Imagine Your Wedding Day Looking Something Like This
Your wedding day will be one of the most important days in your life. It will also be the most stressful and chaotic. The day will be gone in a blur and you want to be assured that you’ve cherished every moment of it. I’ve created this timeline that will help you understand the most efficient and effective way that I work through the day as a photographer.
I typically arrive to the venue as the bride is getting ready. I meet with her as she’s in the hair & makeup seat and we exchange a few words as I snap some shots of her getting ready.
I usually have a second shooter that is capturing some venue shots and other small details while I’m with the bride. After I’ve spent some time with the bride, I like to go meet with the groom and get some shots of him and his groomsmen. I tend to spend 15-30 minutes capturing these photos. By the time I’ve finished with the groom, we are getting closer to the ceremony so I meet back with the bride and get the photos of her getting her dress zipped up, applying last touches to her make up, and I’ll capture the ring shots and other detail shots.
Depending on what the bride has planned, we will move into any events that happen right before the ceremony. These events consist of first look, gift exchange, or a moment of prayer. These are all amazing moments that give the bride and groom a chance to take a breath and relax for a moment right before the ceremony.
Now it’s time to roll into the wedding! I’ve got my lights and gear set up for the walk down the aisle and I’m moving around the room to capture those special moments during the ceremony. One of the most important moments of this is the first kiss! It’s important that I (or anyone) communicate to the officiant that during the first kiss they need to take a few steps to one side so they aren’t the awkward “half-face” right behind the smooching couple.
Immediately after the ceremony I will dive straight into family photos. This is the time to make sure we’ve got the important photos of family members. I generally ask the bride to prepare a list of people that she wants a photo with so we don’t leave anyone out!
My favorite part of the wedding day is after family photos, everyone goes to start eating or enjoying their cocktail hour and I take the newly-weds outside or to a different area for their own photos. This is a time to step away from the madness and spend some quality time together. It also gives me an opportunity to capture some creative and intimate shots with just the couple. These photos generally turn out to be my favorites and the ones that get hung on walls, and turned into album covers. It’s important that we carve out some time for these photos and I always try to time it right with the sunset to make sure we get that great lighting!
Once we get some amazing shots of the couple, we come back to the reception and start the party! This is when all the dances take place and we do all the fun festivities like the bouquet and garter toss. We will also cut the cake and get those fun “don’t get icing on my make up!” shots!
Once we’ve calmed down and everyone has gotten a bite to eat, it’s time for your grand finale exit! Let’s light the sparklers and get some amazing shots of the beautiful couple exiting their reception! These always turn out great because the couple is surrounded by everyone clapping and cheering as they watch the couple kiss and exit.
So, there you have it, a complete breakdown of the wedding day. This schedule is absolutely amendable and can be adjusted for your own wedding, but it’s an effective and efficient outline of what a wedding day can look like. It has worked many times in my experience but I am always willing to help you plan out your wedding day timeline if you book me as your photographer!
Here’s an example of a timeline broken down to give you an idea of what it will look like!
1:00 PM – Start Hair & Make Up
1:30 PM – Photos of “Getting Ready” & Venue Shots
2:00 PM – Groom & Groomsmen Shots
2:45 PM – Bride & Bridesmaids Shots
3:30 PM – Detail Shots
4:00 PM – Get everything & everyone ready for ceremony
4:30 PM – Ceremony Starts
5:00 PM – Family photos as everyone starts to eat/cocktail hour
5:45 PM – Introduce Bridal Party to Reception
5:50 PM – First Dance, Bride & Father Dance, Groom & Mother Dance
6:00 PM – EAT
6:30 PM – Newly Wed Couples Portraits
7:00 PM – PARTYYYYYYY
9:00 PM - Exit