Your wedding photography timeline can be one of the most intimidating parts of planning, but it doesn’t have to be. When you book me to photograph your wedding, I’ll be right there with you along the way to help with your photography timeline, and these tips will help make the process much easier while you’re planning!
1. What time is sunset on your wedding day?
One of the first steps to take when creating your wedding day timeline is to find out what time the sunset is on your wedding day. This helps determine what time photos need to begin and end before it becomes too dark for photos.
And I simply can’t talk about lighting without bringing up Golden Hour. I absolutely love taking couple portraits during golden hour when the sun is at its softest about 30 minutes to an hour before sunset. I take advantage of the magical sun flares, creating soft, warm, and romantic images.
2. Decide if you want a first look
Do you want the first time you see your future partner for life to be while you’re walking down the aisle, or would you prefer to see them prior to the wedding ceremony for a special, intimate moment between the two of you? I often suggest to my couples to have a first look so there is less time spent after the ceremony taking photos and more time to spend celebrating at your reception. But not to worry, if you decide to stick with tradition we’ll set aside extra time after the ceremony to get some beautiful portrait photos of the two of you.
3. Are you having a religious ceremony?
Ceremonies held in a religious setting are some of my very favorite! Depending on where you plan on having your ceremony and dependent on the faith, these ceremonies could be up to an hour long (or more). It’s important to factor this into your wedding day timeline to ensure you’re investing in the appropriate amount of photography coverage. For longer religious ceremonies, my couples will often invest in the 10 hour wedding package to ensure there is enough time to tell the story from getting ready to the special exit!
4. Family & Wedding Party portraits
Prior to the reception is when many of the family and wedding party portraits are taken, especially if you decided to skip the first look. (If you opted for a first look, many of your wedding party photos can be prior to the ceremony, too). I typically set aside a half hour for family photos, but this depends on how large your families are and how many different combinations of photos you like to have (I recommend no more than 12 variations). I like to have my couples send me a list of family combinations they’d like to have captured, and we always work together to pair down as needed. I will refer to this while taking portraits and a list makes it so much more efficient! It’s also a good idea to let everyone you plan on having in photos know ahead of time so no one has to gather family members while the photos are being taken. Less time taking photos will allow more time for drinks, cake, dancing and fun!
5. Make a photography “must have” list
This is another list I will refer to on your wedding day. For every wedding, I make sure to shoot your details (think invitations, shoes, and jewelry) and the portraits you expect to have, but if there’s anything specific to you as a couple and outside of the “norm” you want captured, I recommend creating a short list so that I can be sure to capture these. Having a list ahead of time will save time on the wedding day, and it’s always my goal to make your day go as smoothly as possible.
6. Special Exit
Special exits have become very popular as of late with sparklers, ribbons, bubbles, and even champagne! Special exits are a wonderful way to be sent off, and will allow your wedding guests to feel like they are a part of your wedding day. If you’re opting for a special exit, it’s always fun to have this piece of the story captured, marking your love as a happy ever after! Typically when special exits are included in the timeline, I recommend opting for the 8 hour wedding package 🙂
If you’re in the midst of researching how much time you should invest in for wedding photography, let’s chat! There’s nothing I love more than discussing wedding details and plans over a cup of coffee 🙂