Creating the Perfect Wedding Timeline
A wedding timeline is essential for your photographer because it allows him or her to plan the perfect shots for your wedding day. Here are some tips on creating a timeline that will ensure beautiful, timeless photos
1. Start with the big picture. What time does your ceremony start? When will you and your spouse be leaving for your reception? Your photographer needs to know these details to plan your photo shoot's timing.
2. Consider the lighting. The best time for photographs is often during the Golden Hour, the hour before sunset. Remember when planning your timeline so your photographer can take advantage of the natural light.
3. Plan for breaks. You and your spouse will likely need a few breaks throughout the day, especially if you’re having a long photo shoot. Make sure to factor in time for breaks so you can recharge and be ready for more photos.
4. Communicate with your photographer. The best way to ensure beautiful, timeless photos is to communicate your vision with your photographer. Discuss the types of shots you’d like, the mood you want to capture, and any other details that will help your photographer understand your vision.
By following these tips, you can create a timeline that will result in beautiful, timeless photos that you’ll cherish for a lifetime.
Since we have seen many weddings, we recommend creating the perfect wedding timeline. To do that, we must break the wedding down into different parts.
How much Photography coverage time do you need for your wedding?
This will vary from couple to couple, and different variables will affect coverage requirements. Most couples will book us from 7-8 hours on average. We don't make you commit to coverage time until we go over your timeline with you during a timeline planning meeting over Zoom. We have no coverage minimums for Monday-Thursday weddings. Coverage time is continuous and begins at the first location and ends at the last location.
Variables that affect coverage time
Bridal Prep (90 Minutes)
This is the time for hair, makeup, and dress. Many couples don't realize prep time's importance for your overall photography gallery. More time during prep is preferred over reception coverage based on years of designing albums with client selections. The reason is that prep time will allow for more portraits of the couple and close family during the beginning of the day.
We recommend starting us at the end of hair and makeup. Your photographer will need about 30 minutes to capture your final touches' details. By starting us 15 minutes before makeup ends. This will allow us time to capture your bridal details and flat lay without losing any time waiting for hair and makeup to finish.
Pro Tip....be very clear with your makeup artist that you have a hard "end" time. And tell her it is 15 minutes earlier than it is. Your photographer will want to take some close-ups of your makeup so they can capture all the details. Once you are ready, your photographer will want to take some portraits of you in your dress with your hair and veil down and images with your bridesmaids and family.
Groom Prep (30 Minutes)
It's important to note that since we use associate photographers, groom prep can run concurrently with bridal prep.
During groom prep, your photographer will want to take detailed shots of your wedding attire and portraits of you and your groomsmen.
First Look (30 Minutes)
If you plan on doing a First Look, we recommend doing it before the ceremony. This will give you more time to enjoy your cocktail hour without worrying about being pulled away for photos. We can do a bridal party at this time if you opt to do a first look, leaving more time for portraits during cocktail hour.
Your photographer will need about 15 minutes before the ceremony to capture guests arriving and taking their seats. During the ceremony, your photographer will capture wide shots of the entire scene and intimate moments between you and your spouse.
Pro Tip...if your ceremony is outdoors, plan for a "Plan B" in case of bad weather. Your photographer can still capture beautiful images even if the ceremony has to be moved indoors.
Family Formals (3-5 Minutes per Group)
After the ceremony, you and your spouse will pose for photos with each side of the family. We recommend 3-5 minutes per group to capture various shots. For large families, this process can take a long time, so plan accordingly and let your family know where to be at the time for family portraits.
Bridal Party Portraits: 30 Minutes
We recommend the first look mostly so we can do this before the wedding, but if that is not an option, then we will do this after the ceremony and family formals. We want to make sure to get creative and fun images with your bridal party.
Creative Portraits: 45 Minutes
During cocktail hour, your second photographer will capture images of the decor and candid moments of you and your guests enjoying the festivities if time allows. During this time, your principle photographer will be capturing your portraits together.
This is an important part of the day, so don't forget about it. If things are running behind, it will cut into this time, so your photographer will try to ensure you are on time throughout the day.
Your reception coverage will vary but the most important part of knowing for planning your timeline is that your photography team doesn't need to stay for the entire day. We just need to stay until all the formalities are finished. This will help save you money and avoid an unbalanced gallery.
Night Portraits (Optional): 20 Minutes
If you plan on doing night portraits, we recommend doing them after the reception. Your photographer will need about 20 minutes to set up and capture some beautiful images of you and your spouse together. This is optional and will require you to leave the reception, so it should be planned for ahead of time.
Timeline Planning Meeting
Once you have booked your wedding with us, we will schedule a Timeline Planning Meeting 3-6 Months before the wedding. This is an important meeting to attend as we will review your wedding day's details and finalize your timeline.
We understand that every wedding is different, so while this is a general outline, we will work with you and finalize your coverage time.