Wedding Timeline

With every new client we meet, we discuss the basic run-down of how the wedding day is going to go. Often times, the couple has significantly under estimated how long the wedding day really is and just how much logistical planning goes into a successful wedding day timeline and photography.

Sometimes, however, no matter how much planning you do, weddings have a mind of their own and don’t particularly enjoy being held to a precise schedule. With the diversity many of cultural aspects that take place during weddings, it’s difficult to produce a “one size fits all” wedding timeline or wedding photography timeline, but below are some general guidelines that can be applied to most situations. We approach your wedding with the goal to stay as close to the timeline as possible, but its extremely rare that a wedding will hit every single check point at the exact minute it’s supposed too.

With that being said, its important to have realistic expectations of just how long certain parts of your wedding day will last and how much time you should allot for these events. Using this guideline,  you can have a realistic idea of how to get less worry and more party from your wedding day, while staying coming away with amazing images.

I like to break the wedding day down into the 3 categories: The Prep Phase, The Ceremony and Portraits Phase, and the Reception Phase

The Prep Phase:

THE DETAILS: RINGS, DRESS, SHOES, JEWELRY, ETC…

when the photographer takes photos of the wedding dresswhen should the photographer take ring photosexplanation of a wedding day timeline

* How Much Time? – 45 minutes

* When? – Morning or Early Afternoon, before hair and makeup

* Where? – Bridal Suite or Hotel Suite

* Helpful Tip – We always mention to our brides that we cannot take photos of the details after you are already wearing and would hate for you to miss out on these wedding photos so this should be done as one of the first parts of the wedding day.
Additionally, there are times when a hotel room is too crowded or simply unappealing and we have to take the dress and/or other details  down to the lobby or even outside. This can take us a bit more time, but as you can see from the results, it’s well worth the effort.

PREPARATION: HAIR, MAKEUP, INTO THE DRESS

doing hair and makeup for wedding doing hair and makeup for weddingdoing hair and makeup for wedding

* How Much Time? – 45 minutes
* When? – Morning or Early Afternoon
* Where? – Bridal Suite or Hotel Suite

* Helpful Tip –This applied to bride and groom. Having 45 minutes to an hour for prep photos is ideal for getting lots of candid moments and creating some really unique and creative images as well. These are some of the most authentic moments of the day, especially when surrounded by family of the day so you definitely don’t want to cut it short.

 

 

INDIVIDUAL PORTRAITS

Wedding Day Timeline examples Wedding Day Timeline examples Wedding Day Timeline examples Wedding Day Timeline examples  Wedding Day Timeline examples Wedding Day Timeline examples

* How Much Time? – 20-30 minutes
* When? – Morning or Early Afternoon, just after getting completely dressed
* Where? – Bridal Suite or Hotel Suite or Lobby or nearby area with nice window lighting

* Helpful Tip – This is the moment where hair, makeup and dress are still all fresh and you look stunning. Lets take advantage of this time and create some stunning portraits of you. Also keep in mind that the window lighting in most hotel rooms creates an extremely flattering look that can’t be duplicated in any environment throughout the rest of the day.

FIRST LOOK, WEDDING PARTY AND FAMILY

 

 FIRST LOOK and FIRST COUPLES SESSION

when to do the first look when to do the first look when to do the first look

First Look Portraits First Look Portraits First Look Portraits

* How Much Time? – 45-60 minutes
* When? – Late Morning or Early Afternoon, just after the portraits are done
* Where? – Private area or garden at the Hotel or Venue

* Helpful Tip – The first look with the bride and groom will last approximately 20 to 30 minutes. This is a great time for the bride and groom to see each other without anyone else being around so they can embrace and express to each other how excited they are. Afterwards, doing all of the family and wedding party photos will ensure that we use the bulk that soft and vibrant afternoon light to create more stunning images of the two of you.

 

WEDDING PARTY PHOTOS

when to shoot bridal party photos when to shoot bridal party photos when to shoot bridal party photos

* How Much Time? – 20 minutes
* When? – Just after the First Look
* Where? – Nearby the First Look area

* Helpful Tip – This is the time when we get to take an individual portrait with you and each of your bridesmaids and groomsmen as well as taking some fun large group images as well. It’s important to make sure your bridesmaids and groomsmen know what time this is occurring so they are all present and completely dressed so that no one gets left out.

FAMILY PHOTOS – IMMEDIATE AND EXTENDED (if necessary)

Wedding Day timeline examples Wedding Day timeline examples Wedding Day timeline examples

* How Much Time? – 30 minutes or more depending on number of groupings
* When? – After the First Look or Bridal Party Photos or Immediately after the Ceremony
* Where? – This location can vary

* Helpful Tip – Depending on the size and number of members in the Immediate Family Photos, This can take up to 30-60 minutes, depending on group participation. We highly recommend to have a streamlined list of the groups or family photos you would like.  Also, by informing the members the day or night before the wedding that we will need them present at that time, will help ensure no one gets left out.

Occasionally, it is difficult to have all the family members present before the wedding starts. If that’s the case, we would do this collection of images immediately after the ceremony right at the altar. We still recommend the streamlined photo list and letting each member know to stick around and not wander off after the ceremony. To see a sample of a streamlined family photo list, click here

* Helpful Tip

* How Much Time? – 10-15 minutes
* When? – After the Ceremony Site is completely set up and before guests are allowed to be seated
* Where? – Ceremony site

* Helpful Tip – You’ve spent a lot of time and energy designing the perfect wedding and all the tiny details. Let us capture these details for you and create a permanent memory of the hard work you put in.

This is usually being done by our second photographer while some of the above events are finishing up

CEREMONY PHASE

 

CEREMONY

* Helpful Tip – Just sit back , relax and take it all in. This the the moment you have been waiting for.

FAMILY PHOTOS – IMMEDIATE AND EXTENDED (if necessary)

Wedding Day timeline examples Wedding Day timeline examples Wedding Day timeline examples

* How Much Time? – 30 minutes or more, always…
* When? – After the First Look or Bridal Party Photos or Immediately after the Ceremony
* Where? – This location can vary

* Helpful Tip  In the event we couldn’t do the family photos before the ceremony as listed above, we would do them immediately after the ceremony.

SECOND COUPLES SESSION

* How Much Time? – 1 hour
* When? – Late Afternoon (Sunset)
* Where? – Venue Gardens, Hotel Lobbies, Parks

* Helpful Tip– This session should be around 45 mins to 1 hour and should take place closer to sunset. This is the time when all the vivid colors come out in the sky and the lighting is much softer and romantic for your wedding photos.

If you booked your venue because of the spectacular view of the ocean, scenery or the gorgeous vines in the winery, this time of day is crucial to capture that setting.

WEDDING RECEPTION PHASE

RECEPTION DETAIL AND VENUE

* How much Time? – 20-30 minutes
* When? – Early Evening
* Where – Reception Site

* Helpful Tip – You’ve spent a lot of time and energy designing the perfect wedding reception for your guests and all the tiny details. While we are out doing your photos at sunset our second shooter will spend approximately 30 minutes capturing these details for you and create a permanent memory of the hard work you put in.

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

RECEPTION PROGRAM

* How much Time? – 2 to 2.5 hours
* When? – Early Evening
* Where – Reception Hall

* Helpful Tip –  Talk to your DJ, Wedding Coordinator or Hotel Banquet captain to help organize this. Typically, the normal program includes, grand entrance, first dance, parent dances, toasts, speeches, dinner service,

COUPLES SESSION – RECEPTION SNEAK OUT

* Ideal Time Allotment – 10-20 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 10 minutes, as we understand the importance of being a good host. However, this time is important of you appreciate the night photography that we deliver. The ideal time for this is right after you grab a bite to eat or maybe right when the dance floor opens up.

OTHER THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND

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 a significant time (up to 1 hour or more depending on the size of your wedding). We highly recommend option 2, the photojournalism route with exceptions for the VIP tables.

 

 

error: Content is protected !!