To ensure that your photographer captures EVERY important moment of your wedding day, you will want to consult with them as you create your timeline.
I confess that I had no idea that this was even a thing before I started shooting weddings! And I also admit that in the early days, I did learn the hard way just how critical a clear timeline is. The last thing you need at your wedding is your photographer scrambling like a lunatic because they are not present to what is about to happen!
So now I work with my couples to support them in coming up with a timeline for their day. From when the makeup artist arrives to when to light the sparklers for their Ceremony exit!
Here’s a few super important times to work out with your photographer:
1. Bride getting ready, minimum 2 hours
I love this part of the day! This is when I get to delve into my creative zone and play with the all the gorgeous details and accessories! I ask my Bride to have her dress, veil, shoes, jewellery, flowers, copy of the invitation along with her Bridesmaids’ details together and I spend around 30 minutes having fun!
Then I hang out, fly-on-the-wall style as the magic comes together for the Bride and her girls. The final touches to the hair and makeup are a precursor to the Big Moment when the Bride dons her dress. (I do spend 10 minutes with just the Bride for a mini-boudoir shoot at this point. You will be very thankful for these images in the years to come, I guarantee it!)
This is a great opportunity to do a reveal, for your bridesmaids, parents, grandparents, whomever you choose.
2. Groom getting ready, 1 hour
The timing for this is dependant on where the Groom will be getting dressed. Sometimes a 2nd photographer is required if the distance precludes my covering both parties getting ready. This is a conversation to have with your photographer as it will involve a further charge.
Allow a minimum of 1 hour for the detail shots, Groom portraiture plus shots with his groomsmen and family.
3. First Look, 30 minutes
While not everyone will go for the First Look idea, I do strongly promote it to my couples, it is so very special and intimate. (I have written a another Blog with all the reasons why, you can check it out here!)
4. Group shots, 20 - 30 minutes
This time can be a bit chaotic without some careful preparation. Be sure to have a clear list of the groups you want captured along with a designated (and bossy!) person to assist with herding the way-worse-than-cats people! A microphone is also an excellent idea.
This is the time to get the ‘must have’ shots with your Grandparents and your other fav people, with a list they will not be forgotten.
5. Bridal Shoot, 1.5 - 2 hours
This is such a fun part of your day, the scary bit is done, the adrenalin is still running high and now you get to start the party! And this is where your photographer will bring all their experience and dedication to their craft. Every Bridal shoot has a unique setting with it’s own particular lighting challenges so just trust your photographer, they will do absolutely everything possible to use the light and surroundings to deliver images you love.
If you did a First Look earlier in the proceedings, this will take some pressure off the Bride & Groom portraiture shots though I still make sure I spend a minimum of 45 minutes of this time with couple alone. There is no such thing as having too many gorgeous couple shots!
6. Bride & Groom's entrance to Ceremony
You will defs want the cool shots of you and your favourite human, finally hitched, entering your Reception to the roar of the crowd!
7. Sunset, 15 minutes
Often your Reception till have already cranked into gear before the sun sets so it is super important to allow for a quick shoot at this magical time of day. You have paid your hard earned to your Photographer and your wedding day happens only once! Capture the gorgeous, romantic vibe that only a sunset can provide.
This is also an awesome excuse to have 15 minutes alone together to catch your breath and shower each other with the love that will be VERY present by now!!
8. All things Reception! 2 - 3 hours
There are cakes to cut, dance floors to cut up and so much more! For those moments that are important to you, be sure to highlight them to your photographer. I am on high alert, ready for action and with an eye on my couple the whole time. Things can happen that make for an awesome shot and your photographer needs to be ready to pounce!