I thought I would pop in today and share with you WHY I encourage every couple to book our 8 hours wedding day package. Honestly, it’s the only package I offer now because I know from past experiences that I need that full 8 hours to capture everything you want documented on your wedding day. Weddings go by so quickly. You will wake up at the crack of dawn, have yourself a mimosa and start hair and makeup. The next thing you know it’s time to say “I do”.
I want to share with you an example timeline of our average wedding day! I have been so lucky to share in so many beautiful weddings over the last 3 years. Each wedding is different and unique in it’s own way, but I can almost always go into my weddings with the same expectations (in terms of shooting).
About a month or so before your wedding, I will send you an online questionnaire. This questionnaire asks things like “What time will the bride start hair and makeup?” or “What time does the ceremony start?”. After compiling all of your answers, I sit down and create a customized shooting timeline for us. (If there’s one thing I’m sure all of my past bride can attest to, it’s that I ALWAYS stay track with timeline!) Weddings are hectic enough and I make sure everyone is where they need to be at the time they need to be there! (I’m like a mini day of coordinator too!)
- 11:30am-12:30pm | When I first arrive to wherever you will be getting ready, I ask that you have all your details gathered for me so I can get to work right away! These details include things like your dress, shoes, BOTH rings, bouquet, invitations, jewelry, perfume, and any other small details that you may want captured. I spend about an hour snapping photos of all your pretty details as you are finishing up with hair and makeup. (We snap some candids of you guys getting pampered then as well!)
- 12:30pm-1pm | Next it’s time for the bride to get dressed! All of your girls will be getting dressed at this point too. Usually moms, sisters, grandmas, etc. will help the bride into her dress and we capture those moments as they happen. After you are in your dress, you finish up with your veil, earrings, shoes, and of course a few moments to gather yourself and take in the moment because YOUR IN YOUR WEDDING DRESS AND THIS IS HAPPENING!
- 1pm-1:30pm | After everyone’s ready, it’s time to head outside! Each girl grabs her bouquet and we start snapping those gorgeous bridesmaids photos. We do a few different group shots, individuals with the bride and each bridesmaid, and then a few of just our beautiful bride.
- 1:30pm-1:45pm | If anyone in the brides family is available to be at the wedding a tad bit early (grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, etc.) We can start on a few family shots before the ceremony to save us time afterwards!
- 2pm-2:30pm | Next time it’s for the guys! We will head to where the guys are getting ready and take a few shots of them. Guys usually aren’t as into the whole “getting ready” photos as the girls are, so we keep these quick but make sure we grab a few detail shots and some of your groom getting dressed.
- 2:30pm-3pm | After all the guys are dressed, we head back outside for groomsmen photos. We shoot the same way we did with the girls. A few group shots, individuals with the groom and each groomsmen, and then a couple of just the groom.
- 3pm-3:15pm | Same thing – if any of the grooms family is available early, we can start grabbing some family shots to save us time later. (We know, everyone is trying to get to the bar after the ceremony!)
- 3:30pm | We always keep a little extra time in the schedule here IN CASE we ever get off track and need an extra minute. But this is the time when everyone can go to their waiting rooms and prepare to walk down the aisle. We head to the reception to set up our lighting, grab some reception shots before guests arrive, and then grab some ceremony shots before the guests get there.
- 4pm | CEREMONY TIME! Most ceremonies are kept under 30 minutes but obviously this varies wedding to wedding. (We will go 30 minutes in this case!)
- 4:30pm | After the ceremony, we go straight into family formals. These are photos of both the bride and groom with both families! I like to keep these photos UNDER 20 minutes. You will create a list for me via the questionnaire that I send so we have names and relations of all family members. My assistant will have the list and call out names so we can knock these photos out quickly! (Just remember, YOU will have to inform your family members that they need to find you after the ceremony to take photos – we can’t waste our shooting time looking for Uncle Freddie!)
- 4:45pm | Time for some wedding party photos! We ask the wedding party to wait around as the bride and groom finishes their family pictures so they are ready to go. We do a few different shots with the whole wedding party and if feasible, a couple different locations.
- 5pm | Now it’s time for photos of just the bride and groom! We will head of somewhere a little more secluded to take your photos. In my opinion, these are some of the most important photos of the day. We don’t rush them but we make sure not to keep you away from your reception and guests too long. Bride and groom photos usually take 20-30 minutes.
- 5:30 | We will head back to the reception and wait for you and your party to be announced in! We coordinate the the DJ from this point on to make sure nothing is missed and we always have our cameras ready. From here on out, we just capture your moments and dances as they happen. We do encourage couples to make sure all of your important moments are scheduled before the end of photography coverage, ie: first dance, father-daughter, mother-son, cake cutting, etc.
- 7:30pm | 2-3 hours at a reception is really all that is needed (to be quite honest!) Keep in mind that a chunk of time will be allotted for dinner and no one likes their photo taken when they’re eating. I always suggest all your dances to come straight after dinner and then open the floor for some dancing so we can grab a few guest shots! The rest of the night is yours to enjoy (without a camera in your face!)
So there’s my timeline! It’s never failed me yet and I can always capture every important part of your day within those 8 hours. I hope this was helpful to at least one bride out there as she is in the planning process! If you ever have any questions about shooting timeline or times for your events throughout the day – I’m always more than happy to help out!
*Also keep in mind! This timeline is for a more traditional style wedding. We can accommodate smaller weddings with less hours if we see fit!