Wedding Photography Timeline

While every wedding is different, over the last 17 years of photographing weddings, we can honestly give you some ideal time frames to consider when planning your wedding day.   Some of these times may seem long on paper but keep in mind that 1) the day will fly by and 2) most weddings run slightly behind schedule.

THE RINGS, DRESS, SHOES, AND OTHER DETAILS

Ideal Time Allotment – 30 minutes
Ideal Time of the Day – Morning
Ideal Location – Bridal Suite

Advice – Having at least 30 minutes for details ensures that we have plenty of time to get that perfect photo of the dress, rings, shoes, bouquets, and the other details of the day.  You’ll remember your wedding day in 10 years through the eyes of your wedding photographer so don’t skip out on the details.

PREPARATION

Ideal Time Allotment – 60 minutes
Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Early Afternoon
Ideal Location – Bridal Suite

Advice – Having an hour of preparation is ideal for our style. Our approach for this part of the day is totally photojournalistic.  Nothing’s posed and captured live as your wedding day unfolds.  With two photographers my wife is with the bride and the I’m with the groom.  Keep in mind that these are some of the most emotional and fun times of the day, so you don’t want to cut it short.

INDIVIDUAL PORTRAITS

Ideal Time Allotment – 30 minutes
Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Early Afternoon
Ideal Location – Bridal Suite, Venue Lobby, or Venue Garden

Advice – Immediately after everyone is ready this is the best time for individual portraits of the bride and groom (separately). Besides makeup and hair being completely fresh, the day hasn’t gotten hectic yet so we can take our time and get those perfect portraits.  You’ll love these images in about 20 years so don’t skip them now.

Also, keep in mind that the window lighting in most hotel rooms creates a unique look that can’t be duplicated in any environment throughout the rest of the day.

FIRST LOOK

Ideal Time Allotment – 15-20 minutes
Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Early Afternoon
Ideal Location – Venue Garden, Empty Venue Hallway (shaded areas with natural light)

Advice – During this time, the bride and groom enjoy seeing each other for the first time on the wedding day. It is photographed 100% photo-journalistically so that you are unaware we are there.  While the actual first look might only be 5-10 minutes, we give you plenty of time together to enjoy being together alone before you meet again for the ceremony.

WEDDING PARTY PHOTOS

Ideal Time Allotment – 45-60 minutes
Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Afternoon
Ideal Location -Venue Lobby, Venue Garden, Beach, Park, Off-site Location

Advice – Wedding Party Photos should be around 45 minutes to 1 hour. During this time, we get a variety of shots in a variety of poses. We start off with the basic, classic photos focused on great expressions and lighting.

Then we move into a set of fun and creative shots. Finally, we know how much your wedding party means to you, so we are sure to get pictures with you and each one of your bridesmaids or groomsmen individually.  We photograph the bride with her bridesmaids, the groom with the groomsmen and then everyone together.

IMMEDIATE FAMILY

Ideal Time Allotment – 10 minutes
Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Afternoon
Ideal Location -Venue Lobby, Venue Garden, Beach, Park, Off-site Location

Advice – Immediate Family Photos should take another 10 minutes. It’s important to have additional images with your parents, and siblings beyond the basic formal. We all know how much weddings mean to the immediate family, and we want to make sure we’re capturing enough pictures with them.  These are images with Dad, Mom and your brothers and sisters as you grew up.  We’ll wait to photograph the In-laws, nieces, nephews and Grandparents after the ceremony.

CEREMONY DETAIL AND VENUE

Ideal Time Allotment – 30 minutes
Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Afternoon
Ideal Location -Ceremony Location

Advice – Please allow 30 minutes for the second shooter to take pictures of the ceremony site, completely set up with no guests or vendors in the area.

Before you have the guests seated,  it’s important that we are there to capture the complete set up of your ceremony site so we can capture the scene at its best.

FORMALS (EXTENDED FAMILY, IMMEDIATE FAMILY, AND FRIENDS)

Ideal Time Allotment – 15-20 minutes
Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Afternoon (Post Ceremony)
Ideal Location – Ceremony Site

Advice – Formals should take around 15 minutes depending on the size of your family and the number of guests.

Plan on 3 minutes per group on average.  For example, if you have 10 groups, schedule in a 30 minute time slot.

Some couples have decided that they want a picture with all guests while others have decided that they only want pictures with select people to save time. We also recommend being very organized, meeting with you 30 days before the wedding day to map out a path to success for the part of the day that can present the most chaos.  My advice to every bride and groom we photograph is get all the images you want.  Never set yourself up to regret a photographic decision years down the road.

COUPLES SESSION

Ideal Time Allotment – 30 minutes
Ideal Time of the Day – Late Afternoon (Sunset)
Ideal Location – Venue Garden, Beach, Hotel Lobby, Park

Advice – Couple session should be around 30 minutes.   We tell everyone that there will be many types of images from the wedding day but these are the most important.

RECEPTION DETAIL AND VENUE

 

Ideal Time Allotment – 15 minutes
Ideal Time of the Day – Early Evening
Ideal Location – Reception Site

Advice – Please allow 15 minutes for us to take pictures of the reception room, completely set up with no guests or vendors in the area.

Similar to the ceremony details, this is the only opportunity we have to capture the beauty of the reception room prior to guest arrival.

COUPLES SESSION – RECEPTION SNEAK OUT

Ideal Time Allotment – 5 minutes
Ideal Time of the Day – Dusk to Night Time
Ideal Location – Areas with interesting lights, fountains, city scapes and mirrors

Advice – During the reception, please plan on sneaking out for a couple of night shots. We only need 5 minutes, as we understand the importance of being a good host. However, this time is important if you appreciate the night photography that we deliver.  We’ll have everything setup and ready to go.

THE RECEPTION

Ideal Time Allotment – 4 Hours
Ideal Time of the Day – Dusk to Night Time
Ideal Location – Reception Location

Advice – Everything is completely photojournalistic.  Captured in the moment so you can relive the excitement of your reception.

FINAL WORDS

If you made it this far, I hope you are excited because all we have to do is fill in the blanks with YOUR wedding day.  Brides ask us all the time how many hours should I book my photographer for.  I will say that 95% of our wedding days are 8 hours.  8 hours to do everything you just read about.  We, as your photographers, will work with you on timing and any special situations to make everything go smooth.  If your parents are divorced and really don’t want to be near each other, we’ll make sure that you are between them in the Mom and Dad images.  We’ll talk about half siblings, step siblings, significant others, divorces and remarriages in our planning meeting which is about one month prior the wedding day.