I know for any bride (I was one) the day of timeline can get on your nerves and gets a little time consuming. I don’t want that for any bride! So when you’re planning a wedding day timeline, the best advice I could give is to ADD CUSHION TIME! Sometimes the most simple things can take an extra 20 minutes and then all of a sudden, the whole morning is thrown off. Here is just a rough estimate for an 8 hour day, which I would put into consideration for any wedding day. It is after all my popular Collection. Also a HUGE question that gets asked and should be thought of is RAINY wedding days. I have addressed this as well.
Bridal Details: 2:30-3:15pm
Every bride loves having those beautiful shots of her bridal details. It’s an important part of the story and I love having some time to shoot the dress, shoes, jewelry, invitations, etc. These shots allow me to get warmed up for the rest of the big day. I normally like to allow at least 45 minutes for this part of the day. While I’m shooting details, I’m also capturing some shots of the bride and her girls getting ready! If the groom is getting ready nearby, I will begin photographing the boys close to 40 minutes before the first look (if you are wanting the first look) since it always takes them less time to get dressed!
Bridal Prep: 3:15pm-3:45pm
After the details have been photographed, it’s time for the bride to get into her dress! This is a big moment! I usually ask the mother of the bride and all of the bridesmaids to be dressed by the time the bride is ready to get into her dress. This ensures that everyone will look nice in those images. After the bride is in her gown, she can put on her jewelry, veil, shoes, etc. and I will shoot some additional bridal portraits!
First Look: 4pm
This is one of my favorite parts of the wedding day! I will find the perfect location for my couple’s First Look prior to the getting ready portion of the day! Don’t stress about that one bit! I will make sure the location is private and as secluded as possible.
After the bride and groom take their time with the First Look, I will begin taking a few romantic portraits of the two of them while the initial excitement is still present! I will find the locations for these shots as well! Remember, the LIGHT determines where we shoot and so I can’t decide on portrait locations until the day-of. As I shoot these portraits, the bridal party can start making their way to us for Bridal Party portraits!
Bridal Party Portraits: 4:50pm-5:20pm
Now it’s time for Bridal Party shots! I buffer in extra time throughout the day just in case we have some unexpected things that hold us up! One way to make sure we stay on schedule for bridal party portraits is to have someone put the boutonnieres on the guys BEFORE they arrive for portraits. During Bridal Party portraits, Michael and I will make sure to take some great shots of the guys and girls both separately AND together! After bridal party portraits are complete, the bride will go into hiding so that early guests don’t sneak a peek, and the ushers will begin their duties.
Bride in Hiding: 5:30pm-6pm
Reception Details: 5:30pm-5:50pm
If the reception is in the same location as the ceremony, I will use this time 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 so that I can grab some great shots of your reception before the night begins and guests start laying down purses and coats on their seats!
It’s time to get married!! Most ceremonies are 30 minutes long. If your ceremony is longer than 30 mins, we’ll make adjustments to the timeline! Cherish these moments! Your ceremony will pass by so quickly!
Family Portraits: 6:40pm-7:10pm
We’ll need about 30 minutes for family formals and I will send a questionnaire before the wedding where you can list out the shots that you want. I recommend shooting portraits outdoors if possible so that they resemble more natural family portraits, especially if the ceremony location is dark!
A Few “Just Married” Portraits: 7:15pm-7:30pm
7:00pm is the BEST time of day for portraits in the late spring, summer and early fall! This is when the sun is glowy and golden. I love having a few extra minutes with the bride and groom to take a few “Just Married” portraits right after family formals!
Reception Begins!: 7:30pm
This is when the bridal party lines up for introductions and the party begins!! By this part of the day, my timeline isn’t as strict. I work off of the natural light and so after the sun is set, my portrait time is over and I begin focusing on the reception events!
The Exit: 10:30pm
I include 8 hours (popular) of coverage so that I can be present for the main events of the reception and about an hour of dancing! If you’re interested in having your exit photographed, there are several options for this! You can either upgrade to the Gold Collection or plan a faux exit with just your bridal party! I have had GREAT success with this and the party never stops!
DETAILS & PREP : 1.5 HOURS
FIRST LOOK & PORTRAITS : 30-40 MINS
BRIDAL PARTY : 30-40 MINS
FAMILY FORMALS: 30 MINS
EXTRA PORTRAIT TIME : AS MUCH TIME AS YOU’LL GIVE ME!
One of the most frequently asked questions that I receive during wedding season is “Soooo, what do you do if it RAINS?!”. I want to reassure you that even if it rains, you will still have beautiful portraits and BRIGHT colors in your images! Overcast skies mean vibrant colors! I know that rain isn’t idea, and no bride would wish for rain on their big day, but if if it happens, it happens….and it’g going to be JUST fine!!
Here are a few things to remember:
- All I need to create natural light portraits on a rainy wedding day is a porch! Just one porch!
- Let me worry about the pictures. You have enough to think about. If there is a chance of rain, I’ll be sure to do some extra scouting to find a covered location or two, for us to use for your first look, romantic portraits and bridal party portraits.
- Take it one step at a time. Don’t think about your entire day and think what will happen if it rains. That will only overwhelm you! Definitely have a rain plan for your venue, but then let your vendors do the work of handling the rest of the day if rain is in the forecast.