Wedding Day Timeline Tips

 

So, the day is fast approaching and the excitement is almost uncontainable. The day is finally going to be here. YAY! I have attached my questionnaire to ensure that I have all the information that I need to make certain we get all of the images that you could ever imagine… and then some! =) After you complete the questionnaire and return it to me, I will have a better idea of where and what time I should begin shooting for the day.

Why do I do that?

There is a specific flow and structure that occurs when I photograph. Most important is that I provide creative, enticing imagery of your wedding day that will stand out to you, your family, and your friends. To maintain the creativity throughout the day, I strive to appropriately schedule myself within your timeline. Below is an example of a timetable:

GETTING READY

We arrive 1 – 1.5hrs before you put on your dress. We ask that you have all accessories (dress, shoes, veil, jewelry, garter, clutch, etc) out and ready to be photographed when we arrive. We will take about 15 – 20 minutes to capture those details. You can then begin putting on your dress. With any remaining time we can photograph individuals with bridesmaids, etc.

“What about pictures of me getting my hair and make-up done?”

Any images relating to applications or hair can be taken during touch-ups before you put on your dress. Think about it; hair and make-­up take a long time. It looks best when it is all done. Wouldn’t you rather be photographed looking complete? All details can be reenacted for a few shots.

*NOTE* It is not necessary for you to schedule time for family/ bridesmaids photographs within the “Getting Ready” timeframe. Usually whatever combinations we could get in your home or hotel room we can get at the church or on location— and they will look better. Certainly, if there is a special circumstance that is totally fine— i.e. someone who cannot make the event— or some part of the house or yard that has special meaning.

PHOTOS WITH THE GROOMSMEN GETTING READY

Should you or shouldn’t you?

I have gotten this request many times. Theoretically, to a bride, this sounds great; a moment of the day that you aren’t able to see. Certainly the same excitement and energy that is occurring with you and your girls is happening with him and his guys— why shouldn’t that be captured? Unfortunately, it’s not the same— ha—ha. I can’t tell you how many times I have knocked on the groomsmen’s door ready to photograph, and someone is in the shower, someone hasn’t arrived yet, and someone is sitting in a chair eating a burrito. That’s how guys spend their time 10 minutes prior to leaving. So, unless your guy is a rare breed, I would say save the pictures of the groom/groomsmen until we get to the church. In that case I can grab him for 5 minutes and have him fiddle with his tie and reattach his cuff links.

***Remember, the great thing about photographs is that we can take them at any time and rearrange them within any part of the day***

CEREMONY

This is a purely candid time for us. The only thing I would recommend is that you hold the first kiss and maybe go in for a few more kisses after the initial kiss. This will ensure that we capture it. Also, if you would like to kiss again after you’re announced while walking down the aisle during the recessional, that would be a bonus too!

***I suggest doing the receiving line at the church if you can. It will go MUCH FASTER here than at the reception where you will be visiting each table and have no time limit. You could visit each pew to let the guests out or stand at the back of the church.***

FAMILY PICTURES AT THE ALTAR

Please make all participants aware that they need to remain in the area for photographs after the ceremony. Plenty of times I hear, “Where’s dad?” “Oh, he left for the reception already.”

Here’s a tip: Men don’t like pictures! Ha-ha. They will always try to escape. On my questionnaire, I have an area where you are to list ALL of your family combinations. Please list each and every combination. For example, “bride and groom with bride’s parents, bride and groom with groom’s parents, bride and groom with groom’s nunna”, etc.

***We will refer to that list and organize the images. You will not have to stress about it***

BRIDE & GROOM / WEDDING PARTY PICTURES

Please discuss desired locations for pictures with me prior to the wedding day. Sometimes there are locations that may mean something to you or may be enjoyable to visit but do not lend themselves to great options for photography. My main concern is to use our short time on site effectively and efficiently.

Should I have my wedding party around for every picture?

This is an easy answer for me. No. Why? The wedding party is just that. A party. If you are serious about getting some great images of you and your new hubby, I suggest limiting their participation as much as possible. I suggest shooting at one location with the wedding party and then visiting another location to photograph just the two of you. The wedding party can stay on the transportation. Certainly, if your best friend, sister, etc. is your MOH and you just can’t feel like yourself without her by your side, then that it totally fine. It’s more about you feeling great, confident, relaxed, and beautiful for your wedding pictures. Also, hubby is more likely to get into it if his groomsmen aren’t laughing at him for nuzzling into you for a pose. =)

RECEPTION

I would prefer to get back to the reception before the guests are let in from cocktail hour. This will make certain that I have the opportunity to photograph the venue, details, cake, etc. Please discuss this with your contact at your venue site. Most times they will hold off on opening doors until I am finished shooting.

“I am not sure what events I want to do at the reception. I think some of them are kind of cheesy.”

This comes up a lot. From my perspective, it’s best to do as many of them as you can. They are great photographic moments, and the guests expect them. If there are certain traditions that don’t jive with your style, there are always ways to alter them. For example, if most of your friends are married, then it doesn’t make sense to do a bouquet toss. So, you could present the bouquet to your MOH as a token of appreciation. Great photo op. You can discuss all of these options with your DJ. Please feel free to contact me for more ideas.

“What can I do at the reception to guarantee nice pictures?”

Up lighting! Up lighting! Up lighting! If it is in the budget, I would highly recommend it. Up lighting transforms dim, uncharismatic backgrounds into beautiful, colorful ambiance. Also, details. Little details are great and photograph amazingly. With Etsy and Pinterest there are plenty of ways to make personalized details for your reception. Another great way to guarantee great pictures is by adding unusual features that the guests can participate in, such as Shutter Booths, gelato stands, chocolate fountains, etc. All this is great and increases the energy of the reception.

“How should the events be timed out?”

I am sure that the DJ has a preference for the times that these occur, but sometimes he has you list them out for him. Here is what I believe works the best to ensure a smooth, hiccup—free reception:

Right after being announced go to cake cutting. This will ensure time to serve right after dinner. You can then go into your first dance. (You will have to base this one on how many toasts there will be and how long you think the toasts will last. You don’t want your guests waiting too long for dinner to be served.)

“What about doing events while dinner is being served/eaten?”

Personally, I do not think this is necessary. There is plenty of time during the reception. I always sense a bit of awkwardness when there is a first dance, etc. during dinner because guests are unsure whether to eat or watch.

After dinner is cleared you can begin your parents’ dances while the cake is being served. most of the guests will still be seated.

“How much time should I have in between my events?”
The DJ will insist on huge chunks of time in between the events. His job is to get people on the dance floor dancing and having the time of their lives. Sometimes they can get carried away, time goes by, and people start to leave. Then you are left with the decision of whether to still do the events. I suggest scheduling everything as early in the night as possible. Not so much back to back— but close enough together to make certain that all of the guests can participate. ***A lot of guests leave after dinner. *** So, completing everything soon after is beneficial for this reason. After the events are completed and I feel comfortable with what I have captured, I will come to you or the groom to let you know that I will be leaving shortly and see if there is anything else that needs photographed. I try not to disrupt you dancing and bustin’ a move, so if I cannot find an appropriate opportunity to speak with you, I may just head out. That is rare. If so, I will contact you immediately the following day.

AFTER THE WEDDING

I try to post an image preview on Facebook that evening. Typically, I can get your images to you within 6 weeks. I will send an email containing the login for your website. I will also ask for your address to ship the disc of images (if your package includes that). If you selected the Coach or Louis Vuitton Packages your next step is to select up to 200 images for your proof book. You can do this through your site by creating a folder and submitting those images. You must do this all in one sitting UNLESS you register your computer. You can only register computers— not your information. Please email me and let me know that you submitted so I can make sure that I received it. You can also create a folder for the album and select up to 80 images. When I receive your chosen images, I will create a layout and send the proof to you as a PDF for approval.
There is no time limit in which you need to do this. I know life gets hectic so please don’t feel like you need to do it right away. Although, I do suggest you do this as soon as possible while the excitement and buzz of the wedding still remains.

CONCLUSION

With all that being said, it is still YOUR wedding day! Whatever I can do to make sure it is purely enjoyable and stress-free please let me know. My main goal is to capture amazing images that you will cherish forever!

When you’re ready, click here or click on the banner below to start your questionnaire:

questionnaire_ic

Please fill in the questionnaire as completely as you can. Thanks!