Natasha McGuire Photography

St Louis Wedding Photographer

Congratulations on your engagement! You may have already selected your wedding venue and your searching for the best wedding photographer! I’m so glad you’ve found me! You might wonder, how many hours of wedding day coverage will you need. We can figure this out together, by taking a look at your timeline.

Wedding Timeline

Let’s break down a common timeline of a wedding day. Depending on the images that you are looking for, I am happy to advise you on what might work best.

Getting Ready

Some couples select a hotel or airbnb that is close to their ceremony location as their getting ready location. If you are both getting ready at the same location, that makes it easy for us to capture getting ready images for you and your partner.

Second Photographer Benefit: If you are getting ready at your home but your partner is getting ready at another location, your second photographer can photograph your partner along with his/her wedding party members.

Time-saving Tips:

  • Have your detail items gathered together and in one location, that way they are ready to be photographed and we don't have to spend time finding everything.
  • If you have custom dress hangers, please have the dresses hanging on them already and have the dresses out of the plastic bag.

While you are busy getting your hair and makeup done, is great time for me to photograph the bride or groom’s details. You will find some detail items listed below, please tailor to fit you and your partner.

Bride/Groom #1 Detail Items:

  • Wedding dress
  • Bridesmaid dresses
  • Flowers (Bride's and bridesmaid’s bouquets)
  • Boutonnières
  • Rings and Ring Boxes (Bride's engagement ring, wedding band and Groom's ring)
  • Jewelry
  • Shoes
  • Purse
  • Perfume
  • Invitation (Including your reply card and envelopes, (2) invites if possible)
  • Veil
  • Any heirloom items

Wedding stationery, wedding rings, bridal purse, bridal shoes and loose floral

Ask your Florist: To deliver your personal flowers (bouquets, boutonnières and wrist corsages) to your getting ready location, this way they can be included in your detail photos. Many times they will also provide loose floral for your flat lay images.

Ask your Hair/Makeup Artists:

  • How long will hair/makeup take per person?
  • How many hair stylists and makeup artists will be coming to your location?
  • Please let the photographer know when you are almost finished with the bride's hair and makeup. That way we can photograph just the finishing touches.

Pro Tip: I recommend that the bride is not last on the schedule. That way if someone else is taking longer (some people have more hair), it doesn't make the bride run behind schedule.

I also enjoy taking photos of the ladies hanging out and candid photos. If you have matching silk robes or pajamas, we will take group photos once everyone’s hair and makeup is complete. I love that the moms were included and that the bride included her floral PJs:

Bridal robe and PJ photo at Four Seasons Hotel St Louis

You might have your mom help you with your dress, veil or jewelry. If so, she should be ready early.

Mother of the bride assisting with wedding dress buttons and loops using a crochet hook

This is the time of day when your hair and makeup is the most fresh! This is the perfect time for solo photos to be taken of the bride.

Bride near window with view of the Arch at Four Seasons Hotel St Louis

If time allows and the location is fitting, we could also take photos of the bride with each bridesmaid or flower girl at this time.

Groom/Bride #2 Detail Items:

  • Shoes
  • Tie
  • Belt
  • Cuff links
  • Sunglasses
  • Watch
  • Cologne

If time allows and the location is fitting, we could take photos of the groom with each groomsman at this time. This is a great time for photos of the groom solo as well.

You might have your mom help you with your boutonniere or tie. If so, she should be ready early.

Mother of the groom assisting with groom's boutonniere

First look

You might select a first look so that you can see each other for the first time in a more private setting. It also allows you to go right into wedding party and family photos immediately following the first look. This lessens the gap of time needed between the ceremony and reception.

Wedding party photos

If you have selected a first look, we can take photos you and your partner with all of your wedding party prior to your ceremony. If you are not having a first look we will take these photos after the ceremony.

  • Bride/Groom #1 with each bridesmaid/wedding party member
  • Bride/Groom #1 with all bridesmaids/wedding party members
  • Bride/Groom #2 with each groomsman/wedding party member
  • Bride/Groom #2 with all groomsmen/wedding party members
  • Wedding couple with their entire wedding party

Wedding party on the rooftop of the Four Seasons Hotel St Louis

Pro Tip: Would you like to go off site for wedding party photos? For example, Forest Park, Lafayette Park or Tower Grove Park. Don't forget to factor in drive time to your timeline.

Family photos

If you have selected a first look, we can take photos you and your partner with your family prior to your ceremony. If you are not having a first look we will take these photos after the ceremony.

Pro Tip: Please be sure that all family members know the time and location they should arrive for family photos. Some might assume that these will be taken after the ceremony. It has become more common for these to be taken prior to the ceremony and after the first look.

Think about which combinations you would like to have. Some common combos are:

  • Newlyweds w/ Bride/Groom #1 Parents
  • Newlyweds w/ Bride/Groom #1 Immediate Family
  • Newlyweds w/ Bride/Groom #1 and Bride/Groom #2 Immediate Families
  • Newlyweds w/ Bride/Groom #2 Parents
  • Newlyweds w/ Bride/Groom #2 Immediate Family

Candid of bride kissing groom during family photos

If there are additional family group photos that you would like, please list them on your family formal shot list and allow 2 minutes for each additional shot.


Formal photography will stop at least 30 minutes prior to your ceremony. This will allow for me to set up for your ceremony and photograph your ceremony details and guests arriving. I will select the best location for me to stand for your processional. I will take into consideration any restrictions that your church or wedding location might have. My goal is to not distract from the ceremony in any way.

Ceremony on the rooftop of the Four Seasons Hotel St Louis

Cocktail hour

Often times, this is when you will be having your family and wedding party photos taken, especially if you did not have a first look. If you’d like to attend cocktail hour with your guests, you might consider having a first look.

Second Photographer Benefit: If you would like photos of your guests enjoying cocktail hour, please let me know and we will make sure your second photographer is present. This is also a good time for your second photographer to capture your reception venue décor.

Ask your Decor Company: What time will the reception be fully decorated and ready for photos? Please allow at least 30 minutes prior to guests being seated for decor photos to be taken.

Pro Tip:
Make sure your catering and decor companies know what time decor photos will be taken. That way they are not photo bombing your decor photos. Ask them to let your photographer know once the decor candles are lit. We love capturing candle lit decor photos!

Bride and Groom at sunset at Four Seasons Hotel St Louis


The reception timeline is important to consider, so that both myself and the DJ are prepared for the order of events.

A sample of the reception timeline might be:

  • 5:00pm Guests enjoy live music, cocktails and appetizers
  • 6:15pm Grand entrance of newlyweds and wedding party
  • 6:30pm Speeches and toasts
  • 7:00pm Dinner begins
  • 7:45pm Sunset photos of the newlyweds (Depending on the time of year.)
  • 8:15pm Cut the cake
  • 8:30pm First dances
  • 8:45pm Garter and bouquet toss
  • 9:00pm Party/dancing photos

Pro Tip: Google search "What time is sunset on (insert your wedding day)." The hour prior to sunset is the best time for outdoor photos. This will be the perfect time for outdoor romantic photos of just the two of you. If you are having a summer wedding, sunset is later in the day. If you are having a winter wedding, sunset is a lot earlier.

Formal Exit: Sparklers and/or getaway car, make for super fun images at the end of the night. Another great option, is an outdoor night shot, like below:

Night time photo at Four Seasons St Louis

Ready to get started on your timeline and hours of coverage? Fill out the form below and I’ll send you my wedding day questionnaire.

Wedding Rehearsal

I enjoy meeting the whole family and wedding party the day before. If you’d like to schedule photos for that day as well, please let me know and we can add that to your photography package.

St Louis wedding vendors from the Four Seasons Hotel wedding photos:

Wedding Planning/Coordination: Missy Asikainen and Angie Williams
Venue/Catering: Four Seasons Hotel St Louis
Bridal Party Hair/Makeup: Eye Do STL
Bride's Dress: Clarice's Bridal
Wedding Officiant: STL Wedding Celebrant
Videographer: Metrospect Media
Floral Design and Dècor: An Affair to Remember
Dècor, Drape & Lighting: Exclusive Events
Caricatures: Bax Illustration
Paper Goods: Courtney Winet Design
Live Music: Gold Standard Musicians
Photography: Natasha McGuire