Wedding Photography Timeline – Tips for Getting the Best Light

After your wedding is over, you’ll have your memories and your photos (and video if you so choose). So, getting your wedding day timeline right is really important. The time of day is crucial for making the best of your wedding photos list. Hear from a photographer on how to use your wedding photography timeline for the pictures that matter most.

Best Time of Day for Wedding Photos | Wedding Photography Timeline | Hill City Bride Wedding Blog

This is an updated republish of a post by Liz Cook

Light for Your Wedding Photography Timeline

Your big day arrives, and everything is perfect. The tables are set, the ceremony arch is stunning, and you look – and feel – more beautiful than you ever have in your life. Cue the first look wedding photos! One thing to consider before the big day is the wedding photography timeline in relation to the light.

Believe it or not, the lighting outside can play a big part in how your photos turn out. Of course, a pro will know what to do at various times of day, but knowing when to take wedding photos can help your photographer capture all of those must-have wedding photos that you will have for years to come.

Another word about lighting for your must-have wedding photos…

Great photography is a result of great light. Natural light is constantly changing throughout the day as the sun moves from the east to the west. There are certain times of the day when the sun is in the ideal location for that perfect, glowing portrait of a bride and groom in love.

Those times are as close to sunrise as possible and about an hour before sunset. To get the most out of your wedding day photography, I highly recommend you consider your wedding day timeline throughout many elements of the big day.

Must-have Wedding Photos | Hill City Bride Virginia Wedding Blog

Even with a destination Friday wedding timeline, the light is important for great images.

Consider the time of day for your wedding photos list.

By checking out the light around the time of your event before the big day, you give yourself the chance to make minor changes that could make a major difference in your photographs. If you are having an outdoor wedding, make sure you visit your venue at the exact time you plan to start your ceremony.

Observe how the light falls around where you will be standing. Bring your fiance, and look at the light on his face. If he is squinting because the sun is in his eyes, then he will most likely be squinting in the ceremony photos, too.

Knowing this information ahead of time should give you ample opportunity to make any necessary changes so that you will end up with the best possible first look wedding photos and snaps during your ceremony.

First Look Wedding Photos | Hill City Bride Virginia Wedding Blog

How long for wedding photos? Chat with your photographer about a getting ready timeline. 

Consider the time of year in your wedding photography timeline.

If your dream wedding photos include rolling hills spotted with fall foliage colors, then you will probably want to have an autumn wedding. Or if you always picture having your pictures in front of Monument Terrace in downtown Lynchburg, you could probably have your wedding at any time of the year.

My point is, by knowing what kind of images you want you should also know the type of scenery you want. Consider the season in which you plan your wedding, and understand what your scenery options will be before the big day arrives. Plan according to what you want.

Don’t’ forget about the time changes in the spring and fall! You should definitely factor in Daylight Saving Time at various points throughout the year.

Wedding Day Timeline | Hill City Bride Virginia Wedding Blog

Must-have wedding photos like this come down to your wedding photography timeline. 

Consider your wedding day timeline.

You can know the best time of the day to take your portraits, but if you don’t execute a good wedding day timeline then you won’t have time to have your portraits taken! When you sit down to plan your wedding photography timeline for your big day, plan for everything to take longer than you might imagine.

A thirty-minute ceremony with a receiving line quickly becomes one hour. When time gets tight, the first thing to be cut short is often your time with your photographer. Also, remember to generously calculate the amount of travel time between locations. Plan accordingly to maximize your time with your photographer.

So, factor in the light to have lovely images you’ll cherish!

Weddings are whirlwind days filled with emotions, activities, and to-dos. Your day will be full of excitement! Use these suggestions to assure your memories will be captured in the best possible way by the photographer you hire. Wondering about engagement photos? Take a peek at our three reasons why they’re a great idea!

Jennifer 2023 Thumbnail


I'm Jennifer!

I inspire brides in

Virginia & beyond.

Glad you're here!



Sell Your Wedding Dress
Plum Diamond Engagement Rings Lab Grown
My Registry Wedding Registry




Hitchswitch Change Name After Married
Mens Wedding Bands
Azazie Wedding Dresses




Honeyfund Wedding Registry
Miss to Mrs Wedding Subsrciption Box
Tribute Video Montage




Etsy Weddings
Beyond Yoga
Mens Wedding Rings Bands




Capucine Engagement Ring
Kennedy Blue Bridesmaid Dresses
Ten Thousand Villages

(434) 851-2224 |

Located in Lynchburg, Virginia