Planning Your Timeline
Good photography takes time. Why? Because it takes time for you to get to the place where you feel relaxed and connected with your loved ones in front of the camera.
Taking shortcuts like telling you to laugh on command would result in photos that, while nice, do not elicit authentic emotion. With the right amount of time, we can give you the direction and space needed to create a GREAT—authentic AND beautiful—photo.
Additionally, the creative process takes time. Jumping from shot to shot doesn’t allow us the space to evolve and create in the moment. We don’t believe our clients should settle for doing a bunch of quick “poses” when, with just a little more time, we can give them the kind of emotionally engaging images that they will cherish and feel personally connected to.
While photography may seem like an easy place to cut time from when planning your wedding, we do ask for specific time allocations to allow us to create the quality of work you expect from us. Over the years, we’ve learned a thing or two about what works on a wedding day and our recommendations have factored in the time we need to work effectively even amid potential delays or unexpected factors that just can’t be planned for ahead of time.
We want nothing more than for you to enjoy your wedding day and love being with the people who love and support you. If you aren’t able to provide us with the minimum times we’ve requested, you may encounter some of the following issues that would affect how you enjoy your wedding day:
- Rushing from shot to shot without us being able to draw out authentic emotion as is characteristic of our work.
- Unpleasant faces in your images due to added stress from a frenzied timeline.
- Running irrecoverably late on your timeline should any delays occur.
- Fewer creative and candid photos.
- Increased stress on you, us and the timeline due to unplanned last minute photo requests
Building Your Wedding Day Photography Timeline
Below is a listing of the amount of time it takes us to do our work on your wedding day. You can choose specific events according to your personal priorities and length of coverage. Any event labeled **Required must be included in your timeline.
Photographer prep time (30 min) **Required.
Wedding Day Details (1 hr) *bridal details including wedding dress, shoes, jewelry, invitation suite, rings, heirlooms, florals, special gifts, etc should be ready and available at the bridal getting ready location. Be sure to ask your wedding coordinator to plan floral delivery for the appropriate time to be photographed. Any extra loose blooms from florist are always appreciated for styling purposes. **Required.
Bride and Bridal Party
Bride getting into dress (30 min) *bridesmaids and mother of bride should already be dressed and ready.
Bride and Bridesmaids photos (30 min) **Required.
Groom and Groomsmen
Groom getting ready (20 min) *optional. Groom and groomsmen should already be dressed when photographer arrives
Groom and Groomsmen photos (30 min) **Required.
Travel Time (varies)
First Look (15 min) *the first look is optional and can be scheduled in conjunction with romantic photos, however, romantic photos are some of the most iconic images of your wedding day and we strongly recommend scheduling them as close to sunset as possible to ensure ideal lighting conditions.
Photograph Reception Space (45 min) **Required.
Ceremony Prep time (15-30 min)
Ceremony (30-50 min) **Required.
*To ensure lighting conditions that will allow us to capture your wedding day most beautifully, we request a ceremony time 2-4 hours before sunset. (usually between 5-7 PM in mid summer, or 4-6 PM in late spring or Early fall)
*We do not recommend a receiving line. You will want to include 30 minutes to greet your guests if a receiving line is included.
Guest's Recessional (10-15 min) *important to consider if family photos are taking place in the ceremony space
Immediate Family Photos (20 min) *Immediate family only (parents, siblings, and grandparents from both sides separately with the couple).
Small group family photos (5 min per grouping of 5-7 people.)
Large group family photos (8 min per grouping of 8-15 people)*not recommended
Extended Family Photos (10 min per group larger than 15 people) *not recommended
Bridal Party Group Photos (15-30 min)
Couple's Romantic Photos (20-45 min) **Required.
Travel Time (varies)
Candid Cocktail Hour Photography (15 min)
Reception *typically 2-4 hours of the total photography coverage
Guests Seated (30 min)/ Lighting Setup (15 Min)
Grand march, cake cutting (15 min)
Welcome from Father of Bride (10 min)
Dinner (30-45 min) **Required. *photography break, no photography coverage during this time. We recommend serving the photographers at the same time as the bride and groom to avoid a delay in photography coverage.
Best Man/ Maid of Honor Toasts (15-30 min) *we do not recommend splitting up toasts between dinner courses as photographers may not be present for toasts if seated in a separate room for dinner.
Additional Toasts (5-10 min)
Sunset Romantic photos (15-20 min) *highly recommended if other romantic photos are scheduled for midday or in poor lighting conditions.
First Dances (15 min)
Open dancing Coverage (15-20 min)
Sample Wedding Day Photography Timeline
Below is a sample timeline for 9 hours of wedding day coverage. This timeline would work perfectly for an estate wedding, or one where all events are happening at a single location with no travel required during photography coverage.
12:00 PM Booth Photographics arrives
12:00-12:30 Photography prep and strategic planning time
12:30-1:30 Photograph wedding day details (shoes, dress, jewelry, rings, accessories, stationery suite, bouquets/boutonnieres, and any special heirlooms or gifts ready and available to photographers at bridal suite). *Any extra loose blooms from florist are always appreciated for styling purposes.
1:30-2:00 Bride getting into dress (bridesmaids and mother of bride already dressed and ready)
2:00-2:30 Bridesmaids photos
2:30-3:00 Groomsmen photos
3:00-3:15 First Look
3:15-4:00 Reception space photography
4:00-4:15 Photographers prep for ceremony
4:45-5PM Guest's recessional
5:00-5:20 Immediate family photos (parents, siblings and grandparents with the couple)
5:20-5:40 Bridal party group photos
5:40-6:00 Couple's romantic photos
6:00-6:15 Couple greets guests at cocktail hour, candid photography of cocktail hour
6:15-6:45 Guests seated, photographers setup lighting for reception *salad course already served at guest's seats
6:45-7:00 Grand March, Cake Cutting
7:00-7:10 Welcome and Toast by Father of the Bride
7:10-7:40 Dinner *30 min photography break. Photographers served meal at same time as bride and groom
7:40-8:00 Maid of Honor and Best Man Toasts
8:15-8:30 Sunset Romantic photos *sunset at 8:35
8:30-8:45 First Dances
8:45-9PM Open dancing photography
9:00 PM Photography coverage concludes