Today’s blog is part two of the Wedding Photography Timeline Series. I felt led to write this series because I care about you as a couple and I want to serve you to the best of my ability. The last thing I want is for you to feel stressed the day of your wedding because you are being faced with answering tons of questions that could’ve been taken care of during planning, nor do I want you feeling rushed because the timeline was not well thought out. My hope is that you will be able to enjoy each moment of this treasured day. Most importantly, my hope is that you will be able to focus on what is truly significant and that is the promise you are making to each other when you say “I Do”.
With these hopes in mind, lets begin the second part of the series by looking at some tips for planning out your day during the First Look through the Ceremony.
The First Look
Many couples forego a first look experience and that is okay, but if you are considering a first look, here are some things to consider to help you make your decision.
Intimate time with your Groom: With a first look, you will get to have intimate time with your man on your wedding day. After the ceremony, comes a time of celebration and rightfully so! You wouldn’t want it any other way, right? But keep in mind, quiet and alone time will not happen with your new husband until the end of the evening after a long and event filled day. During a first look, you will get to gaze into each others eyes and embrace each other. Your groom will be able to take in every detail of you in your wedding gown without a hundred eyes watching. Many couples say that the first look is a moment they will cherish forever…and your photographer will be there to quietly capture it all.
More Bride & Groom portraits: If you do a first look, we can spend time taking pictures of you as a couple instead of doing it in between the ceremony and reception. Many couples enjoy the calmness of doing portraits after a first look rather than trying to do it before the reception while their guests are waiting on them.
Wedding Party Portraits: After a first look, we can also take the formal wedding party portraits instead of doing them after the ceremony. It can be a task to get everyone rounded up after the ceremony and before the reception. Many are ready to socialize and mingle after the ceremony and it can be a challenge to get the guys to give me their undivided attention for pictures.
Limit the time you keep your guests waiting: With a first look, I will only need a half hour after the ceremony to capture family portraits. If you forego a first look, I will need 1.5 hours in between ceremony and reception if you want the same amount of portraits that you receive having had a first look.
With that being said, please also know it is important that you do what is right for you as a couple. I will be very glad to help you create a photography timeline that will cater to whatever you choose. This is YOUR day and you should plan it the way you envision after all things considered.
The Wedding Ceremony
The wedding ceremony is the most important part of the day. Here are a couple key aspects that can affect your ceremony photos.
Unplugged Ceremony: I suggest having an unplugged ceremony where the only people recording or taking pictures are the professionals. First and foremost, it allows your family and friends to be fully present; and secondly, it allows for cleaner and more beautiful images from your photographer because you wont have guests with their phones in the air trying to take pictures of you coming down the aisle. It is all well meaning, but it prevents your guests from truly taking in the moment of your love story and it also takes away from your professional images that you have invested in.
Ceremony Time: Lighting goes away so early in the winter especially in Ohio. If you aren’t planning a first look, I suggest having your beautiful winter ceremony earlier in the day which will give you more time afterwards for those natural lit portraits that everyone loves. If you have a gorgeous outdoor ceremony in the summer, you will want to consider a location and/or time to avoid the part of the day with harshest lighting. Portraits after three o’clock in the summer work best in avoiding harsh sunlight.
As we come to an end of part 2 of this series, I want to remind you that this blog is written to give you suggestions on things to consider when creating a photography friendly timeline. As your photographer, who you have invested in, I want to make sure I educate you on how your timeline can affect your images. I want to inform and give you options as I walk along side you while planning your wedding day. I consider photographing marriages a great honor and I share my thoughts on creating a photography friendly timeline so I can serve you to the best of my ability.
Next week, the final part of this series will be about creating a photography friendly timeline for family portraits, bridal party portraits, and bride and groom portraits.