Wedding Timeline & Planning Tips

Having been a part of variety of Indian weddings, we quickly recognize a well planned Indian wedding timeline that can help a bride and groom achieve their dreams. From our photographers perspective — we put together a few pieces of advice for each part of your wedding day that would get you the most for your wedding photography.

Getting Ready

Some of the key moments of our coverage include documenting your getting ready. For Indian Weddings, we like to start 2-3 hours before your Baraat ceremony. This provides us the opportunity to photograph your final touches of makeup and getting dressed, as well as allow us enough time to photograph any of your details and individual portraits.


If possible, ask your hair/makeup artist to set up near a window or in a place with great window light and not use any artificial lights such as lamps or overhead light. That way your photos will look natural and your makeup will look exactly the same when we go shooting outside.

To avoid being overcrowded, try to have only a limited amount of family and bridesmaids/groomsmen with you in your suite where you are getting ready.

Have all your details such as gown, shoes, jewelry out and ready to be photographed prior to us arriving, that way we don’t have to wait for it.

First Look

Because Indian wedding timeline follow a tight schedule, setting aside time for a first look allows couples to do portraits and all the necessary family pictures beforehand. Natural light is one of the biggest assets a photographer could have, so we try to take advantage of sunlight as much as possible.


We recommend scheduling at least 45 minutes to 1 hour of the day for your first look and bridal portraits with the bride and the groom together around the property.

If you’ve scheduled a first look for your day, we ask that your planner or a planner’s assistant help coordinate the moment so that we can be ready to shoot it when it happens.

Consider having a bridal assistant or family member to help with the dress and anything you may need during these photographs. This helps for a smoother time moving through the property with the bride and groom.

It is recommend you complete your immediate family and bridal party portraits before the Baraat ceremony. Please be sure to allow at least 30 minutes in your Indian wedding timeline, depending on the number of groupings.

Bridal Party & Family Portraits

Typically, we encourage our couples to photograph their immediate family portraits before their Baraat. Immediate Family consists of the members listed below. These are the basic family formals we will be taking during this time. If you needed additional groupings, be sure to let us know prior to the wedding.


1. Couple alone

2. Couple with bride’s parents

3. Couple with bride’s parents and siblings

4. Couple with bride’s grandparents

5. Couple with groom’s parents

6. Couple with groom’s parents and siblings

7. Couple with groom’s grandparents

Extended family portraits are suggested to be done after the ceremony. Extended family consists of important aunts, uncles and cousins. Since the families tend to be large, we normally set aside 30 – 60 minutes. You should keep in mind that to set up, photograph, and break down each group takes about 5 minutes per grouping. Try to limit your extended family portraits list to a maximum of 10-15 groups. Additional extended family groupings can be taken during the reception in a more candid style. Organizing your extended family by groups helps facilitate the speed at which we complete these portraits. Here is a grouping example:

1. Couple with Aunt X and Uncle X and the X Family

2. Couple with Aunt Y and Uncle Y and the Y Family

3. Couple with Aunt Z and Uncle Z and the Z Family


If a first look is scheduled, we typically photograph the immediate family during that time and any important extended family after the ceremony. If no first look is scheduled, we do all formals after the ceremony.

When family portraits are scheduled after the ceremony, please be sure that the family participating knows to stay seated and wait for the session to begin. As we are usually restricted to a short amount of time to complete these portraits and we need to be sure everyone is ready to go when called.

Ask your planner to make sure you have an assistant or a trusted family member to help with gathering family as we may not be familiar with all your families.

Wedding Ceremony

Whether they are traditional and long or modern and short, knowing what to expect helps us capture each and every important moment during your ceremony.


We understand guests desires to take their own pictures. However, consider having the officiant ask guests to simply be present and enjoy the moment. Posting a simple “no cellphones” sign could also be very helpful. Often times guests end up in front of our cameras and we may miss an important moment.

If you are considering having an indoor wedding ceremony, consider having your professional lighting for your mandap so that you are not sitting under darkness. Also, try to avoid colored gels and lights as they distort skin tones that are nearly impossible to correct in post production. Even lighting in natural white or soft amber tonality photograph the best.

Evening Couples Session

Before your reception begins, we spend the first 15-30 minutes photographing your reception looks before or during your Cocktail Hour. Shortly thereafter, we spend about 10 minutes photographing you with your immediate family in their reception outfits.


Remember that your immediate family is also getting ready while you are. Please have them be aware what time and location to meet for immediate family portraits. If they are not there, it takes away from the time we need to be photographing during your Cocktail Hour.

Decor & Cocktail Hour

 During Cocktail Hour, we take the opportunity to photograph all your reception decor. Also during this hour, we photograph your guests as they enjoy mingling and set up our equipment prior to the reception start.


All the decor & lighting should be ready for enough time (10-15min) to allow us to photograph it with no other vendors in the room.

Wedding Reception

It’s party time! During this time of the night, we are photographing all your formalities with your friends and family as well as all the fun!


After the first dance, it’s ideal for the parent dances to immediately follow. This makes sure that the couple looks fresh and avoids sweaty, unflattering photographs when dancing during these moments.

For ideal shooting conditions we ask that the lighting on the dance floor stays natural. White or amber during any formalities. The blue, green & purple color lights result in very unnatural skin tones that often cannot be corrected in post production. Ask your DJ or lighting company not to use any colored lights or any crazy disco lighting during the first dance, parents dances and speeches.

Ideally, we would like to take our vendor meals break at the same time as your guests. That way we will not miss anything and we will be ready to shoot when things pick up after dinner.

Have Fun!

Don’t forget to relax and have fun on your wedding day. The day flies by quicker than you think. Being present and in the moment with your friends and family is not only beneficial for you, but provides amazing moments to photograph. By the time we reach the wedding day festivities, we’ve already spoken to our couples and their planners extensively. Remember, these are live events that can change at any moment. The more prepared we are, the more successful the day will be. We are open to suggestions and want to hear from you.

Interested in chatting with us about your wedding day? Contact us! We look forward to hearing from you.

Read more related tips about our approach to Indian wedding photography.