Because I want my clients to be as relaxed and stress-free as possible, I’m posting a series of guides to feeling stress-free on your wedding day. Here, in Part Four, I’d like to talk about bride and groom portraits and how to establish a timeline that allows you for a stress-free wedding day.


Bridal Guide to Stress Free Weddings: Bride and Groom Photos

It’s no secret that bride and groom photos are my favorite part of the day—not just because the moments you share on the day you become husband and wife are nothing short of magical but because these are the photos you will share with others for the rest of your life. They’ll be on your walls and in your heirloom album. One day, you’ll show them to your kids and grandkids too. You might not hang up the photos of you cutting the cake or entering the reception, but you will definitely want to show off the look of pure joy on your face as your love holds you close.



You’ll hear me talk about “soft, beautiful light” a LOT on the days leading up to your ‘I do’s, but you might not understand quite what I mean until you see the pictures. I don’t want to get too technical on you, but I will say that the closer the sun gets to the horizon, the more the light diffuses. All the sunlight gets filtered through little particles in the air, making it “softer,” which is why many photos are most beautiful at sunset. There is less harsh shadow, and the light is more flattering on your skin as well as the landscape around you. 


I recommend arranging your timeline first and foremost around beautiful light for your bride and groom photos. I like to plan for at least 30 minutes, but the more time you give me, the better your photos will be—and the more you’ll receive!



While most couples do a first look prior to the ceremony, I don’t like to spend too much time on photos before the ceremony. There are a lot of nerves building up to the ceremony, but once it’s over, not only are you MARRIED but you’re in a giddy, I-can’t-believe-I-just-married-you love bubble of joy. And that makes for some amazing moments! You’ll want to budget about 30 minutes for these photos, depending on the location and how many different gorgeous backdrops we have to work with.


As you prepare for your wedding day, you want to have the most beautiful photos of yourself and your spouse. Follow these steps, and you’ll be on your way to stress-free images!



Sample Timeline: 


2:00 pm Maija and Assistant arrive at getting ready locations

2:15 pm Getting Ready Photos begin of Bride and Groom

3:00 pm Bride and Groom First Look & a few portraits

3:30pm Wedding Party Photos

4:30 pm Family Photos

5:00 pm Photos Completed - this is where I would go around and get detail shots and candids of the guests coming in and you can take a deep breath and freshen up before the ceremony)


6:00 pm Ceremony Begins (Approx. 30 minutes)

6:30 pm Bride & Groom Photos (30-45 minutes)


7:15 pm Arrive at Reception

6:30 pm Reception Begins / Cocktail Hour / Lawn games, etc. 

7:30pm Dinner served

8:15pm Toasts

8:30 - 10:00pm Includes any or all of the following: First dances/ Open Dancing/Hang out/"Cake" cutting

10:00pm Photographers contracted to end


Using a timeline like this will make sure that your schedule allows for plenty of time to get the right light for your images, all through the day. I hope you’re enjoying the Guide to Stress-Free Images! If you missed the first three parts to this bridal guide, check them out here: 

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3