There is one sure way to make your wedding day less stressful. No matter the size of your celebration, Creating a Jackson Hole wedding photography timeline will help keep everything running smooth. I’m focusing this particular post on wedding timelines that include bridal parties and receptions. I’ll be sure to share a simplified elopement timeline soon.
A quick tip to helping your day run smoothly is to map out the moments that are most important for you. Planning this out is also key in deciding how much photography coverage you will need! These are general timeline guidelines to get you started, but you’ll want to factor in personal preferences. And, I definitely focus on the photography aspect. Your wedding planner can help create a more specific timeline that includes all your vendors! For wedding planning recommendations, check out Grand Teton Events, Elope Jackson, Destination Jackson Hole, White Antler, and Grand Teton Weddings.
Photographers typically arrive when hair and makeup is almost complete, but this may change based on your desired coverage. Couples should plan 30-60 minutes for Getting Ready Photos, sometimes more if they have a large bridal party present for this portion. If the bride would like to have a boudoir session, it’s best scheduled directly after hair and makeup beauty services are finished. Plan to set aside 45 minutes and choose 2-3 outfits. Getting Ready time may be split if boudoir photos are scheduled. Not sure if you want “Getting Ready” Photos? Check out why you might want to include them in your wedding timeline.
I’m a huge fan of first looks! If you’re planning a first look at your lodging or onsite at the ceremony location, you should set aside about 15 minutes. If you have additional first looks planned, they can range from 5-10 minutes depending on the complexity. First looks between daughters and dads, groom and groomsmen or bride with her bridesmaids, or any other combo in your mind is an option!
If you’re planning a first look at a location other than your lodging or ceremony site, plan on extra time. We’ll take advantage of the change of venue and take some wedding portrait photographs while we’re there. Depending on the other portions of the day, I usually recommend 30-45 minutes for this first look and portraits afterwards.
For a traditional wedding day, sometimes this is the largest chunk of time we’re photographing you formally in your wedding attire. In that case, I recommend planning for the longer portrait time regardless of location. I’ll touch more on this further down too!
Ceremonies range in coverage length, but a general rule of thumb I give my couples is 30-45 minutes. This time may need to include processional, prayers, poem readings, vow readings, recessional, and any other special touches you want to include. You’ll also need some time for your witnesses to sign that important paperwork!
After your first look, I recommend jumping into the family photo and bridal party portraits next. This will let you get them all out of the way before all your guests arrive. And it means you get to happy hour faster after the ceremony.
If you don’t want to plan for family photos before the ceremony, then they typically happen right after the ceremony, and during Happy Hour!
Of course, we want to document the important people at your celebration. So, make a shot list, but keep it as simple as you can. Think of the family groupings you want the most, and how much time you want to set aside for photos. Depending on the list, family photos may take anywhere from 20-40 minutes. And Bridal Parties just a bit shorter, usually 20-30 minutes. Think of each grouping as taking about 2-3 minutes. Some variations take less time than that, but wrangling everyone for big groups can take more. It’s just an average and we look at your list, family dynamics, size of bridal party, etc when deciding how much time you’ll need.
Depending on the time of the year, we will sometimes need to steal the couple away for portraits directly following family photos. Because the sun sets earlier during parts of the year, this is something we consider for each wedding individually. At a minimum, I need 30 minutes of solid couple portrait time. You will not regret setting aside this time for your Wedding Portraits. I promise you, it is so very important. The candid and family photos, and all the other portions of the day are important and special too. But the photos we take during your wedding portrait time are the ones most likely to be printed and hung on your wall.
This time can also vary wildly based on the wedding you’re planning. For elopements, we typically spend a few hours in and around Grand Teton National Park for photos. But if you are planning a wedding at a venue, your Jackson Hole Wedding Photography timeline will be closer to what I’ve included here. If you decide to take couple portraits inside Grand Teton National Park, or the surrounding area, we’ll need to plan that time in accordingly!
When possible, we love to sneak you away right before sunset! In the summer, this is usually after dinner and toasts and special dances. But in the spring, winter, and fall, it may be too tricky to work around dinner scheduling. No matter when we take your formal wedding portraits, we’ll make them special and beautiful!
It’s time to introduce you as a couple and sit down with your loved ones for a celebratory dinner. Have all your guests seated, then enter into the reception space and straight into your first dance as a married couple. Spend a few minutes as a quick welcome / thank you speech and then sit down for a yummy meal. I recommend planning about 45 minutes for eating before moving into the toasts. Guests can finish up their plates while listening to toasts. When toasts are all finished, announce special dances or open up the dance floor! It’s time to PARTY.
Many of the Jackson Hole wedding venues have a cut off time of 10pm for noise and music. Our couples don’t always have us stay until end of night, and instead focus on 60-90 minutes of open dance floor time. But, if you’re planning something special for your send-off then by all means, we can stay out late!
Let’s show you what a sample FULL DAY Jackson Hole wedding timeline looks like using the break down I mentioned above. Our typical events are closer to 6-8 hours, but occasionally we are on site for 9-10. For ease of use, I’m featuring a heteronormative couple in the example, but these ideas could easily be adjusted to accommodate your personal relationship dynamics.
11:45am – Getting Ready Photos onsite with Bride + Bridesmaids
12:35pm – Outdoor Ceremony area detail shots onsite
12:50pm – Getting Ready Photos onsite with Groom & Groomsmen
1:05pm – Boudoir Session with Bride
1:50pm – Bride Into the Dress with Mom
2:10pm – First Looks
1) First Look with Bride + Bridesmaids
2) First Look with Bride + Groomsmen
3) First Look between Groom and Best Dog
4) First Look with Bride and Groom
2:40pm – Couple Photos onsite
3:00pm – Bridal Party Photos
3:30pm – Stash the bride, Indoor Reception area Detail shots, candids
Ceremony & Post Ceremony
4:00pm – Wedding Ceremony (between aisle walks, ceremony, vows, exit, etc)
4:30pm – Family Photos (dependent on list) + Happy Hour (In this example, the couple have lots of family and friends traveling and want lots of photos with them, and then want to be part of happy hour before dinner)
5:55pm – All Guests seated
6:05pm – Grand Entrance right into first dance
6:10pm – Dinner Plates down / line for plating
7:10pm – Toasts start before dinner is totally finished
7:30pm – Special Dances
7:40pm – Open Dance floor!
8:00pm – Steal the Bride and Groom for Sunset Pics
8:30pm – Dance the night away!
9:15pm – Honeymoon Dance
9:45pm – Coverage Ends
Would you like help creating your own Jackson Hole wedding photography timeline? Let’s chat about documenting your big day! I’m here to help with vendor recommendations, location ideas, timeline planning and checking in along the way!