I’ve seen it time and time again.
That perfect timeline that utilizes every minute of the wedding day effectively and efficiently. A wedding timeline that captures every moment of the wedding day, while efficiently using their photographer and other vendors.
Now, the beauty of your wedding is you can make it be anything you want it to be. You can do a first look and do family photos before the wedding, or you can do a more traditional approach. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good first look as much as the next photographer, but there is just something about your groom seeing you for the first time while you walk down the aisle. It’s just so awesome!
First looks are AWESOME and I love doing them. I love getting to sneak my couples off away from the rest of the crowd and get a few moments to themselves and just BE a few moments before the wedding day. It is so intimate and just nice. BUT it also adds a whole new dynamic to your timeline and wedding day. I advise doing first looks if you want to, but not trying to squeeze family photos between the first look and the ceremony.
Typically, where we run into troubles is when the family tries to get their family photos done before the ceremony. This causes issues, because sometimes family isn’t able to arrive exactly when they are supposed to and this causes binds with the timeline. These are important moments and important people in your life, and it is always simpler to do your family photos after the ceremony. The first reason is it’s easier to gather everyone up after the ceremony is completed, and more importantly, the bride and groom LOOKS more relaxed when we do photographs after the ceremony.
Relaxing and enjoying your wedding.
My biggest issue I face when we do portraits or family photographs BEFORE the wedding ceremony, the bride and grooms always look nervous. OF COURSE! You are GOING to look nervous, because this is one of the biggest day’s of your life. You have put your entire savings into this, you stressed about looking good in your dress for a year and you are worried you’re going to forget to breathe at the altar.
There is a huge, huge, simple solution to this…
Schedule your family and bride/groom portraits after your ceremony. Most couples are expecting to have a cocktail hours between the ceremony and the reception. Assuming you spend 10 minutes with a receiving line thanking all your guests, that leaves 50 minutes for you to get your family photos and bride/groom portraits completed.
With a HUGE family (Talking 50 some people between the bride and groom) we can typically get it wrapped up in around 30 minutes.*That is, if a shot list is returned and I know WHAT you want. That leaves 20 minutes for bride and groom portraits.
Not only is this enough time, but typically we can sneak the bride and groom away during the dinner and get a few more shots then too!!
Sample Wedding Day Timeline
I attached my sample timeline from my wedding in September! Feel free to steal it as needed 😉
Remember in Pirates of the Caribbean when they say these are more of Guidelines?
Ha, they might as well had been talking about a wedding timeline 😉 We will run late, we will run super far ahead. It is what it is, enjoy the day because stressing will not get you anywhere.
9:00 Bride and Matron of Honor arrive at studio to begin getting ready
12:00 Bride begins getting ready
1:00 Photographer arrives
1:00 Detail shots of bridal party getting ready, detail shots from ceremony room and brides dress
2:30 Boudoir session (Join my boudoir group for a sneak peek at this)
3:00 Bride & Bridesmaids getting into dresses
3:15 Bride & Bridesmaids get into horse & carriage. Portraits with horse & carriage & bride
3:50 Arrive at church
4:20 Receiving Line
4:30 Family photos at church with Immediate family.
5:00 Bridal Party Photos
5:15 Bride & Groom Portraits
6:00 Reception begins
7:00 Cut Cake
7:30 First Dance
The cool part about creating your wedding day timeline, is that it is super unique to you!! I hope this helps couples find the perfect time to work in their photography and what will help make their day as easy going and chill as possible.