Planning a wedding can be an exhilarating journey, filled with joy, anticipation, and a fair share of stress. One of the key elements to a smooth wedding day is a well-thought-out timeline. In this post, I will share my typical timeline for wedding photography to guide you through your special day.
Getting Ready - Bride
The day usually begins early for the bride. Professional makeup artists and hairstylists often come to the bride’s location to create the perfect wedding look. This is a time for laughter, mimosas, and anticipation. It's not just about looking your best, but also about savoring these precious moments with your family and closest friends. This is my favourite time frame of the day to take candid photos of laughters and tears. The timeline looks like this roughly:
- Flat lay and dress shot: 30min
- Bride getting ready: 30min
- Photos with family and bridal party (formal and candid): 30min
Getting Ready - Groom
The groom's getting ready timeline is similar to the bride's. It is usually covered by a second photographer.
First Look & Couple Photo Session
Many couples choose to have a 'first look' before the ceremony. This intimate moment away from the crowd allows the couple to see each other for the first time on their wedding day. First look usually takes about 15 minutes. It's followed by a photo session (about 1 to 2 hours). Family and bridal party can join the photo session. Many couples also choose to have the first look at the ceremony when the bride is walking down the aisle.
Group Photos with Guests
Photos with guests are usually taken after ceremony and during cocktail hour. Depending on the number of guests and wether you would like small group photos, it can take from 30 min to 1 hour. It is a good idea to extend the cocktail hour to cover this time frame. Guests who are done taking photos can enjoy the cocktail and snacks.
In addition to group photos mentioned above, reception decoration photos (including the wedding cake) will be taken during this time before guests enter the reception area. After that, I will take 15 minutes to set-up lighting and prepare gears for reception. In spring or fall, cocktail hour usually happens during golden hour. If you would like to take sunset photos, don't forget to allocate a 30-minute time frame in your schedule. Moreover, in case there is any delay during the earlier segments of the day, cocktail hour serves as a buffer time, offering flexibility in the day's schedule. This allows the wedding planner or coordinator to seamlessly manage the schedule, ensuring everything proceeds smoothly without rushing or compromising the rest of the evening's events.
Remember, while this is my typical timeline, your wedding day is uniquely yours. Feel free to tweak this schedule to fit your personal style and preferences. I am more than happy to collaborate with you or assist in planning your wedding timeline. The most important thing is that you enjoy every moment of this special day. Happy planning!