How to Plan your Wedding Day
Your wedding day is going to either be stressful or stress free well before the day itself. We have photographed over 1000 weddings and have put together this guide to help you plan your wedding day so you get not only the best wedding photos but the best experience.
There are many ways to plan your wedding day, there are a few things to consider. Are you having a traditional wedding day? Or a non traditional wedding day?
What a traditional wedding day timeline looks like.
- We start at your home or hotel
- Then go to a church
- Then we go to your catering hall
Here are some things to consider when allocating time for everything.
- How big is your bridal party?
- How many family groupings would you like us to photograph?
- What time is your church?
- Are you having a full mass or just the ceremony?
- What time is your cocktail hour?
- How many photographers do you have?
- How long does it take to travel from your home to the church?
- How long does it take to travel from your church to your venue?
By knowing this information we are able to allocate the necessary time to take all of the beautiful wedding photos you would like as well as add time for things you don't know to add time for.
If your church starts at 2:00pm and are having a ceremony (30 minutes long) and you are getting ready 10 minutes away from the church here is how I would plan your wedding day.
Main Photographer starts with the bride at 11:30.
The main photographer will take photos of:
- The brides details such as: Your wedding dress, engagement ring, wedding bands and bridal bouquet.
- Hair and makeup team applying bridal make up
- Bride getting ready photos such as: The mother of the bride helping her daughter zip up the wedding dress, place the veil. The maid of honor helping the bride with her jewelry.
- Portraits of the bride alone
- First look with the bridesmaids
- First look with the father of the bride
All of these images usually take about 2 hours to complete. We would leave your getting ready location at 1:30 to arrive at the church prior to you getting there so we can take photos of the church and the details prior to your guests arriving.
Second Photographer starts with the groom at 12:30.
The second photographer will take photos of:
- The grooms details such as: The grooms tux, boutonniere , cufflinks
- The grooms getting ready photos such as: The best man helping the groom put on his jacket, and the groom adjusting his cufflinks.
- Portraits of the groom alone
Then the second photographer will meet the main photographer at the church at at 1:40.
During your ceremony here are some of the images we will take:
- The bridal party walking down the isle
- The grooms reaction to seeing his bride-to-be walk down the isle for the first time
- The second photographer will take a photo of the bride from behind while her guests looking at her
- We will take many candid photos of your ceremony such as your vows, ring exchange, vows and first kiss
- Your second photographer will take candid images of your guests
After your ceremony is completed and your are officially husband and wife we will set up an exit shot where your bridal party is lines up on the stairs of the church. Some couples bring bubbles or bird seeds for this photo.
Then we take the couple back into the church to take a few images of them alone.
All of these images take time to take so you want to allocate at least 30 minutes to take all of these images after your ceremony.
We will then travel to your catering hall. We have to account for how long it is going to take to travel to your catering hall.
Once we arrive at your catering hall here are the images we have to take:
- Formal family photos of the brides side
- Formal family photos of the grooms side
- The groom and his groomsmen together and individually
- The bride and her bridesmaids together and individually
- Photos of the couple together
Depending on the size of the bridal party and the amount of groupings in your family these images usually take 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours. You should allocate 45 minutes - 1 hour for couples portraits on your wedding day.
After these photos are completed, your bridal party, family and you and your spouse will go to cocktail hour while we photograph the rest of your wedding day.
What a non traditional wedding day timeline looks like.
- We start at your home or hotel
- First look with your husband at a park or secondary location
- Ceremony at your catering hall
- Reception at your catering hall
When putting together a timeline for a non traditional wedding day the first thing we need to know is what time is your ceremony. By knowing that, we can now work backwards to plan what time your first reveal, bridal party photos and family photos are going to need to be done.
If your ceremony starts at 2pm, here is how we would plan your wedding day.
Main Photographer will start with bride at 9:00am (home or hotel)
Second Photographer will start with groom at 10:00am (home or hotel)
First look with the couple at 11:00am (park or secondary location)
Bridal Party Photos at 11:15am (park or secondary location)
Family Photos at 12:30pm at venue
Guests arrive at 1:30pm at venue
Ceremony 2:00pm - 2:30pm
Cocktail Hour 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Reception from 3:30-7:30pm
I know this is a lot to take in, and if you have any questions please feel free to reach out to us anytime. When your wedding day is planned right, your photos and experience are so much better. Give us a call so we can help you set up your wedding timeline.