Timeline and tips
A couple months before your wedding I will send you a questionnaire regarding your wedding day details. This questionnaire will cover basic times such as hair, makeup, when you want the groom to arrive, ceremony, dinner, dancing etc. This questionnaire helps me develop a timeline for your day and layout the best possible use of your package that you chose. From there I will send you a draft of what I will cover of your day and we will due any tweaking we need up to a month before your wedding. While I design this timeline, I will also put in some extra time. This is for the main reason that NOTHING EVER GOES AS PLANNED. Thats totally okay, but at least you will have some wiggle room in your day and wont feel stressed about it.
Below are two sample timelines I have created for wedding days. This is to only give you a look at what I may cover before and after the ceremony depending on if you have a first look.
When I arrive : Detail Shots
Upon arrival, I love to go ahead and cover the Detail Shots. These are styled photos containing all the small and important moments during your wedding day that you may not capture in regular photos. Please have the following Items ready for me when I arrive!
Items to have prepared and ready for me to photograph (all may not apply):
NOTE: please have these items together in one place (For example: a shoebox). Your items in one box and your groom's in another. If you are getting ready at separate locations, then please keep ALL rings with the bridal items, including the groom’s ring.
HIS : shoes, ring, ring box, bowtie or tie, tie clip, pocket square, watch, cuff links, vow book, etc.
HERS: Invitation suite, shoes, ring(s), ring box, bracelets, earrings, necklace, hair pieces, vow book, perfume etc.
1) If there are any textured / sentimental details that you love that you feel like would make great accent items to your detail shots then feel free to throw those in there (lace, fur, miniature plants, pretty rocks, anything!!).
2) Please have your dress on a cute hanger. If you didn’t buy one specifically for it, that’s okay! Any nice wooden hanger will do just fine :)
3) I love to incorporate floral in my detail shots. If at all possible, I will grab the brides bouquet and incorporate it, if the bouquet can be arranged to be there along with the other bridal details, then awesome!
Getting Ready: The space & items
T H E “ G E T T I N G R E A D Y “ S P A C E
The getting ready space sets the tone for your wedding photos for the whole day. Most of the time you choose your photographer based on their style of photos, the color of photos, etc. Well this part is also done because of your help! Our style is created and duplicated over and over due to the help you guys give by following these tips and tricks!
My style is very light, airy, and clean colors true to what you see in front of you. That is done by using a ton of natural light. If I can I avoid using a flash. What you can do to help this is turn off the "yellow" lighting and open windows. Let that natural light in or plan a spot when you can get ready where there is plenty of natural lighting near by. This will make sure all of your skin tones in your photos are very true to color and don't pick up those orange/yellow tones that you can see with flash lighting. Don't worry you will see me turning on and off lights all day to get the lighting necessary to make sure your photos are beautiful.
What if I cant find natural light where I am getting ready? Or the venue only has one space for getting ready? Don't sweat it! I will still capture the best lighting to make sure your photos are beautiful. Again this is just a set of suggestions, you don't NEED these things to create beautiful photos.
Your wedding ceremony is pretty cut and dry! I will capture all of the normal wedding photos during the ceremony. All the isle shots, grooms look at the bride, rings, vows, etc. I will capture it all. Here are some of the most common shots that might be included during your wedding ceremony!
- Detail shots of ceremony
- Wide shot
- Chair details
- Reserved signs
- Welcome sign
- Details table
- Ring bearer box
- Flower girl basket
- Guests walking in and mingling
- All guests right before ceremony
- Officiant walking down
- Parents/ Grandparents walking down
- Groomsmen walking down
- Groom walking down
- Bridesmaids walking down
- Flower girl/Ring bearer walking down
- Guest standing to rise
- Grooms face as he sees bride
- Bride and father walking down aisle
- Bride hugging dad at end of aisle
- Bridesmaids candid shot
- Groomsmen candid shot
- Groom looking at bride
- Bride looking at groom
- Candids of parents/grandparents
- Wide shot of full ceremony
- Details of flower petals in aisle
- Special events (readings/sand ceremony/etc)
- Reading of vows
- Exchanging of rings
- First kiss
- Bride and groom recessional
- Bride and groom walking away
- Wedding party recessional
- Parents/grandparents recessional
The Family Portraits
Family formals comes immediately after the ceremony, so making sure family members stay put after the ceremony ends is so important. Since usually I only have about 20-30 minutes to photograph the “family photo portion” of the day. During part of our planning process before your wedding I will give you and your fiancé a list for you to fill out that will help narrow down your family photos. You will get an allotted number of slots on the bride and grooms side. Once we make it through all of those photos on the list if there are time for extras we will cover those after. Sticking to the list is very important! There are a million combinations of family photos you could have with the bride, groom, and the two of you guys together and family tends to get a little crazy about getting those professional photos at weddings! Therefore it seems like the combinations are never going to end and running you off schedule!
There will be plenty of time at the reception to snap those extra family photos with other loved ones that you might not hang on your wall, so capture those important family photos during the time after the ceremony.
Here are some common combinations for after the ceremony
- Both sets of families together
- Couple with brides extended family
- Couple with brides immediate family and brides grandparents
- Couple with brides grandparents
- Bride with grandparents
- Couple with brides immediate family
- Couple with brides siblings
- Silly brides sibling picture
- Couple with brides parents
- Bride with mom and dad
- Bride with mom
- Hugging mom
- Bride with dad
- Hugging dad
- Couple with both sets of parents
- Couple with grooms extended family
- Couple with grooms immediate family and grandparents
- Couple with grooms grandparents
- Groom with grandparents
- Couple with grooms immediate family
- Couple with grooms siblings
- Silly grooms sibling picture
- Couple with grooms parents
- Groom with mom and dad
- Groom with mom
- Hugging mom
- Groom with dad
- Hugging dad
The Bridal Party and Couples Portraits
Depending on if you are having a first look or not this portion could differ in your timeline! With a first look we can eliminate some of the bridal party photos before the wedding after the bride and groom see each other! If you are not having a first look all of the bridal part photos and portraits of the bride and groom will happen after the family photos! We will start with the bridal party as a whole and work our way down to just the bride and groom!
During the bridal party photos we will do a mix of classic and fun photos so much sure you have silly side ready for some fun photos! Here is a list of some common photos we capture during this time
Bridal Party PHotos
- Group shot of bridal party together
- Candid shot of bridal party
- Bride and groom kissing/bridal party cheering
- Creative bridal party shots
- Bride with bridesmaids
- CandidS bridesmaidS
- Creative bridesmaid shots
- Bride with each bridesmaid (serious/candid)
- Groom with bridesmaids
- Bride with groomsmen
- Groom and groomsmen
- CandidS groomsmen
- Creative groomsmen shots
- Groom with EACH groomsman (serious/candid)
Bride and Groom portraits
- Portrait smiling at camera
- Rings on hands
- Bride portrait
- Groom portrait
- Creative Shots
- Snuggling noses
- Bride looking down/groom snuggling her
- Groom kissing cheek
- Almost kiss
- Dipping kiss
- Through the veil
- Flowing veil
- Grooms arms around bride from behind
- Close up of rings
- Whispering something funny in her ear
- Turned around holding hands
- Walking away holding hands
- Groom spinning bride dancing
- Couple holding hands running towards you
- Silhouette shot
This is when I’ll be shooting candid photos of you and your bae walking in the reception!!
I’ll also be shooting reception details.
Please communicate with your wedding planner or DJ to turn off any colorful lighting, strobe lighting, and any other distracting lighting. And to ONLY leave on the warm, ambient lighting for the entrance, first dance, any special parent dances, and during cake cutting. A lot of those color strobe lights will turn any light colored surface (aka your white wedding dress) blue, red, etc. and not the pretty white that you had planned! You can turn the strobe lights and fun lights on for all the other crazy dance times but not during those special moments you will for sure want to capture!
During the dinner portion of your wedding this is when I will eat dinner as well. If I work at least a 6 hour wedding day with you, you are required to provide dinner as part of your wedding package. Please make this clear in your count to your wedding caterer when you are planning meals! No one wants photos of people stuffing their face with food during this time so it is a good time for me to grab a bite and be ready to go when the dancing and fun things begin again!
Last but NOT Least
It is your day...
This is your day. Make it yours. As you have read through all of these tips and pointers from a wedding photographers prospective, these are all just based off the common wedding procedure. Make your day special for you and your fiancé! Be traditional, be non traditional! I am all for it! I will go along with whatever you decide you want for your day and adjust as needed to still give you the best photos of your wedding day as possible!