A wedding is a whirlwind of events, gone in the blink of an eye. There’s little more important to a perfectly executed day than a well organized timeline for your wedding photography. The secret to a stress-free day? Schedule enough prep time and cushion your timeline for those unexpected surprises along the way.
Typically the ceremony time is the one thing that is already set and wedding photographers have no control over it. What we do have control over is what images are taken before and after, and how the day is organized. Will the couple do a first look? Are the reception and ceremony in the same location? What time the sun is setting? If the ceremony is at 6 and the sun is setting at 6:45, I strongly encourage a first look to work within the best light (if you aren’t familiar with a first look is, read here) and explain all the reasons why it might be advantageous. All these factors come into play.
We’ll work on the timeline together about two to three weeks before the day of the wedding. Its important that you share your timeline with anyone who is involved in the wedding. This includes anyone in the wedding party (throat clearing…groomsmen), family members, other vendors, and anyone else contributing to the day.
A few other things to consider:
Family photos: Two to three minutes per shot — if your family is properly organized.
Bridal party photos: Two to three minutes per shot. I like to keep these simple knowing you’d like to make it to your own cocktail party.
Don’t have a first look planned? Allow 30 minutes post-ceremony for photos of you and your groom. If you did have a first look, you’ll still want 15-20 minutes post-ceremony for just the two of you.
Save photos of very large groups (like classmates, coworkers, and large extended family groups) for the reception, when your DJ or band leader can make an announcement to gather everyone. You’ll be able to take the photos much faster than trying to track down 50 people during the cocktail hour.
For all this talk of detail, though, hear this: your wedding timeline is a guideline. As long as you don’t keep guests waiting and the food is fresh, it’s totally fine to deviate from it as the day begins to flow. And that’s where a talented coordinator or planner comes in. I know one is not in every budget, but I would highly recommend making room for one if you can, and if not, at least arranging a handpicked family member or friend to be the point person on the big day. If you’re the type to stress over whether everything is getting set up correctly and whether little details are being taken care of, a coordinator could be the best gift you give yourself. A coordinator is also a gift to your family and friends (and your photographer) – both because you’ll be less stressed, and because it will allow them to relax, as well. A win win! (southernwedding.com)
Tell me, do you have a timeline for your wedding day yet? Do you have any tricky questions I can answer? Are you doing anything different with the flow of your day?