WEDDING DAY TIMELINE
Here’s the page that can be somewhat intimidating! The TIMELINE! I know this isn’t the most exciting aspect of the wedding day, but this is the one thing that can make or break your photography! These next two pages will outline an ideal wedding day working off of a 6pm ceremony timeframe. This ideal timeline is also based off of a wedding day that includes a first look. 90% of my couples choose to do a first look, and you can read more about that option a few pages over! Remember that all wedding days are different, and your timeline may differ due to travel times and unique situations.
After the details have been photographed, it’s time for the bride to get into her dress! This is a big moment! I usually ask the mother of the bride and all of the bridesmaids to be dressed by the time the bride is ready to get into her dress. This ensures that everyone will look nice in those images. After the bride is in her gown, she can put on her jewelry, veil, shoes, etc. and I will shoot some additional bridal portraits!
After the bride and groom take their time with the First Look, I will begin taking a few romantic portraits of the two of them while the initial excitment is still present! I will find the locations for these shots as well! Remember, the LIGHT determines where we shoot and so I can’t decide on portrait locations until the day-of. As we shoot these portraits, the bridal party can start making their way to us for Bridal Party portraits!
Every bride loves having those beautiful shots of her bridal details. It’s an important part of the story and I love having some time to shoot the dress, shoes, jewelry, invitations, etc. These shots allow me to get warmed up for the rest of the big day. I normally like to allow at least 1 hour for this part of the day. While I’m shooting details, I’m also capturing some shots of the bride and her girls having hair and make up done and getting ready! If the groom is getting ready at the same venue I will also be able to capture some shots of the boys getting ready / before the ceremony too.
This is one of my favorite parts of the wedding day! I will find the perfect location for my couple’s First Look prior to the getting ready portion of the day! Don’t stress about that one bit! I will make sure the location is private and as secluded as possible
BRIDE IN HIDING
BRIDAL PARTY PORTRAITS
Now it’s time for Bridal Party shots! I buffer in extra time throughout the day just in case we have some unexpected things that hold us up! One way to make sure we stay on schedule for bridal party portraits is to have someone put the boutonnieres on the guys BEFORE they arrive for portraits. During Bridal Party portraits, and I will make sure to take some.....
..... great shots of the guys and girls both separately AND together! After bridal party portraits are complete, the bride will go into hiding so that early guests don’t sneak a peek, and the ushers will begin their duties.
It’s time to get married!! Most ceremonies are 30 minutes long. If your ceremony is longer than 30 mins, we’ll make adjustments to the timeline! Cherish these moments! Your ceremony will pass by so quickly!
If the reception is in the same location as the ceremony, I will use this time to shoot the reception decor UNTOUCHED. If the ceremony and reception are in different locations, I recommend having a cocktail hour outside of the main reception area if possible so that I can grab some great shots of your reception before the night begins and guests start laying down purses and coats on their seats!
FAMIY FORMAL PORTRAITS
7:00pm is the BEST time of day for portraits in the late spring, summer and early fall! This is when the sun is glowy and golden. I love having a few extra minutes with the bride and groom to take a few “Just Married” portraits right after family formals!
Most of my packages are configured so that I can be present for the main events of the reception and about an hour of dancing! If you’re interested in having your exit photographed, there are several options for this! You can either add additional coverage or plan a faux exit with just your bridal party! We have had GREAT success with this and the party never stops! Email me about this if you’re interested in learning more!
Family formals normally take place immediately following the ceremony. It’s best to save all of the family formals until after the ceremony because ALL family members will be present at that time..
A FEW "JUST MARRIED" PORTRAITS
This is when the bridal party lines up for introductions and the party begins!! By this part of the day, my timeline isn’t as strict. I work off of the natural light and so after the sun is set, my portrait time is over and I begin focusing on the reception events!
PORTRAIT & TIMING TIPS FOR:
WINTER, SPRING, SUMMER & FALL
Winter weddings are gorgeous! However, they do take some additional planning simply because of the sunset time. The hard part about a winter timeline is the fact that the sun sets around 4pm. This means that all of your portraits have to be done before then! This isn’t a problem if you’re having a late afternoon wedding. However, if you’re planning on having a late evening wedding, you may have a bit of down time from 4pm until the start of the ceremony. You will also need more coverage time as well.
Summer weddings are amazing! I love that there is so much daylight! In some months, the light will last until 8:30pm! So, if you’re having a summer wedding, you’ll need to plan on having a few minutes to slip out of the reception for your sunset portraits! You will NOT regret this! This is the absolute best light of the day and you’re going to want to have portraits during this time period. Usually these portraits happen during dinner or open dancing so that no one even notices that you’re gone for a few minutes!
Fall weddings are my favorite! I love the temperature and the colors! Most of my fall brides worry about color, and I just want to encourage you that all I need is one tree with some color in order to make it look like fall! A little bit of color can go a long way!! Your portrait time will vary depending on your wedding date! We’ll be sure to discuss this when we approve your final timeline!
Spring weddings are wonderful because they are the perfect temperature! However, I recommend having plenty of Claritin and Zyrtec on hand just in case allergies start to flare up during portrait time. Spring weddings normally mean the potential for some blooms! If we happen to find any type of blooming tree or plant, it will be worth it to give us a few minutes for portraits with it! You’ll LOVE the result!
When you’re planning a wedding day timeline, the best advice I could give is to ADD CUSHION TIME! Sometimes the most simple things can take an extra 20 minutes and then all of a sudden, the whole morning is thrown off. I have seen “getting the bride in her dress” take almost 40 minutes because of a button malfunction. It’s a smart idea to add in an extra ten minutes here and there so that we have some wiggle room to work with! This way, if one part of the day gets thrown off by 20 minutes, I can help you compensate that time in other areas. There are so many different things to think about when you’re planning a wedding day, and so here are some tips for the preceremony timeline! I realize that every single wedding day is different and so not all of these tips will apply to every wedding day schedule. Something else to consider is that not EVERYTHING will go as planned, and I promise you, that is completely normal!!
BOUQUETS AND BOUTS
You will need your Bouquet & Boutonnières for your First Look! Have them delivered to the room where the bride is getting ready
HAIR & MAKEUP
Be sure to think about the travel time and TRAFFIC to and from your getting ready location and your venue!
I encourage brides to have at least their makeup done before I start because who wants a ton of shots without their makeup on?! Nobody
My second shooter will photograph the guys getting ready if they are getting ready in the same location as the bride or within 10-15 mins.
GETTING IN THE DRESS
CREATE A CUSHION
I’ll instruct you to get into your dress close to a window and it would be fabulous to have your bridesmaids dressed when you’re getting in your gown!
A 10 minute cushion every now and then is a GREAT idea! It’s amazing how fast time slips away the day of!