How to plan the perfect Scottish wedding timeline

You’re getting married in Scotland? A braw idea!

This blog is for you if you want a wedding that runs like clockwork and ends up with the best wedding ‘photos. Read on for my pro-tips on a great wedding running order (or schedule, agenda – or whatever you refer to it as!).

I’m also going to explain why you need to plan to have ‘photos taken at what I call ‘golden hour’…


First up: how does a Scottish wedding run? I have attended hundreds of weddings and this approximate running order works brilliantly and keeps everything on track:

11am – Getting ready

This is an exciting part of the day, where the Bride, her parents and Bridesmaids have the photographer present to capture those candid pre-wedding moments. As well as having your make-up and hair photographed, we shoot images of your bridal prep, such as your dress, shoes, jewellery and perfume, so here’s

2pm – Ceremony

The ceremony will last around an hour and the ‘photos will capture the Bride walking down the aisle, the ceremony and your first kiss as a married couple. Check with your venue that photography is permitted, as some churches don’t allow this.

3pm – Post-ceremony ‘photos

This is a great fun part of the day, where most photographers focus on group shots. I always recommend getting the couples shots in first, such as Bride and Groom, parents etc.  The reason I recommend this 

So, with the pics of the most important guests done first, group shots can then commence – and some can even take place after dinner if need be. Whoa! 

5pm – Drinks reception

This is a nice opportunity for some happy pics of people generally being joyous while quaffing some fizz!

6pm – Dinner and speeches (or wedding breakfast if you are a traditionalist!)

You may not want ‘photos taken during dinner but speak to your photographer if you’d like any taken during the speeches.  This is a great time in the day to capture high emotions, as people laugh and cry during those personalised tributes from the bridal party.

7pm – Cake cutting and first dance

Your photographer will be pleased to stay on for these, too – just make sure you have booked this within your package.


Hold tight for pro-tip #4: Try to ensure your wedding schedule allows for at least some ‘photos taken during ‘golden hour’ – the time in the day near sunset when the natural light is at its most flattering, romantic and atmospheric. You won’t want to miss this, as your ‘photos will become the lasting legacy of your big day. I mean, look at this:


Now, in Scotland, sunset times vary substantially – both seasonally and regionally – even although we’re a tiny country! This is all-important when it comes to knowing when this special, beautifully-lit window-in-time is going to be on your wedding day! I would even suggest tweaking the wedding timeline above ever-so-slightly to accommodate it!

Late Autumn/Winter

In late Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan and even into early Feb, the sun sets around 3pm, give or take, so 1.30pm would be an ideal ceremony time, with plenty of time for ‘photos and capturing some very special shots during golden hour.

Late Winter/Early Spring

In Feb, March and early April, as well as Sept and Oct, the sun sets somewhere between 5pm and 7pm. This would mean a ceremony starting around 3.00 for pics taken straight after. If you’re not a fan of a later start, your ceremony could be earlier, with the majority of ‘photos taken post-ceremony – and then you can schedule in a wee slot for a select number of Mr and Mrs ‘photos to be taken after dinner and during golden hour.


In April and May, the sun in Scotland sets somewhere between 7.30pm – 8pm, so a few ‘photos could be scheduled in to make the most of those specially-lit moments just before dusk.


In June, you won’t see the sun setting until around 9pm, and sometimes later. So it’s probably a case of deciding you want to have some golden hour ‘photos and having your photographer hang back for those. The same would apply for July and August, which see a sunset at around 8pm.

Trust me – it’s well worth doing! See?


After your nuptials, when your images are taken, here’s what will happen next:

  • The following day, I share a sneak peek on my social media
  • I then create a personalised app for you, with around 12 edited pictures. This is so that you can access pictures quickly after the event – very nice if you’re straight off on honeymoon!
  • I then edit the rest of your photos and create a downloadable gallery which you can share with family and friends.
  • You then select your chosen ‘photos for your album
  • I produce the finished album and send it to you!

Now you can plan the perfect wedding running order and get the best possible ‘photos all at once. Bingo!  

If you want to ask me anything about wedding ‘photos, golden hour or anything else related to wedding timelines in Scotland – ask away!

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