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Wedding Day Timeline

Planning your wedding day can be one of the most stressful things you will do in your life, but it doesn't have to be!  Well, at least not from the photography aspect.  Our experience has taught us 3 things:  1) Time ticks faster than you think.  2) Most weddings will run late.  3) It's better if you plan with a buffer of time in mind, and then add a buffer to your buffer.  The following are some of the ideal time frames to consider to ensure you are happy with your photography.  Don't forget to check out our client tips as well!

Rings, Dress, Accessories, and Other Details
  • Ideal Time Allotment: 30 Minutes

  • Ideal Time of Day: Morning

  • Ideal Location:  Bridal/Hotel Suite

  • Advice: 30 minutes should be more than enough time for us to get great shots of the rings, dress and bridal accessories.  If the space in which the bridal party is getting ready, we may take the dress and details away for a bit, but it is well worth it for the shots we tend to get.  It's very important to have all of these items ready for us before we get there.

  • Ideal Time Allotment: 1-2 Hours

  • Ideal Time of Day: Morning

  • Ideal Location:  Bridal/Hotel Suite

  • Advice:  A minimum of an hour is about how much time you'll want to have a photographer with you.    During this time, we will be getting closeups of the bride and candid moments with the bridesmaids.  After the bride's hair and makeup are complete, you should want to immediately hop in your dress and have your bridesmaids and mother helping you.  We will try to place you near a window for the best light, but after that, the moment is yours.  There will be one photographer with the ladies while another one will be with the grooms.  While it does not normally take guys 60 minutes or more to get ready, there's still plenty of moments to be had with them as well!

Individual Portraits
  • Ideal Time Allotment: 30 Minutes

  • Ideal Time of Day: Morning/Early Afternoon

  • Ideal Location:  Bridal/Hotel Suite, Venue Lobby, Venue Grounds/Garden

  • Advice:  The absolute best time to get portraits of the bride or groom is right after you have gotten dressed.  The hair and makeup are as fresh as they are going to be and the day has not gotten hectic yet.  

First Look / Daytime Couples Session
  • Ideal Time Allotment: 30-60 Minutes

  • Ideal Time of Day: Morning/Early Afternoon

  • Ideal Location:  Venue, Venue Garden, Hotel Hallway, Hotel Lobby

  • Advice:  The first look is the moment where the Groom sees the Bride before the ceremony.  While a first look usually only takes about 5-10 minutes, the rest of the time is dedicated to a quick couples session.

Wedding Party
  • Ideal Time Allotment: 45-60 Minutes

  • Ideal Time of Day: Morning/Afternoon or During Cocktail Hour

  • Ideal Location:  Close by off-site location, Venue, Venue Garden, Alter

  • Advice:  Wedding Party sessions last between 45 and 60 minutes.  We like to start off with the traditional, serious posed shots first and then have some fun with the rest.  Time permitting, there are other groupings that we like to get as well as throw in some fun shots.  If a First Look is done between the bride and groom, these can sometimes be handled pre-ceremony.  If not, we take these shots during the Cocktail Hour immediately following the ceremony.

Immediate Family
  • Ideal Time Allotment: 30-45 Minutes

  • Ideal Time of Day: Morning/Afternoon or During Cocktail Hour

  • Ideal Location:  Venue, Venue Garden, Alter

  • Advice:  Portraits with immediate family members such as mom, dad, grandparents and siblings should take about 45 minutes depending on the number of groupings.  Think of each grouping as needing 3 minutes of time.  Again, if you're not having a first look, these shots will be handled during the Cocktail Hour/Formals.

Ceremony Area and Details
  • Ideal Time Allotment: 30 Minutes

  • Ideal Time of Day: Morning/Afternoon

  • Ideal Location:  Ceremony Setting

  • Advice:  Allow one of the shooters to break off for about 30 minutes to take some clean shots of your ceremony area and the venue.  Usually this will be the photographer that is assigned to be with the groom and groomsmen.  We typically would like to do this before any guests have been seated and with no other vendors in the area.

Formals (Immediate and Extended Family, Close Friends)
  • Ideal Time Allotment: 45-60 Minutes

  • Ideal Time of Day: During Cocktail Hour/Post Ceremony

  • Ideal Location:  Ceremony Setting, Reception Hall, Venue Garden

  • Advice:  This session will take about an hour.  Plan on 3-5 minutes per grouping depending on size of the group.  It's very important to be organized during this session as time is a real factor.  If a couple does not opt for a first look and other wedding party sessions before the ceremony, they will all be packed into this time slot.  The second shooter will remain to assist as opposed to covering the Cocktail Hour if all groupings need to be done during this time slot.  The couple should also designate 2-4 family members to be in charge of rounding up everyone.  If the couple has opted for all of the pre-ceremony family shots, don't worry about filling this time with friends and extended family.  It can be used for another couples session.

Reception Area and Details
  • Ideal Time Allotment: 30 Minutes

  • Ideal Time of Day: Afternoon/During Cocktail Hour

  • Ideal Location:  Reception area

  • Advice:  Allow one of the photographers to take some shots of the reception area without any guests or vendors.  This could also be a good time to have the couple come in and get a first look of their reception area as it is all set up.

Couple's Sneak Away
  • Ideal Time Allotment: 20-30 Minutes

  • Ideal Time of Day: Dusk, At Night

  • Ideal Location:  Somewhere with a cityscape, unique lighting, fountains, large mirrors

  • Advice:  We'll find a lapse in the reception where one of the shooters will step away from the action and go search for a location.  The shooter will try to pre-light the area as best they can so that the time with the couple is minimized.  The ideal times for this would be right after the couple finishes their meal or after dancing to a few songs and needing a break.  We understand the importance of being a good host, so we will minimize as much time as possible to get a few cool night shots.

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