep as they are excited to see their son getting ready and help to pin on the flower and to tie the tie. This is also a great time to honor your parents with a letter, gift, or just telling them how much they mean to you.

Black and White picture of Groom and groomsmen at Vizcaya Sacramento by wedding photographers Dee and Kris

Ladies Prep

Girls just wanna have fun! So… lets have fun! When we arrive hair and makeup are pretty much done. The first 30 minutes we will take pictures of your shoes, dress, accessories, etc so have them set aside so we can find them easily. If you have purchased robes, matching shirts, etc for your bridal party to wear during prep we will often take this shot first and they have the bridesmaids get into their gowns. This is also the time that the mother of the bride or whomever else will be present as you dress should also be getting dressed. As they get dressed we will finish prep shots and take some final prep shots of you.

When you get into your gown we can either have all your girls in there with you or you can pick just a few and your mother (or whomever you wish) and get your dress, then do a reveal to everyone else (See first look with your bridesmaids HERE). Most brides who have a large bridal party opt for this to limit the commotion and enjoy getting dressed in a quieter, less chaotic environment. This is a personal preference and left to your discretion. Getting you into your gown, putting on your jewelry, and shoes are really lovely images. It takes about 20-30 minutes for most brides to get dress and it is quite fun!

After you are in your gown we like to get a few bridals (images of just your in your gown), toast with your girls, and if you and your fiance have exchanged gifts/letters this is the time to open them.

First Looks

A ‘first look’ can be anytime someone sees the bride for the first time. Whether it is the Bridesmaids seeing the bride for the first time in her gown after she dressed with just her mother and sister, the father of the bride having a quiet moment with just his daughter before the wedding, or the groom seeing his fiance before the wedding separate from everyone else; the first look is always guaranteed to be emotional and memorable. These are some of our favorite moments as we work to keep them intimate and special.

We are going to work with you before the wedding to figure out what ‘first looks’ you want to incorporate throughout your prep period and where you want them to occur. Also, we encourage you to take this time to recognize those you are sharing your big day with. It is really special to take moments to take your family and friends.

Formal Portraits

Formal Portraits are usually defined as the images that have always been classically taken at weddings. Both parties looking at the camera and smiling. Most of our style is more of a journalistic approach, but everyone always wants formal portraits as well. If you are opting to do a first look pre-wedding then we try to do this before the wedding (including immediate family portraits)


  1. Bride/Groom alone
  2. Bride/Groom with each person in their bridal party alone and as a group
  3. Sometimes we take Bride/Groom with the other side of the party
  4. Bride/Groom with Full Bridal Party
  5. If you want any other combos you will want to let us know!


  1. Bride/Groom + Mom & Dad (If divorced then we will take them to separate as well and with their new spouses if they have any)
  2. Bride/Groom + Mom & Dad + Siblings & their spouses & kids (again if parents are divorced then there will be more combos)
  3. Bride/Groom + Mom & Dad + Siblings & their spouses & kids + Grandparents
  4. Bride/Groom + Grandparents

The Ceremony

THE WHOLE REASON WE ARE ALL HERE! Let’s get you married!! Dee and Kris have never had a wedding start late because of the pictures. A big reason for this is because we build in a 30-minute pre-wedding buffer! I can’t be walking around the grounds, church, etc with a bride because guests will be arriving. We also need to let you breathe for a bit, use the restroom, mic up, and greet your guests. This will also give us a little time to get images of your wedding setup, details, guests, and more. We also need some time to get ourselves ready to photograph your wedding and ensure we are in place as the ceremony starts.

How to Build a wedding timeline


Let’s get sexy! We plan your romance session at sunset to try and get those killer colors. When building a timeline ALWAYS start by checking the time the sunsets, and work backwards.

On occasion, we are unable to get the classic sunset shots due to venue location, weather, etc. In that case, we can get creative with your venue, lights, etc. We will discuss this with you when your book with us and we build your timeline and then again a week or so before your wedding.

During your romance session, you’ll want your veil on, your suit jacket on, and your flowers in hand. These are the images that usually end up large on your wall after your wedding, so they are very important to us and we want them to be over-the-top beautiful. If you haven’t worked with us before, don’t freak out! We know what we are doing and we will help you during this time. Just enjoy being with your new spouse and enjoy your romance session. We often have couples tell us that they loved their time away from everyone to decompress and just enjoy each other.

Silverado Resort Napa Wedding, Dee and Kris Photography

The Reception

Your DJ will run your reception timeline. It is important to hire a pro and not a ‘friend who spins records.’ They are the key to your night being successful, keeping things moving, MC’ing and reading the room to ensure the right music is playing to get everyone up and dancing. Not that a friend won’t do a great job, but a wedding is a whole different ball game. There are formal events, catering timelines to watch for, toasts, etc. to watch for a direct. It takes real talent and an experienced person to run a wedding reception.

Uplighting is something that can be purchased through your DJ. This can add a great look to your reception. In regards to pictures, uplighting looks AMAZING and adds depth.

And the end of the reception Dee and Kris will depart with one last goodbye. But don’t worry, this isn’t the last time you’ll see Dee and Kris! Soon you’ll get a sneak peek of your images and you’ll meet us at our studio for a big REVEAL of your images!

How to Build a Wedding Timeline

Ready to build your timeline with Dee & Kris Photography? Contact us today to book your free consultation and we’ll help walk you through building the ultimate timeline for YOUR wedding!



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