August 25, 2020
A wedding day timeline, though it is not the most exciting part of the planning process, is a SUPER important piece. I know it can seem intimidating, so that’s one of the few reasons I offer a wedding day timeline planning meeting and create a timeline for all my clients! I know approximately how much time each part of the day will take, how much time will be needed for all the different portraits, and I add in buffer time here and there for extra cushion in case we run over. Plus, I always have a Plan B if we get really derailed on time because let’s face it – nothing ever goes completely according to plan. Knowing that going into it will give you so much more peace and having a back up plan gives you additional peace of mind so you can just sit back and enjoy your day!
Those Detail Shots
Every bride loves having those beautiful shots of her bridal details. It’s an important part of the story and I love having time to shoot the dress, shoes, jewelry, invitations, etc. I always recommend to my brides to have all their detail items put together in a box the night before to take with them that morning. So when I arrive I can greet them, take their box of beautiful things and the dress and get to work! I will usually send a detail shot item list a couple weeks before the big day for a reminder and inspiration of what to bring!
The First Look
If you choose to do a first look, you’ll be able to get almost all of your portraits done before the ceremony. This means you’ll be able to get to your reception quicker! Rather than having to get in all bride and groom portraits, family portraits, and bridal party portraits after the ceremony. There are also SO MANY other pros to having a first look. If you’re on the fence about having one, be sure to check out my blog post: The First Look – Why It’s Worth It:
After the first look, usually we will go right into romantic portraits while the initial excitement is still present. I will find the locations for these shots along with the first look location. This is something I scout out when I arrive that day. Here’s a tip to remember. LIGHT determines where we shoot so a portrait location can’t be decided until the day of.
Bridal Party Portraits
Bridal party portraits then usually follow bride and groom portraits. Here’s one tip for staying on schedule in your wedding day timeline for the bridal party. Have someone put the boutonnières on the guys BEFORE they arrive at the portrait location. Also remember to have all the girls grab their bouquets!
If the reception is in the same location as the ceremony, this is a great time before the ceremony to shoot the reception decor UNTOUCHED. If the ceremony and reception are in different locations, I recommend having a cocktail hour outside of the main reception area if possible. This will allow the photographer to grab some great shots of your reception before the night begins and guests start laying down their coats and purses on their seats.
It’s always best to save family formals for after the ceremony because ALL family members will be present at that time. It’s recommended to shoot portraits outdoors if possible so they resemble more natural family portraits. This is especially true if the ceremony location is dark! I usually send a questionnaire to my clients beforehand. This not only helps me put your timeline together, but gives you a place to list all the family formal shots you want.
One other BIG recommendation I could give would be to sneak away for a few sunset portraits if at all possible. You won’t regret it! Typically 7pm is the BEST time of day for sunset portraits in the late spring, summer, and early fall. The sun is glowy and golden at that time! I love having a few minutes with the bride and groom to take a few “Just Married” portraits in that glowy sunset light! This is something I can help coordinate. It’s usually easy to slip out of your reception for even 10-15 minutes and you won’t be sorry you did!