WEDDING DAY TIMELINE

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It is crucial that you create a timeline for your wedding day, something your wedding planner can assist you with organizing. There should be an estimated start and end time for hair, makeup, reception setup, etc. Within that timeline should include all your photo sessions such as the first look, bridal party photos, and couple’s session.

Not sure how much photo time you’ll need for each section of the day? We’ll here to help!

DETAIL SHOTS (USUALLY @ BRIDAL PREP)

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

There are times when a hotel room is too crowded or simply unappealing; we have to take the dress all the way down to the lobby or even outside. This can take some time, but as you can see from the results, it’s well worth the additional work.

GROOM PREP + BRIDE PREP

Ideal Time Allotment – 60 minutes for Groom + 120 minutes for the Bride.
Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Early Afternoon
Ideal Location – Bridal Suite, Resort Spa, or Hotel Suite

Advice – Having an plenty of preparation is ideal for our style. During this time, we are getting close ups of the makeup and hair being applied as well as the candid moments and the bridesmaids and groomsmen get ready for the day. 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.

While it doesn’t take guys an hour to get dressed, there are still tons of great moments during this time between the groom and his family and friends, and also the bride celebrating this exciting time of her life with her closest gals while getting ready.

INDIVIDUAL PORTRAITS OF THE BRIDE + GROOM

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

Advice – Right after prep 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.

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 OF THE BRIDE + GROOM PLUS COUPLE’S FORMALS

Ideal Time Allotment – 45-60 minutes
Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Early Afternoon
Ideal Location – Venue Garden, Empty Venue Hallway (shaded areas with natural light)

Advice – The first look should be around 45-60 minutes. During this time, the bride and groom enjoy seeing each other for the first time on the wedding day. While the actual first look might only be 5-10 minutes, the rest of the time is spent on a few basic portraits of the bride and groom.

FIRST LOOK OF THE BRIDE + GROOM PLUS COUPLE’S FORMALS

Ideal Time Allotment – 45-60 minutes
Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Early Afternoon
Ideal Location – Venue Garden, Empty Venue Hallway (shaded areas with natural light)

Advice – The first look should be around 45-60 minutes. During this time, the bride and groom enjoy seeing each other for the first time on the wedding day. While the actual first look might only be 5-10 minutes, the rest of the time is spent on a few basic portraits of the bride and groom.

WEDDING PARTY FORMALS

Ideal Time Allotment – 30 minutes to 1 hour
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 30 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.

WEDDING PARTY FORMALS

Ideal Time Allotment – 30-45 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 45 minutes. It’s important to have additional images with your parents, grandparents, and siblings beyond the basic formal (mentioned in the section below).

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

We all know how much weddings mean to the immediate family, and we want to make sure we’re capturing enough pictures with them.

Some couples have decided that they want a picture with all guests while others have decided that they only want pictures with select VIPs to save time. We recommend something in between.

We also recommend being very organized, with a list of groups and helpers from each side of the family to help round people up.

CEREMONY DETAILS AND VENUE

Ideal Time Allotment – 30 minutes

Ideal Location – Ceremony Site
Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Afternoon
Advice – Please allow 30 minutes for the photographer 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.

Couple’s romantic sunset on the wedding day

Ideal Time Allotment – 30 minutes at the time the sun sets (after glow beauty of the skies)
Ideal Time of the Day – Late Afternoon (Sunset)
Ideal Location – Venue Garden, Beach, Hotel Lobby, Park

Advice – Couple session should be around 30 minutes and should take place ideally 10 minutes to sunset time and continue for 20 minutes after the sun sets. The is the best time in terms of lighting for ROMANTIC shots.

It also allows us to capture the awesome scenic shots with colorful skies. If your wedding is in downtown or in an area with tall buildings, it’s not as important for us to have this specific time frame (although it still helps). We’ll probably need to move start time of this romantic session up to 30 minutes before sunset due to the tall buildings.

However, if you booked your venue because of the spectacular view of the ocean or the gorgeous vines in the winery, it’s essential to follow this advice in your timeline.

reception detail and venue

Ideal Time Allotment – 30 minutes
Ideal Time of the Day – Early Evening
Ideal Location – Reception Site

Advice – Please allow 30 minutes for the second shooter 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.

the ‘first look’ of the reception by the couple (alone)

Ideal Time Allotment – 10-15 minutes
Ideal Time of the Day – At the end of Cocktail Hour before doors open for guests
Ideal Location – Reception Site

Advice – This is when the reception space is revealed to the couple for the first time. It’s a great opportunity to capture a genuine reaction - please have photographer ready for this shot, as well as a moment alone with the dance floor to practice your first dance, which also makes a great photo!

reception couple’s session: the sneak-out night shots

Ideal Time Allotment – 20-30 minutes
Ideal Time of the Day – Dusk to Night Time
Ideal Location – Areas with interesting lights, large balconies, fountains, staircases, city scapes, and mirrors

Advice – During the reception, please plan on sneaking out for a couple of night shots. We only need 20-30 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. The ideal time for this is right after you grab a bite to eat or during the open floor dancing after you’ve danced a few songs and would like a break.  Another suggestion would be to get these shots at the very end of the night once all the guests have departed - but usually that late, you’ve danced a ton a hair and make-up would need a retouch. We recommend sneaking out after your DJ plays the 2nd “dance” song… while everyone keeps partying.

Additional Wedding Day Details

Table Shots – Table shots are when you go around visiting tables. There are two options for photography during this time. (1) You can take formal pictures with each of these tables or (2) we can simply focus on photojournalism, capturing the smiles and hugs as you mingle with each table. If you’re planning on doing formal table shots, please keep in mind that these will take about 3-5 minutes per table.  For example: 20 tables would require 60-100 minutes of time (!!).

Cultural Weddings – For cultural weddings like Indian weddings, there are elements like the Baraat that require time to photograph. For Jewish ceremonies, there’s the Ketubah to be signed by the couple, please allot enough time for cultural elements throughout the wedding day.