Ideal Wedding Timelines


Shoes, Dress, Rings & Other Details

* Ideal Time Allotment – 30 minutes
* Typical Time of the Day – Morning
* Location – Bridal Suite or Hotel Suite

* Advice – Having at least 30 minutes for details ensures that I 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 hotel room is too crowded or simply unappealing; I have to take the dress all the way down to the lobby or even outside. This can take some time, but as you can see from the results, it’s well worth the additional work.

Preparation

* Ideal Time Allotment – 45 minutes
* Typical Time of the Day – Morning or Early Afternoon
* Location – Bridal Suite or Hotel Suite

* Advice – Having 45 minutes to an hour of preparation is ideal for my style. During this time, I'm getting close ups of the makeup and hair being applied as well as the candid moments while 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.

Typically, I will be with the bride while the second shooter will be with the groom. While it doesn’t take guys an hour to get dressed, there are still tons of great moments during this time between the groom and his family and friends. If we have more time, I'll rotate between rooms to get all the fun moments.

Individual Portraits

* Ideal Time Allotment – 20-30 minutes
* Typical Time of the Day – Morning or Early Afternoon
* 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. Take a deep breath, think about what's coming, and mentally clear your head.

First Look & Daytime Couples Session

* Ideal Time Allotment – 30-60 minutes
* Typical Time of the Day – Morning or Early Afternoon
* Location – Venue Garden, Empty Venue Hallway (shaded areas with natural light)

* Advice – The first look should be around 30 to 45 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 candid portraits of the bride and groom. This is the first moment he sees his bride and the emotions can take some time to work through. The more flexible you are with the time on this, the better.

Ideally I am 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.

**Please note: If you opt to NOT do a first look before the Ceremony, keep in mind that the couple's session would then have to fight with the family formal session directly following the nuptials, and time can get taken away from the Bride and Groom.

Wedding Party Photos

* Ideal Time Allotment – 45-60 minutes
* Typical Time of the Day – Morning or Afternoon
* 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, I 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, we know how much your wedding party means to you, so we are sure to get pictures with you and each one of your bridesmaids or groomsmen individually.

The reason for the extended time on this section is that there will be a ton of personality and fun happening. No need to shorten that!

Immediate Family

* Ideal Time Allotment – 30 minutes
* Typical Time of the Day – Morning or Afternoon
* Location -Venue Lobby, Venue Garden, Beach, Park, Off-site Location

* Advice – Immediate Family Photos should take another 30 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.

Ceremony Detail & Venue

* Ideal Time Allotment – 20-30 minutes
* Location – Ceremony Site
* Typical Time of the Day – Morning or Afternoon BEFORE the guests arrive


Advice – Please allow 20 minutes for myself or the second shooter 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 we are there to capture the complete set up of your ceremony site so we can capture the scene at its best. 

Formals (Extended Family)

*Ideal Time Allotment – 45-60 minutes
*Typical Time of the Day – Morning or Afternoon (Post Ceremony) 
*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. This usually happens directly after the Ceremony while the rest of the guests head to Cocktail Hour.

Plan on 3 minutes per group on average.  For example, if you have 10 groups, schedule in a 30 minute time slot. I also 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
* Typical Time of the Day – Late Afternoon (Sunset)
* 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. This is the best time in terms of lighting. In this timeframe, I can get those amazing sunset shots with flares and epic views.

It also allows me 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). The soft lighting is the best at this time.

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

Reception Detail & Venue

* Ideal Time Allotment – 20-30 minutes
* Typical Time of the Day – Early Evening
* Location – Reception Site

* Advice – Please allow 30 minutes for myself or the second shooter 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. You spent the money on making this reception beautiful and unique, and I want to make sure I capture that.

Other Things to Consider

Table Shots – Table shots are when the two of you go around to visit guests at each table. 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.

Destination or Travel Timelines - For my destination and travel couples, I usually tell them to plan for me to travel to the location two days before the wedding day. This gives me time to deal with travel complications, get over jet lag, scout the locations, and get mentally prepped for the big day. The wedding day timeline should look a lot like the above, unless you are eloping. Elopements are typically free and open with a ton of focus directly on the couple and the experiences. There are also options to add photography sessions either the day before (engagement style) or the day after (bridal/couples or trash the dress session) which can add to the destination experience. Let me know if you have any specific requests!