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For Brides & Grooms, Weddings

August 20, 2013

Wedding Day Timelines

Last fall I wrote a blog post about the importance of having a timeline for the wedding day.  So if you’re new to the blog or would like to read WHY I think timelines are so important, please feel free to check that out!

So why am I doing another post on timelines?  Well, it’s partly for my own benefit, but also for my brides.  Several have recently asked me months out what their day may look like (there are more Type A people like me than I thought!) and if I can get these basic timelines on the blog then I’ll have them ready to show brides when they ask!  It will also allow me to get back to them more quickly, which is always a bonus.

As I said, these are just bare bones timelines.  Things may change per wedding depending on getting ready locations, size of wedding party, extra photo locations, etc..  My job on a wedding day is to make the most of the time we have, which means getting the best photos in the best light and keeping things flowing smoothly.  I try to allow extra time in the timeline than it might take us, but I’m always going to prefer having too much time rather than not enough!

*Updated to add that this is what has worked for me and my business.  Other photographers have their way of doing things that work for them and their business and neither way is right or wrong!

First up is a timeline with a First Look where a bride and groom opt to see each other before the wedding.  I talk about why I love First Looks a little bit on this post from our own wedding.  But in terms of a timeline, seeing each other beforehand allows you to get photos with family before the ceremony too!  So, after you’ve said I Do, we may only have a few extended family photos to capture (like with grandparents and aunts/uncles/cousins if you choose) then it’s off to the reception!

Second is the timeline for when the bride and groom opt to wait to see each other as the bride walks down the aisle.  With this timeline, Ben and I don’t show up quite as early, but there are more photos to take after you’ve said I Do so there won’t be quite as much time at the reception.

You’ll notice on both timelines that there is about 15 minutes after the ceremony of just bride and groom photos.  And other than the first looks, this is one of my favorite parts of the day.  Couples are just GLOWING at this point!  And it’s the perfect time for those lovey dovey “we just got married” photos.  And it also serves a practical purpose… before the ceremony, I’ve located a spot that’s away from people exiting the church/ceremony location so that family can gather and be ready for those family photos and we can take those quickly.

And while I love when a bride and groom chose to do a First Look (which I’ll blog more about later this week!), I never force it on anyone.  I talk to all of my couples about it and why I love it as a photographer and why I loved it as a bride.  But it’s always their decision since it’s their wedding day.

As I mentioned above, these two timelines are merely starting blocks.  Some wedding days are shorter and some might be a bit longer.  Some wedding days take place in several locations in which we’d need to include travel time (don’t forget travel time!!) and some weddings take place in just one location so travel time isn’t an issue.

Hopefully these will help me help my brides and even others out there planning a wedding or shooting ones of their own!  So please feel free to share, pin, and pass these along!

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