So as a photographer I like to help out with your timeline if I can. Now I will say not every wedding is the same and not every day goes perfect. My usual idea is to allow a little padding in the time to then not fall behind by ceremony or reception time.
So the first factor for me is this a full day coverage or 8 hour photography package. Personally my couples hire me mostly for full day coverage. It goes with my style of telling a story. So if I look at a typical wedding with a 4:30 start time here is the best case timing. Also this is assuming no first look and summer wedding without an early sunset.
Wedding Day Schedule
9:00 Hair and Make-up
1:15 Bride to get dress on
2:30 Bride and Bridesmaids
3:15 Guys Photos at the church
4:00 guest arrive
5:10 family photos at Church
5:30 Bride. Groom and Bridal party photos
6:30 to 7:00 Grand Entrance into reception.
9:00 Sunset photos
10:00 Photographer Leaves
This is pretty typical for my wedding day. A few tweaks for me will be adding a first look. Also will change a few things depending on where the guys are getting ready. If it’s at the same location I might run around to see what’s up with guys. With the first look I do about 50/50 with my couples. I find if the ceremony is later then we do a first look to get the portraits done earlier. Also with my winter weddings here in Ohio The sun sets early so its dark for the ceremonies so a first look is needed to have enough light for all the group photos.
Every photographer is going to adjust the timeline for their style. I like to get as many photos done prior to the ceremony to save time but also this frees up time to work on getting better shots of the bride and groom together after the ceremony and closer to the golden hour lighting.