As a professional videographer, you might already know the importance of timelines without us having to tell you! Time is of extreme importance when you are in the job of capturing moments. It’s the moments between the moments that need to be caught in your frame, so being agile and being at the right place at the right time is extremely important. While you probably can’t be everywhere at all times, planning your positions to the T is extremely important to capture some of those blink-and-miss moments. This is when creating a timeline for the day can come in handy.

Timelines are sacrosanct and as a professional videographer, it will save you a lot of stress. Having a plan, especially on a day that will be filled with a lot of action and chaos (read: wedding day) can be incredible for a videographer as it gives you a clear direction to follow for the day, an agenda which you can stick to and share with your client so that they are on board with the plan too. Whether it is a wedding video session or another event that you are covering, having an agenda is like having a mutual interest before you build something. Not only does your timeline enable you to arrive with confidence, and armed with a plan, it also does a lot of good for the other party! Providing your client an agenda before you arrive ensures that you are setting the day up for success too. Admittedly, the clients are probably going to be very busy, or might even be nervous (or shy) for the filming, and we assure you that they will appreciate an agenda so that they can prepare mentally for it.

As you are the official wedding videographer, you will be there hands-on from the time the bride gets ready until the wedding party ends. Setting clear expectations with the couple for your plans for the day will ensure you get those precious video snippets without much problem! While it might help to get a secondary videographer for the event, it is fair to admit that you can’t be everywhere! The most important rule of this wedding videography timeline is all about starting with what is important to you and what the couple wants to document, and it varies from couple to couple. If you create your own wedding videography timeline, it is the surest way to ensure a stunning wedding video. Apart from being the best person to take calls regarding lighting and important moments, you would know the exact way to capture the day and do it justice. From knowing when to schedule a group video capture and when to steal the couple away for some lovely couple portraits, who can be a better person to orchestrate it all! In this article, we will talk about a feasible wedding day videography timeline that you can prepare and keep handy for all your future wedding videography events and filming needs- so that you get all of those clips that you need, and never miss a beautiful moment!

Perfect Timeline For Wedding Videography

Early arrival for any b-roll of the venue (45 to 60 minutes)

Plan to arrive early at the wedding venue and get those amazing drone shots or b-rolls for the wedding film! As a videographer, you will already know the importance of aerial snippets of the wedding venue, filler videos, and the general overview of the property, and getting those done before the activities of the day picks up is a good idea. This is also a great time to get snippets of the ceremony decorations, the aisle decor, the empty seats, and such. If you have a drone included and the weather is cooperative, capture some epic aerial footage.

Detail clips of the bride and groom (45 to 60 minutes)

The bridal gown, shoes, rings, invitations, florals, and other accessories can all be captured around this time. While this may appear to take a long time, curating perfect frames of those adorable and aesthetic details can turn out to be quite time-consuming and it’s better to get those out of the way! If you want to get a snippet of the dress in its full glory somewhere in nature, or you want to take in a clip of the bridal bouquet as it lays by the window sill, this is the time. Also, film everyone getting ready in a casual manner. This is usually when the final touches are made to the makeup and hair, or enjoying each other’s company. If there are candid moments of the bride cracking a joke, or the bridesmaids all toasting their mimosas, all in their matching getting-ready ensembles, capture it all!

Getting ready clips (40 minutes)

This is the time when you get to capture the bride and groom getting ready for their magical day. Whether it is the mother of the bride zipping the bridal dress up for the bride, or the best man placing the boutonniere on the groom, these snippets are all extremely important, and its best to get those precious moments from both parties captured well! Let the bride and her girls pose one last time, and let the groom fix his necktie and enjoy these moments with his closest friends.

First looks and reading letters (15 to 30 minutes)

First look with the couple’s parents is usually a quick and fun event that lasts around 5 minutes! The first look with the spouse, on the other hand, is usually a little longer! Photographing the first look is probably one of the most appealing parts of wedding photography! You can photograph the first look and bride and groom images in 30 minutes, but you may choose to have a longer time if feasible. 30 minutes is the absolute minimum amount of time to be devoted to this, as you wouldn’t want to rush them. Setting aside adequate time will allow you to be creative while also providing some much-needed alone time for your couple. Some couples tend to skip the first look but exchange letters instead, which can be another emotional moment for you to capture!

Bridal and groom party clips (30 minutes)

Depending on the size of the bridal party and how cooperative everyone is, you can usually complete bridal party clips in under 30 minutes. However, you’ll want to capture everyone together, the groomsmen only, the bridesmaids only, and specific family members with the bride and groom separately. You can surely move through them rapidly in one area if your wedding video timeline is closely adhered to. You could want to add some extra time for some more creative bridal party group videos or a different location to give the wedding film some variation!

Pre-ceremony (15 minutes)

Before the bride finally walks down the aisle for the ceremony is a good time for you to capture the wedding guest seats filling in, the groom taking his position in the ceremony arch, the wedding decor details, and other intricate details as such. You will also want to capture the entry of the flower girl and ring bearer, the bridesmaids and the groomsmen, and finally, the bride. While it might seem like a lot of time, all of this happens pretty quickly, all within 30 minutes or so.

Wedding ceremony (30 to 60 minutes)

From here on out, things will move quite quickly, so stay on your toes! Ensure that both the bride and groom’s reactions are captured during the wedding processional, vow reading, ring exchange, and any other special customs you have planned. They’ll also be watching for reactions from members of your close family, including parents, grandparents, siblings, and the bridal party. Please keep in mind that most weddings have a different time block. The type of wedding ceremony your client is having will determine the timeline. Religious rituals can span anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or so, while non-religious ceremonies usually last around 15-20 minutes.

Post-wedding ceremony (15 to 20 minutes)

You’ll want to photograph the bride in her gown and the couple walking down the aisle as a married couple since these are significant moments. If the couple wants to do any post-wedding unity ceremony, capture those too. Any confetti being thrown or roaring cheers and applause should be captured as well.

Golden hour clips (15 to 20 minutes)

This is the portion of the day that your couple, and probably you too, as a wedding videographer will be most excited about! When planning your wedding schedule, remember to highlight the necessity of a brief sunset clips time as a wedding videographer. Not only would they appreciate the small break during their reception, but these sunset hour clips are often guaranteed to be one of their favorites from the entire day. Keep an eye on the sky and check the sunset time ahead. Keep an eye on the clouds and weather 30 minutes before the appointed time to begin capturing cinematic sunset clips of the couple.

Cocktail hour (1 hour)

The wedding reception is packed with a lot of activities one after another, and it all starts with the cocktail hours which are usually at least one hour long. This allows time for your visitors to transfer from the ceremony seating to the cocktail hour. Some details shot of the drinks and the guest unwinding can be captured during this time. Avoid taking shots of people eating!

The grand entrance (15 minutes)

The grand entrance of the bride and the groom announces the start of the reception, and capturing the entrance is extremely important. Usually, couples go through this process pretty swiftly, and take their seats in their designated seats, after which the toasts start! The grand entrance to the couple’s wedding reception is a crucial moment of reception celebration and the wedding videographers shall be ready to capture it!

The reception (2 to 3 hours)

The majority of wedding receptions feature a welcome or toasts, followed by cake cutting and dinner, all extremely important moments. Inquire the couple in advance about the toasts, cake cutting, and dance time. The wedding dances are extremely crucial and memorable moments and must not be missed. While the day blends into the evening, the wedding reception is the trickiest to capture as the lighting is often dim, the location is indoors, and the place is noisy. So make sure you have additional videography gear to capture these moments, whether it is a good microphone or additional lighting sources.

The reception (2 to 3 hours)

Here’s a common wedding reception timeline for you to keep in mind.

  • Toasts (15-20 minutes)
  • Cake cutting (15-20 minutes)
  • Dinner (45-60 minutes)
  • Special dances: 15 minutes (first dance, with parent dances following)
  • Guest dance party

Wedding exit (5 minutes)

After spending the finest day of your life with the love of your life dancing the night away, it’s time for the pair to embark on their forever adventure and travel to their getaway car, boat, helicopter, or horse and carriage. The wedding exit can be as dramatic or as simple as the couple desires, but make sure you document the journey to their happily-ever-after in all its glory! Make sure you have the best low-light videography setup ready as its a blink-and-miss event and you will need to be on your toes to capture it best.

Additional Tips For Creating An Effective Wedding Videography Timeline!

Getting to and from the venue

It’s easy to forget scheduling the time spent commuting to and from the venue, so put that in as well. Take into account details like the traffic at that time, the time spent at parking, which can add to your travel time. Always give yourself grace and some extra minutes for travel time as you never know what the road will look like.

Dont rush

While adhering to the timeline is important, it is also important to let the couple enjoy the moment and not rush them from one filming moment to the next. Even the best-constructed timelines can sometimes feel too cumbersome, so have some grace with yourself as well as the couple and remind yourself to not rush.


Remember, rest is productive! A day out filming for a videography assignment might be a pretty busy one, but it’s realistic to schedule breaks for yourself! Bring snacks and stay hydrated as you will be involved in a lot of running around! Wedding shoots can be a day-long affair, sometimes even longer, and to capture the great moments of your clients it is always necessary to have little breaks, refuel and keep yourself energized!

Having a wedding video timeline will take away a lot of anxiety from your filming day, making the day more enjoyable not only for you but also for the couple, as they will already be aware of the expected timelines. This will make the process a whole lot smoother for both parties, making you not only feel confident on the actual filming day, but will also leave room for creativity to strike you and provide you the inspiration that would impact your work. The goal here is to have fun, capture those moments, and have the nitty-gritty things like timelines already established and understood by all. That way you will find that you are more adventurous and creative in your shooting endeavors and capture the nuances of the wedding day which you would have missed otherwise!

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