Wedding Day Timeline
You will probably see a layout of what to expect your wedding day to look like for the first time with your photographer or your planner.
It’s important as your photographer to write out a time line so that I understand what the day will look like and to determine how much wedding day coverage you will need. Here I will layout a normal looking time line and explain why it looks as it does.
For this example we will say the ceremony is going to start at 4pm and is only planning on lasting around 30 minutes. Also the wedding and reception will take place at the same venue and the bride and groom are willing to see each other before the ceremony.
There are a lot of things that can be changed and tweaked during a time line, but this gives an idea of where 8 hours of wedding day coverage can go.
Depending on how important the photography is for each couple, there can be a fair amount more time allotted for photography especially if you are interested in going to different locations for photos. When multiple locations are requested, there is at least another hour of time added to the portraits section of the day to allow for the locations and more importantly the time used up in transport from one location to another. Multiple locations adds a lot of fun to your day as many view it as the first adventure you get to take with your soon to be spouse, and you get an amazing array of images to remember it by! This time line is for couples who choose to stay at their venue and use that as a backdrop for their photos.
1:00 Photography package begins 1:00 - 1:30 Getting Ready 1:30 First Site of Bride and Groom 1:30 - 2:30 Bride and Groom Portraits 2:30 - 3:00 Bridal Party 3:00 - 3:30 Family Portraits 3:30 - 4:00 Bride and groom hide . Guests arrive and are seated 4:00 - 4:30 Ceremony 4:30 - 5:30 Cocktail Hour 5:30 - 6:30 Dinner 6:30 Toasts 6:45 First Dances 7:15 Cake Cutting 7:20 Sunset photos with Bride and Groom 7:30 Garter / Bouquet Toss 9:00 Photography ends
The sunset portrait time at the end of the day is great because it’s the best time of the day to be taking photos.
This is one thing that wedding photographers are always fighting: The best time to be taking the photos of the bride and groom usually coincides with the reception time, and the harshest time of day to be taking photos outside is generally when the main segment of photos is set up. Is this ideal photographically ? No, but it is the time that fits best for most couples into the day in which we have enough time to create beautiful images without feeling rushed to get back to the party. This reason... along with a slew of others... is why it is important to hire a photographer who is confident to photograph in any lighting situation!
The first half of the time line I am usually playing coordinator, or collaborating with your planner in coordinating making sure we get all the photos done while still having a relaxed time and being timely. Once the ceremony begins, I step back from coordinator, and step into more of a roll of observer and document-er; capturing everything that is happening in front of me organically. By the time the reception comes, the DJ will help in guiding the events of the evening for the best crowd results.