How to plan your Wedding Day Schedule for Photography

Today I am delighted to welcome the fabulous Colin Murdoch Studio to give some brilliant advice on how to plan your Wedding Day schedule for Photography.

As wedding photographers, couples sometimes ask them about how to plan their wedding day schedule in terms of the photography.

They love being asked for advice because it helps them to understand your plans for the day, plus it also helps them get the best out of the day for you…which is what it’s all about!


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I hand over to Colin and Heather who share their tips…


“Firstly, every wedding is different, so don’t think that the following is exactly how it has to be.”

“It’s YOUR wedding day and a professional photographer should be able to work with you and make the best out of any situation – that’s what you’re paying them for.”

“And secondly, even though we’re talking about a schedule here, please don’t worry if things don’t happen right on time on the day.”


“Use your schedule as a guideline, not a strict rule, and don’t panic if things slip a bit.”

“Running a bit behind isn’t something to stress about – all you should be doing on your wedding day is smiling and enjoying yourself!”

“There are a few things to take into consideration when you’re thinking about your schedule, and we’ve covered some of the main points below.”

“But if you need any help at all during the course of your wedding planning, do ask your photographer.

“If you have hired a professional, they’ll be only too happy to help you.”

“We make a point of offering as much help and support to our couples as they need in the run up to their wedding day, even if it’s not directly about wedding photography!”


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Morning Preparations

“Every wedding is different and every photographer may do things differently, but we love being able to tell the whole story of a wedding day, from preparations through to dance floor action.”

“As there are two of us, we can easily split up to spend time with each of you as you get ready before the ceremony (if you want us to).”

“We recommend about 60-90 minutes for prep photos, but we work with each couple to figure this out beforehand.”

“We photograph all the details such as the dress, shoes, flowers, cufflinks and of course all of your prep such as hair and make-up being done (for the ladies anyway!) and spending time with your bridesmaids or groomsmen as they get ready as well.”

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“If there’s time before you leave for the ceremony, it’s a great opportunity to capture some portrait shots of you and/or group shots of you with your bridesmaids/groomsmen/family.”


Number of Locations

“Are you having your ceremony and reception at the same venue? Or perhaps a church ceremony, followed by a reception elsewhere?”

“The more locations there are on your wedding day, the more complicated things can get, so if you can, keep it simple!”

“Think about where everyone’s going to be getting ready as well.”

“If your ceremony is at a hotel, why not get ready in a room there? It will reduce the amount of time spent travelling, and reduce the risk of anyone being late or getting lost.”

“Your guests will also love it if you have the ceremony and reception at the same venue or only a short drive away, because they won’t have to travel too far either.”

“All in all, the more locations you have, the more travel time you’ll need to build in to the schedule, and the less time you might have for everything else.”


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Family/Group Photos

“Although we always work with couples to achieve what they want out of the day, we find that most of our clients want to keep family and group shots to a minimum.”

“On average these photos take 2-3 minutes per group, so for example, 5 group/family photos could take about 10-15 minutes…another good reason to keep them short and sweet.”

“We recommend taking these photos straight after the ceremony so that once they’re done, the guests involved can go straight to the reception and start mingling.”

“Depending on what you want to do, and the number of guests, a good way of doing this is to start with a big group shot of everyone, then break it down into smaller groups until we’re left with just the couple.”


TIP: Having a cocktail hour directly after the ceremony is a great idea, because your guests can go ahead and begin celebrating before you head over and join them.

Also, it gives us a chance to get into the reception room and take photos of it before your guests are allowed in.


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TIP: Consider asking someone who knows you well to help out during the group shots.


“Firstly, making a specific list of who you want photos of beforehand will really help on the day.”

“We send a form out to our couples to fill in before the wedding so they don’t even have to remember to do this bit!”

“Secondly, it’s usually getting the right people together for photos that takes the time, rather than the actual photo, so if you can it’s useful to have one or two reliable members of your wedding party aware of what’s happening so they can round the right people up.”

“That way, we can concentrate on taking photos and you can enjoy being happy newlyweds!”


Portraits of the Couple

“Ideally, immediately after the group photos and whilst your guests are mingling at the reception, we’ll take 30 minutes or so to do some portraits of the two of you.”

“This is one of our favourite parts of the day and we want you to treasure this time with just the two of you; it’s a great time to catch your breath before you head off to the reception.”

“If we can, we’ll usually try to catch you for a few minutes later on in the day too (perhaps when the sun’s going down and the light is amazing) to grab a few more shots.”

“We don’t monopolise your time though…it’s YOUR day and for the most part, we’ll be in the background, capturing things as they happen.”

“We want you to be able to spend lots of time with your guests – it’s about the two of you, not us stealing you away (even if it is for some amazing photos!)”


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“Obviously your schedule can be adapted to your own unique wedding day with your own photographer (who might have different ideas to us!) but we hope that this helps with your Wedding Day schedule planning and gives you an insight into how we work.”


Advice courtesy of The Colin Murdoch Studio, a husband and wife photography team (Colin and Heather).

Working closely together, they take photographs that tell the story of your wedding day in an unobtrusive, natural style; capturing moments as they happen, as well as creating some beautiful, natural portraits of the two of you to treasure in the years to come.

Based in Skipton, North Yorkshire they’re well placed to cover weddings throughout Yorkshire, Lancashire and Cumbria but they’re also happy to go further afield – all you have to do is ask!


To Contact the Colin Murdoch Studio



Phone: 07754 566122






UK Wedding Blogger with an eclectic style based in Glasgow

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