Planning to get married? Congratulations! Although incredibly exciting, planning an event of this magnitude can get nerve-wracking. Couples often worry about when to begin, whom to hire, etc. However, one of the biggest concerns is establishing the UK wedding photography timeline for some gorgeous and fun-filled photos. Why? It’s quite simple –  you want to soak up and enjoy every moment of it!

Luckily, have a chance to design and plan your celebration the way you have always wanted. The timeline for photography at weddings serves as a guide, ensuring you get all the pictures you want. 

That said, the next question that ensues is: how do you design a UK wedding photography timeline? Worry not; we are here to help you! In this article, we will provide a guide to help you establish it, including different events and activities from the day.

UK Wedding Photography Timeline

A Standard UK Wedding Photography Timeline


From getting ready to the ceremony part to the reception, tons of things need coordination. We will walk you through the timeline for wedding photos, which typically begins several hours before the actual ceremony. 

  • 9:00 AM- Hair & Makeup
    Marking the official start of your UK wedding photography timeline, it is the time for the bride and bridal party to get the hair and makeup done. Therefore, it is essential to allocate enough time for this activity as it takes a couple of hours for everyone to look their best.
  • 11:00 AM
    Bride and Bridesmaids Getting Ready
    Once hairstyling and makeup are done, it’s time for the bride to get dressed. Allow ample time for the girls to get ready and make final adjustments.
    Groom and Groomsmen Getting Ready
    While the bride and bridal party are getting ready, the groom and groomsmen can take time to get ready and prepare for the day.
  • 1:00 PM- First Look
    It is a special moment when the couple get to see each other for the first time before the ceremony takes place. Typically, it happens between the newlyweds, but other people from the wedding party can be involved. We usually recommend couples to have the first look done to calm their nerves and let them be comfortable before the big ceremony. Keep in mind that first looks are completely optional. If you don’t like to have a first look, simply exclude it from your wedding photography schedule.


  • 2:00 PM- 3:00 PM- Arrival of Guests
    Guests should arrive at least 30 minutes before the ceremony begins as it provides them time to sit comfortably and take in the beautiful setting.
  • 3:00 PM- 3:30 PM- Ceremony
    The ceremony is the main event of the day and a highlight of the UK wedding photography timeline. It is the time when the bride and groom come together to celebrate their union and exchange vows. We recommend couples stick to this schedule to avoid delays later in the day.


It is time to celebrate once the ceremony is over – dancing, toasting, dinner, and just having fun! Generally, it starts with the grand entrance of the wedding party. Shortly afterwards, the newlyweds and guests have dinner.  After dinner, speeches and toasts are given by the loved ones of the bride and groom. They can last for up to 30-60 minutes, depending on how many of them are there. In fact, if you opt for a rehearsal dinner, you’ll know how much time to allocate on your timeline for photography at weddings. 

Because most of your guests will be settling in during this time, it’s recommended for you to step out and do your portraits. Make sure to scope the venue beforehand to know which backdrops suit you best.

  • 3:30 PM- 4:00 PM- Cocktail Reception/ Portrait Session
    Following the ceremony, guests are ushered for the cocktail hour, where they can socialise, enjoy drinks and congratulate newlyweds. After you’ve greeted everyone, have your portraits taken.
  • 4:30 PM-6:00 onwards- Reception
    It is the time for dinner, dancing, and speeches. We recommend keeping the reception timeline on track to ensure all events are completed by the end of the day.

  • 5:00 PM: Dinner
    Usually, dinner is served during the first hour of the reception, and it is time for the guest to relax and enjoy a delicious meal. Because your photographer will be eating at this time as well, you needn’t worry about taking pictures.
  • 6:00 PM- 7:00 PM- Speeches and toasts
    This is an important part of the reception, where the maid of honour, best man, father, mother and other special guests share their stories and memories with the bride and groom.

UK Wedding Photography Timeline - dancing

  • 7:00 PM onwards- Dancing and Celebrating
    As the main part of your reception, reserve this part of your UK wedding photography timeline for candid photos. Simply let loose and enjoy your celebration to the max!
  • 10:00 PM- Exit
    Much like the first look, special exits are completely optional, though they sure are spectacular! However, if you’ve booked a venue without a curfew, inform your photographer ahead of time when you want to do it. 

With this, we conclude the UK wedding photography timeline. Initially, it may seem overwhelming to you, but trust us – having a plan makes things a lot easier. By following this schedule, you can ensure your day runs smoothly and have enough time to interact with your guests and enjoy with them. The shared timeline is just a template; you can amend it to suit your requirements. 

Remember, the key to successful execution on the wedding day is to be flexible, stay relaxed and calmly enjoy the beautiful moments.

UK Wedding Photography Timeline

Tips for a Successful Wedding Photography Schedule

  • Leave plenty of time for redos, packing, overruns and more.
  • Usually, ceremonies last for up to 30 minutes, but it is still advisable to ask the celebrant how long they anticipate the ceremony.
  • Plan additional time for confetti and guests to congratulate you.
  • Consider having a longer cocktail hour, so you have enough time for portraits.
  • If you are a bit tight on the timeline, we recommend having a second photographer to help with candid photos.
  • Allocate some free time between meals and speeches or your first dance, as you may have to welcome any evening guests or freshen up.

We hope our blog post will help you nail your UK wedding photography timeline! Need a photographer to capture your most cherished memories? Don’t hesitate to contact us!