Make the most of your wedding day photography
Here is an idea of a general photography timeline for reference
3:00 – 4:30 - Getting ready photos
4:30 – 5:00 - Travel to ceremony location/set up for ceremony/shots of location/guests
5:00 – 5:30 - Ceremony
5:30 – 7:00 - Travel/cocktail hour/formal photos/reception room photos
7:00 – 7:30 - Wedding party entrance/first dance/toasts
7:30 – 8:30 - More detail shots while dinner is served/visiting tables
8:30 – 9:00 - Cake cutting/parent dances
9:00 – 11:00 - Dancing!
If you are doing a First Look, the timeline would just be moved up about 1-1.5 hours:
2:00 – 3:30 Getting ready
3:30 – 4:30 First Look and most of formal photos done
The timeline would be the same from there.
It’s all in the details…
I love getting all those great detail shots – the rings, the dress, the shoes, the invitations! It’s great when you have everything out (if you want photos of it) and ready to go by the time I arrive. If your dress is in a bag, with tags, hanging in a closet, take it out, put it in a nice spot, remove the tags, padding and cardboard, and if you have a nice hanger, switch it out with the dress shop one. Your gown is precious, and I get a little nervous handling it too much! I will, however, move it around to get it in the best light (if that’s okay with you).
The same applies to your shoes, jewelry, and any other details you’d like me to get during the “getting-ready” stage. Also, if you have an awesome invitation suite you want a shot of, make sure to bring it, or have it at the reception, and I will take photos of that as well!
When doing the formal photos, I typically start with the immediate families, then go on to the wedding party and end with the couple by themselves. Just to give you an idea, these are the basic combinations I do.
Each with his/her parents
Each with his/her siblings
Each with his/her parents & siblings
Couple with each set of parents separately
Couple with each side of family (parents, siblings + spouses + kids)
If you would like to have these combinations, please make sure that all of the people involved know when & where the formal photos are taking place. If everyone is there, the quicker they will get done and everyone can relax/go party! With the above combinations (as long as everyone is present) it usually takes 10-15 minutes for the family photos. If you would like extended family shots, I recommend trying to do those during the reception (especially if it is a large group).
It’s a great idea to have a go-to person to find anyone who is missing. It’s best if the person is not in the wedding party or immediate family, but knows most of the VIPs.
If there are step-parents/siblings, please give me a detailed shot list of family combinations, especially if there are sensitivities with two parents being in the same photo together.
The Wedding Party Photos
Bride with each bridesmaid individually
Bride with all bridesmaids
Groom with all groomsmen individually
Groom with all groomsmen
Couple with flower girls/ring bearers
Couple with entire wedding party (including flower girls/ring bearers)
Couple with entire wedding party (no kids)
I like to get a little creative with the wedding party photos and do a couple different posing ideas in the groups. The wedding party photos usually take 15-25 minutes.
Bride & Groom Photos
Individual photos of Bride & Groom (if haven’t gotten them earlier in the day)
Together, of course! Lots of these.
I prefer at minimum 10-15 minutes for these, up to half an hour if we’re lucky!
For the formal photos, I like to keep everything as quick as possible, while getting some fun and creative shots, too. The family photos are usually pretty straightforward so they can be done and go to the party. If your wedding party seems up to it, we can try some different/interesting poses and see how it goes! If you have any specific ideas in mind, please let me know (I don’t do the “jumping” pictures unless asked specifically – I don’t want to make any girls jump in those shoes!), otherwise, I’ll come equipped with some of my own ideas.
Timing is everything…
There are a number of ways that your timeline can go off-track on your wedding day. Here are a few to keep in mind while you are planning:
Underestimating hair/makeup times – these people truly are artists and I know they need time to do their work! However, once you add on multiple bridesmaids and family members, if they go over for a few minutes for each person, that adds up! Also, what if your cousin or mother-in-law decides last minute that she really would like an up-do? It happens all the time.
Last minute portrait requests – I am always fine doing as many group shots as you’d like, but it does help to know beforehand how many we are planning on doing (especially if there is no time cushion and it might make us run late). You can let both sides of the family know what photos I’m planning on doing during the “formals” time; if there are different combinations, just let me know. If they are bigger group shots, those are usually best during the reception.
Traffic on the day of the wedding – This probably applies more for Friday weddings, or if there happens to be a game/event happening nearby your wedding venue.
Receiving Lines – can take anywhere from 15-30 minutes, depending on the number of guests, and the people in the receiving line (ie – if it’s just the couple, it goes faster, rather than the couple + parents + wedding party)
Relax, have fun and trust me!
Hopefully you booked me because you love my work and trust me with capturing your wedding day. This is your time to finally slow down and enjoy all the hard work you’ve put into planning your wedding, and of course to be in the moment during your ceremony and while spending time with your closest family and friends celebrating this occasion. Try not to worry about me or your other vendors- we want to do a fabulous job for you!