WEDDING DAY PHOTOGRAPHY TIMELINE GUIDE

Every wedding is unique so no two timelines will be exactly alike. However it is important to note that great pictures, like anything else worthwhile in life, take time. Therefore, there are some ideal time frames you should keep in mind when planning your wedding 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.) we'll make these photos fun so it won't semm like a long time. :)
RINGS. DRESS. SHOES. AND OTHER DETAILS

Ideal Time Allotment – 30 minutes
Ideal Time of the Day – Morning
Ideal Location – Bridal Suite or Dressing Room

 

Advice – Having at least 30 minutes for details ensures that we 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 room is too crowded or simply unappealing; we have to take the dress outside or to a more appealing room. This takes time, but as you will see from the results, it is well worth the work!

PREPARATION

Ideal Time Allotment – 60 minutes
Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Early Afternoon
Ideal Location – Bridal dressing room/grooms dressing room

Advice – Having an hour 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 and 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.

INDIVIDUAL PORTRAITS

Ideal Time Allotment – 30 minutes
Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Early Afternoon
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.

FIRST LOOK AND DAYTIME COUPLES SESSION

Ideal Time Allotment – 45-60 minutes
Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Early Afternoon
Ideal Location – Venue Garden, Empty Venue Hallway (shaded areas with natural light)

Advice – The first look should be around 45-60 minutes. During this time, the bride and groom 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 a few basic portraits of the bride and groom.

Ideally we are 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 Time of the Day – Morning or Afternoon
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, I know how much your wedding party means to you, so I am sure to get pictures with you and each one of your bridesmaids or groomsmen individually.

IMMEDIATE FAMILY

Ideal Time Allotment – 30-45 minutes
Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Afternoon
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 DETAIL AND VENUE

Ideal Time Allotment – 30 minutes

Ideal Location – Ceremony Site
Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Afternoon


Advice – Please allow 30 minutes for me 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 I am there to capture the complete set up of your ceremony site so we can capture the scene at its best.

FORMALS (EXTENDED FAMILY, IMMEDIATE FAMILY, AND FRIENDS)

Ideal Time Allotment – 45-60 minutes
Ideal Time of the Day – Post Ceremony
Ideal Location – Ceremony Site

Advice – Formals should take around 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on the size of your family and the number of guests.

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

Some couples have decided that they want a picture with all guests while others have decided that they only want pictures with select VIPs to save time. 

I recommend being very organized, with a list of groups and helpers from each side of the family to help round people up.

COUPLES SESSION

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

Advice – Couple session should be around 1 hour and should take place ideally 30 to 45 minutes before sunset. The is the best time in terms of lighting.

It also allows us to capture the awesome scenic shots with colorful skies.

 

If your wedding is in downtown or in an area with tall buildings, it’s not as important for us to have this specific time frame (although it still helps).

However, if you booked your venue because of the spectacular view of the ocean or the gorgeous vines in the winery, it’s essential to follow this advice in your timeline.

RECEPTION DETAIL AND VENUE

Ideal Time Allotment – 30 minutes
Ideal Time of the Day – Early Evening
Ideal Location – Reception Site

Advice – Please allow 30 minutes for the second shooter (if you choose to have one) to 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 FIRST LOOK

Ideal Time Allotment – 10-15 minutes
Ideal Time of the Day – At the end of Cocktail Hour before doors open for guests
Ideal Location – Reception Site

Advice – This is when the reception space is revealed to the couple for the first time. It’s a great opportunity to capture a genuine reaction, as well as a moment alone with the dance floor to practice your first dance, which also makes a great photo!

ADDITIONAL WEDDING DAY DETAILS

 

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.