WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY TIMELINE

With the diversity of the cultural aspects of my weddings, it’s difficult to pinpoint an exact wedding photography timeline template. However, there are ideal time frames you should consider when planning your day. Some of these times may seem long on paper but keep in mind that 1) the day will fly by,  2) most weddings run slightly behind schedule and 3) I make these photo sessions fun, so it won’t seem like a long time.

 

THE DETAILS

* Ideal Time Allotment – 45 minutes
* Ideal Location – Bridal Suite or Hotel Suite

* Advice – Having at least 45 minutes for details ensures that I have plenty of time to get that perfect photo of the dress, rings, shoes, bouquets, and the other details of the day.

There are times when a hotel room is too crowded or simply unappealing; I then have to take the dress down to the lobby or even outside. This can take some time, but as you can see from the results, it’s well worth the additional work.

 

GETTING READY PHOTOS

* Ideal Time Allotment – 45 minutes
* Ideal Location – Bridal Suite or Hotel Suite

* Advice – Having 45 minutes of preparation is ideal for my style. During this time, I am getting close ups of the makeup and hair being applied as well as the candid moments as the bridesmaids and groomsmen get ready for the day. Keep in mind that these are some of the most emotional and fun times of the day, so you don’t want to cut it short. If there are any letters to read or special gifts to unwrap I prefer to shoot this during the individual portrait session, after the bride is dressed.

 

INDIVIDUAL PORTRAITS 

* Ideal Time Allotment – 30 minutes
* Ideal Location – Bridal Suite, Hotel Suite, Venue Lobby, or Venue Garden

* Advice – Right after prep is the best time for individual portraits of the bride and groom (separately). Besides makeup and hair being completely fresh, the day hasn’t gotten hectic yet so we can take our time and get those perfect portraits. If there are several letters to read or gifts to unwrap then I like to add another 5 minutes per item to this time line. Please keep in mind, this is not a "bridal portrait session" as those are usually done on the day the bride does her hair and make-up run through.

 

 

FIRST LOOK

* Ideal Time Allotment – 45-60 minutes
* Ideal Location – Venue garden, parks, (shaded areas with natural light) 

* Advice – The first look should be around 45-60 minutes. During this time, the couple enjoy seeing each other for the first time on the wedding day. While the actual first look might only be 5-10 minutes, the rest of the time is spent on some traditional and candid portraits of the couple.

Ideally I am saving the bulk of the couples session for later (see the “couples session” section below). However, if there is no other time in the day, it is best to allocate another 45 minutes to an hour here so that we make sure we have enough photos of just you two.

 

WEDDING PARTY PHOTOS 

* Ideal Time Allotment – 45-60 minutes
* Ideal Location -Venue Lobby, Venue Garden, Beach, Park, Off-site Location

* Advice – Wedding Party Photos should be around 45 minutes to 1 hour. During this time, we get a variety of shots in a variety of poses. We start off with the basic, classic photos focused on great expressions and lighting.

Then we move into a set of fun and creative shots. Finally, we know how much your wedding party means to you, so we are sure to get pictures with you and each one of your bridesmaids or groomsmen individually.

 

IMMEDIATE FAMILY 

* Ideal Time Allotment – 30-45 minutes
* Ideal Location -Venue Lobby, Venue Garden, Beach, Park, Off-site Location

* Advice – Immediate Family Photos should take another 45 minutes. It’s important to have additional images with your parents, grandparents, and siblings beyond the basic formal (mentioned in the section below).

Plan on 3 minutes per group on average.  For example, if you have 10 groups, schedule in a 30 minute time slot.

We all know how much weddings mean to the immediate family, and we want to make sure we’re capturing enough pictures with them.

 

CEREMONY DETAILS 

* Ideal Time Allotment – 30 minutes

* Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Afternoon

Advice – Please allow 30 minutes for my second shooter to take pictures of the ceremony site, completely set up with no guests or vendors in the area. Before you have the guests seated,  it’s important that we are there to capture the complete set up of your ceremony site so we can capture the scene at its best and also please allow 15 minutes for me to arrive before the groom's arrival.

Please note this is not the reception site details, but just the ceremony site details.

 

FORMALS

(Extended family, immediate family and friends) 

*Ideal Time Allotment – 45-60 minutes
*Ideal Location – Ceremony Site or nearby garden

Advice – Formals should take around 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on the size of your family and the number of guests. This does not include the couple's formal session.

Plan on 3 minutes per group on average.  For example, if you have 10 groups, schedule in a 30 minute time slot.

I also recommend being very organized, with a list of groups and helpers from each side of the family to help round people up. If I have to do this it takes time away from the photos.

 

COUPLE'S ROMANCE SESSION 

* Ideal Time Allotment – 1 hour
* Ideal Time of the Day – Late Afternoon to Sunset
* Ideal Location – Venue Garden, Beach, Hotel Lobby, Park

* Advice – Couple session should be around 1 hour and should take place ideally 45 minutes before sunset if colorful skies and sunset views are in the location. The is also the best time in terms of natural lighting. Obviously if the couple would like their romance session inside this can be done at anytime through the day and/or evening.

 

 

RECEPTION DETAILS

* Ideal Time Allotment – 30 minutes
* Ideal Time of the Day – 30 minutes before guests are allowed into the area

* Advice – Please allow 30 minutes for us take pictures of the reception room, completely set up with no guests or vendors in the area.

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 SNEAK-OUT 

* Ideal Time Allotment – 30 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 30 minutes, as we understand the importance of being a good host. However, this time is important if you appreciate the night photography that we deliver. The ideal time for this is right after you grab a bite to eat or during the open floor dancing after you’ve danced a few songs and would like a break.  

 

OTHER THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND 

Farther of the Bride First Look: This is very popular and please allow 15-20 minutes after the individual portrait session,  provided it will be in the same location as where the bride got ready, otherwise please be sure and allow travel time.

 

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 about 3-5 minutes per table.  For example 20 tables would require 60-100 minutes of time.

 

Reception Time Line: You do not need to add any other time for photos to the existing reception event time line your wedding planner will provide as those events are covered automatically. i.e.: grand entrance, first dances, cake cutting, etc.