Portland Wedding Photography | Catalina Jean

Wedding Photography Timeline


  • Description: A time to creatively photograph the dress, rings, shoes, florals, invitations, and any other pretty details.

  • Ideal Time Allotment: 20-30 minutes

  • Ideal Time of Day: Right before or during the time when the bride is getting ready.

  • Ideal Location: Near where the bride is getting ready.

Tips: Having time set aside for this gives the photographer the time they need to get creative with the shots of your beautiful details. It is a good idea to have all the little details in one bag (shoes, his+hers rings, jewelry, etc) to make sure your photographer doesn't miss any of the small details you would like photographed. 



  • Description: Capturing photojournalistic images of the various stages of the bride getting ready with her bridesmaids including final touches and putting on the wedding gown.

  • Ideal Time Allotment: 30-45 minutes

  • Ideal Time of Day: When the bride is getting ready.

  • Ideal Location: Bridal suite, hotel, or other place where the bride is getting ready.

Tips: It is a good idea to keep the getting ready area fairly clean since any clutter can end up in the photographs. Wear something pretty like a white robe or cute PJs. It may even be fun for your bridesmaids to wear something cute since your photographer will be taking photos of them as well. One photographer may be able to capture both the ladies and guys getting ready but a second photographer may be needed. 



  • Description: A private moment between the bride and groom to see each other for the first time all dressed up. 

  • Ideal Time Allotment: 30 minutes

  • Ideal Time of Day: After the bride has completed getting ready.

  • Ideal Location: At a convenient but beautiful location.

Tips: Having some time set aside to warm up to the camera is crucial to ensure relaxed and natural portraits during the bride and groom formals. Also consider doing a quick first look with some of your family members right before this time.



  • Description: Portraits of the bride and groom with their bridal party. 

  • Ideal Time Allotment: 15-30 minutes (depending on size of bridal party)

  • Ideal Time of Day: After the first look and warm up portraits.

  • Ideal Location: Pretty location(s) that are easy to get to and aren't too far away.

Tips: Your photographer will work to create a mix of both formal and natural portraits with you and your bridal party. If you have any special or fun suggestions for the photos definitely let the photographer know!



  • Description: Portraits of the bride and groom with various members of their immediate and extended family.

  • Ideal Time Allotment: 15-30 minutes (depending on amount of family combinations)

  • Ideal Time of Day: After bridal party formals or directly after the ceremony.

  • Ideal Location: A pretty location that is easy to get to and not too far away. 

Tips: Your photographer will work with you before the wedding to create the list of family combinations you would like photographed. This will ensure that the time is used efficiently. It will also prevent any family combinations from being missed. 



  • Description: Capturing a combination of formal, fun, and romantic portraits. 

  • Ideal Time Allotment: 30-45 minutes

  • Ideal Time of Day: Later afternoon or near sunset for the best light if possible. If not possible then this will take place directly after the first look or after bridal party and family photos are completed. 

  • Ideal Location: A few gorgeous locations around the ceremony or reception site. 

Tips: The bride and groom are now relaxed and use to the camera. If possible it is best for these to take place during the late afternoon or early evening when the best light is taking place. If afternoon/evening is not possible then see the next section on how to still get those pretty sunset photos. 



  • Description: Does the weather and wedding location take advantage of some awesome sunset light? This option is a way to take advantage of it if your formal portrait time couldn't be done around sunset. 

  • Ideal Time Allotment: 10-15 minutes

  • Ideal Time of Day: During the reception about 30 minutes before sunset.

  • Ideal Location: A beautiful spot near the main reception location that will take advantage of the late afternoon/sunset light. 

Tips: Every photographer agrees that light is the most important aspect to creating great photographs. And there is no better light on a sunny or partly cloudy day than the later afternoon/sunset. Chat with your photographer about if this option is a good fit for your wedding day. 



  • The purpose of this page is to give an estimate of time needed for each section of your wedding. However, definitely sit down with your photographer to come up with a timeline that works best for your specific wedding. Time/location of ceremony, season, and weather conditions can alter what will work best for you.
  • It is crucially important to arrive on time at the very beginning of the wedding day. Getting too far behind schedule will cause stress and could cut down on the time you have set aside for your photography. It will also be difficult to relax, which is crucial for creating beautiful portraits, if you are feeling exceedingly stressed or rushed. Furthermore, we strongly recommend hiring a professional day-of coordinator or at very least enlisting a friend to keep things on track and to handle any issues that may come up. 
  • Are all wedding day activities at the same location? If not, take travel time into consideration. We recommend calculating the exact time it will take to drive from one place to another and then doubling it (i.e. the drive will take 15 minutes so set aside 30 minutes on the schedule). Traveling always takes longer than expected so this way you will be prepared with a little extra wiggle room just in case. 
  • Be careful not to have too much to drink before all your photographs are completed. A glass of champagne or wine is absolutely fine (and encouraged) but don't go too far. You want to look your very best in your photographs. 
  • Relax as much as possible and HAVE FUN! Laugh, cry, enjoy every moment of this incredibly special day!