Planning Your Wedding Photo Timeline

Updated: Feb 21, 2019



You're getting married! How exciting, right? You've got all of the pieces secured, but you just need to put them together. No problem. Building your timeline can be intimidating, but your photographer should be able to help guide you through this process. We'll meet virtually or in person about three times to review your timeline and make sure we have enough time built-in for your must-have shots and to discuss what's the most important to you. You’d be surprised to see how fast your wedding day goes by. Sometimes it can feel like a blur. That’s why having enough time, planning ahead will make it run smoothly and give you some great memories to remind you of the love you experienced that day. The best pictures are created when photographers have the right amount of time to spend capturing the details, families and the bride and groom to get the most necessary shots.


My photo coverage is continuous, which means that it includes travel time to multiple locations. This is something you'll want to consider when you're planning with me and trying to decide how much coverage is ideal for your wedding day. Average wedding day coverage is about 8 hours, which is enough time to tell your story. This gives adequate time for; getting ready/prep coverage, all of the portraits, ceremony and reception coverage. For an average size wedding with a wedding party and attendance greater than fifty, anything less than 8 hours of coverage would not cover the full wedding story ( from prep to party) and would feel rushed and add likely anxiety. On your wedding day, that's the last thing I want to do! I"m there to help create fun, organic memories. I do offer a 6 hour package that is appropriate for smaller, intimate weddings with no wedding party and expected attendance of about fifty (50) guests.


Read this outline to help you get a good idea of how much coverage is ideal for you. If you come up short, no worries! We can always add more coverage time after reviewing your timeline. Of course, no timeline is perfect and we'll need to pad things with extra time because, let's face it- things happen! But that's what planning is for. Let's dig in!

Bridal Details

(45 min - 1 hour)

Capturing the details of the entire day help to tell the complete story of your wedding. I'll arrive when you're in the finishing stages of hair and makeup, but not in the dress yet. While you are in getting the final touches of makeup applied, I'll start to photograph the details that you've spent moths planning for. These details help to tell the beginning of the wedding day story. You'll want to have your bridal suite clean from clutter to create a beautiful scene and have the following ready; bridal gown(s), shoes, jewelry, bouquet, wedding stationery (invites/save-the-dates), and any other memoirs that you may have discussed at your timeline planning meeting with me.

Getting into your Gown + Bridal Portraits

(30-45 minutes)

It's finally time to get into your gown! What a powerful moment. You may want to have close friends or family present to help you get into the gown and close the final buttons or zippers. I'll be there to capture this happen and capture your reaction getting into the last thing you'll wear as a Misses and the first thing you'll wear as a Mrs.

After you're into the gown we'll get some photos of your completed look. Your bridesmaids can join in afterward for some fun shots together. Having coordinated bridesmaids accessories or robes can help add a classy touch and give the photos a cohesive look!

Groom Prep

(20-30 minutes)

While bridesmaids may be adding their final touches, I or a second photographer will grab some final shots of the groom putting on his final details( boutonniere, shoes, tie, cuff links, etc) and chumming it up with the fellas before the ceremony. It's fun to watch how the ladies and gents both prepare for such a special moment.

First Look + Couples Portraits

(60-90 minutes)

A first-look is completely optional.. For some couples, seeing each other before the wedding is totally off the table. And that's just fine! But for some , a first -look or first- touch can be a really exciting and exhilarating experience. This can be also be an emotional part of the day. Once the location is set up, the groom will be placed in position and the bride will surprise him. Usually this is just a moment between the bride and groom and the photographer or on hand.

During or after your first look, you will want to take some Bride and Groom portraits as well after your photographer captures the moments of the first look. We’ll pick out some special locations with nice lighting and help direct you to ensure you look your best for these fun and romantic photos. This will be a really intimate time with just you two and I. We don't want to rush these photos and will want to put aside about 60-90 minutes for these.


Wedding Party Photos

(30-45 minutes)

Now the rest of the wedding party will come in to take formal wedding photos with the bride and the groom. Talk to me about your preference of doing this before or after the ceremony. Make sure that everyone in the wedding party is present about 30 minutes before so that time is not wasted scrambling to get everyone together. Bridesmaids should have their bouquets and if there are children in the wedding party, they should be ready as well.

Ceremony

(30-60 minutes)

Get ready to get married! Here comes the bride! All eyes are on you as you walk down the aisle. This is the most special moment of the big day and I'll cover it from multiple perspectives. It’s always nice to see your expression as you are walking down the aisle with all eyes on you and your husband-to-be! I’ll make sure to capture his reaction as well.

Family Photos

(30 - 45 minutes)

After the ceremony is when all of the immediate and extended family are present. We'll take family photos immediately after the ceremony. Because there will be a lot of loved ones present on the big day and there may be a huge line of folks dying to take their photo with the man and woman of the hour (enjoy this!), we'll want to talk beforehand about a desired shot list and have someone from the family handy to help gather everyone for their turn. Although these are very traditional shots, they're very important to you and will be cherished for years to come.

Reception

(3-4 hours, varies)

As soon as all of the portraits are done, I'll sneak over into the reception space to captured those details before any of your guests get to them. This is important because once the table settings are touched, and the drinks are flowing, every detail you've spent months planning is no longer picture perfect! More importantly, the bride and groom will generally arrive last at the reception and never get to see the room untouched. Trust me- you'll want to see those details. I'll need about 15-20 minutes for this and will usually use the cocktail hour to grab these shots.

Let the party begin! The reception is when everyone gets to finally let their hair down! The evening will be pretty candid with a little structure. Important things you'll likely want me to capture; grand entrance, toasts, cake cutting, garter & bouquet toss, toasts, and special dances. Here's an example of how the evening could play out:

4:00 PM: Cocktail hour & socializing

Around this time guests should be arriving at their reception spots and should begin filing into the area. There may be a sign-in sheet for guests to leave a note as well.When the reception officially begins, some music may start being played and announcements or introductions of guests may begin.

4:30 PM: Grand Entrance

The wedding party will make their grand entrance, followed by the bride and groom. Have fun with this!

4:45 PM: Dinner is served

5:00 PM: Toasts (Talk with your coordinator but doing toasts during salads is a great time saver!)

5:30 PM: Special Dances

6:00 PM: Bouquet & Garter Toss

6:30 PM: Cake Cutting

7:15 PM: Open Dancing

When planning your timeline with me, just make sure that you've planned for enough coverage to capture the important moments of the evening. Three- four hours should usually cover most of the FUN and important stuff!

Sunset Portraits

(15-20 minutes)

Bonus shots! Depending on the season and time of day, we can sneak out during the reception to capture some sunset portraits!





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