Decisions. Decisions. Decisions. Brides make hundreds of decisions while planning their dream wedding. In this series, I am sharing about wedding day timelines and discussing some of the best decisions every bride can make before the wedding to help ensure she does not feel rushed and therefore able to enjoy each and every moment the day brings her. While I do not claim to know everything (or much of anything), I do believe in LEARNING OUT LOUD. If you would like suggestions about creating a logical, yet thoughtful, photography timeline, then you are at the right place and I am so glad you are here! Anytime you have further questions, do not hesitate to contact me. I will be glad to share what I know and have learned over the years.
The first part of this series will be dedicated to the beginning portion of the wedding day: the detail shots and getting ready.
The very first thing we do when we arrive at a wedding is take a walk around and scope out the location. For my brides, this is something we do outside of your contracted time. When we are scouting out your location, we are looking for the best lighting and areas at your venue where your portraits will be captured through out the day. As photographers, we are trained to choose the best locations for your portraits and many times it will be lighting over location. You will find that photographers choose a spot that doesn’t look like much to the untrained eye but is perfect due to lighting and other composition details. So I tell my brides to relax, I got you covered! You can take this off your to do list. You are making an investment in your photographers so allow us to use our expertise when choosing where your portraits will be captured. Next, we begin detail shots. We take time to photograph all of the details while the bride is still getting her hair and makeup done. We like to photograph your hair and makeup once you have gotten the majority of your makeup completed. At that point, we will start shooting as the final touches are being applied. I suggest scheduling at least 45 minutes at the beginning of the day for detail shots. Along those lines, I have a few recommendations:
- We love photographing as many details as possible because they are little hints of who you are as a couple. Here is a list of some of the items that we use for your details shots.
- For Brides and bridesmaids: rings, stationary, invitation, save the dates, envelopes, programs, menu, bride’s dress, veil, hair piece, shoes, garter, jewelry, clutch, earrings, bouquets, written wedding vows, bridesmaid dresses, wedding party gifts.
- For the Groom and groomsmen: ties, cuff links, belt, shoes, gifts for groomsmen, written wedding vows.
- Extra: extra material from dress, lace, extra ribbons and flowers from bouquet (ask your florist for these).
2. Gather all the details ahead of time. I don’t want to interrupt you as you are getting your hair done and hanging out with your girls. I suggest having a bag with all of your details inside that is just put in the corner. Let your maid of honor or “go-to” person know where it is so all your photographer has to do is ask her.
I suggest allowing 1.5 hours in your photography timeline to be spent photographing the bride and groom getting ready. This includes a small added buffer time because rarely have I photographed a wedding that has been on time during this part of the day. I don’t want you as a couple to feel rushed so I encourage a buffer time to be added in the timeline so you will not feel hurried and can enjoy every moment.
1. I recommend that my couples be intentional when choosing a location at which to get ready. Important factors for best images is choosing a space with natural lighting and with light walls. Windows let in such beautiful light and truly transform the way your pictures look. I suggest looking to book a hotel, a BNB, or to get ready in a home with a lot of space and natural light for both the bride and groom.
2. Before a bride gets into her gown, I recommend bridesmaids and the mother-of-the-bride get dressed first so that once the bride is in her gown, everyone will be ready to go. Please let me know if you are interested in a bridesmaids first look which I LOVE capturing. This schedule recommendation will help greatly to orchestrate a smooth and joyful capture of this event.
3. Keep your area free of clutter where the “Getting Ready” pictures will be taken. This is one of the best pieces of advice I can give couples. Put all of the bags, hairsprays, bobby pins, clothes, dress bags, extra shoes, water bottles, etc. into one area of the room. Avoiding clutter will create beautiful images all around.
So there you have it! That finishes the timeline for the first part of the day. I hope you are enjoying and finding this series helpful so far. In the second part of the series, I will be sharing my tips on photography planning and scheduling tips for: First look, Family portraits, and Ceremony.