I often help brides and grooms create their wedding day flow. I understand that every wedding is different and will have their own needs. In general, I like to use a standard formula I have found that works for timelines, and then we can adjust it as needed. Below are my suggestions of the order of events on a wedding day and an approximate timeframe for each “event”.
Getting Ready: One to one and a half hours. During the first 30 mins that I arrive on the wedding day, I take a lot of detail shots of your wedding day trinkets. I photograph the dress, shoes, jewelry, invitations, flowers, and your something old, something new! After that, I am a fly on the wall as you finish your hair and makeup, then we put you in your dress and make sure you are runway ready for your wedding.
First Look: 20 mins. *I know not everyone does a First Look*, but for those that do, it really helps with the timeline! Once you see each other for the first time, we can then jump right into the bridal party portraits so that we won’t have to do them after the ceremony, and instead they can run off to cocktail hour! (Also, their hair and makeup will be fresh!) While the actual First Look will only take a few minutes, it does take a few extra minutes to set it up. I also like to give you a breather immediately after so that you can both have a moment. A First Look can be pretty intense!
Bridal Party: 30-40 mins. Like I said, if you do choose to have a First look, we can jump right into these photos after that. If you will not be seeing each other until after the ceremony, we can spend sometime doing just bride and her bridesmaids, and groom and his groomsmen before the ceremony.
Ceremony: 1 hour. Most ceremonies only last 30mins, but I try to always get the bride and groom hidden away the 30 mins prior to the ceremony. This way guests won’t see them until they walk down the aisle, and it gives the couple some time to relax and breath before they exchange vows in front of all their friends and family!
Family Formals: 30 mins. I try to get family portraits done *immediately* after the ceremony. This way Uncle Bob won’t go running off to cocktail hour and grandma can go relax and sit down once these photos are done. This time frame will depend heavenly on the size of your family, and how organized they are! Please inform all family members you want photographed that their presence will be needed immediately after the ceremony!
Bride and Groom portraits: 30-40mins. These are the most precious images. They will be the ones you hang on your walls, so please factor in enough time for them! I like to photograph the bride and groom as close to sunset time as possible, but am aware that many other factors will determine when we actually get to shoot your portraits.
Reception: Depending on the hour coverage you wedding package has will depend on how long I will stay at reception. A good rule of thumb is about 3 hours of reception coverage. This can usually cover everything from the Grand Entrance, toasts, first dance, dinner, parent dances, cake cutting, bouquet toss, and some open dancing shots.