You’ve spent months curating all the little details that will play a role in your wedding day possibly including, but not limited to, your invitation suite, ceremony program, all rings, ring box, vows, dress on special hanger, jewelry, shoes, perfume, cufflinks, tie, boutonniere, bouquet. It’s during the beginning of your photography coverage where we’ll capture these items in an editorial style. Pro tip: Ask your florist if he or she can provide some extra stems or greenery for styling the detail photos!
Additionally, we’ll use this chunk of time to capture you hanging out with your people getting ready.
After hair and makeup are completed and the moms/bridesmaids are fully dressed, it’s time for the bride to get into her dress! Shoes, jewelry, and veil will all go on after the dress. My second photographer will often be with the guys during this time photographing them as they finish getting ready. It’s also during this time where you can read letters and/or exchange gifts if you opt to do that.
The bride and her tribe will be photographed while the men are away in hiding. We’ll also do some bridal portraits.
We’ll escort the ladies back into hiding and take the groom and his men outside for photos. We’ll also take a few photos of the handsome groom by himself.
3:45-4:30. Ceremony/Reception Set up.
Believe it or not, some guests (typically those older guests) show up insanely early for weddings nowadays. We’ll want you away and in hiding at least 45 minutes before the start of the ceremony. Take that extra shot, say that extra prayer, make a toast, enjoy your last minutes as a single person! We’ll use this time to photograph the ceremony and reception decor as well as get set for the ceremony. (If the ceremony and reception are happening at totally different locations, we’ll need to be sure to allow time to photograph the untouched reception space once we arrive at that property).
Boom, marriage. This is what it’s all about! In my experience, most ceremonies are no more than 30 minutes. If yours is longer, we’ll make timeline adjustments. Most people opt out of the receiving line and instead chose to mingle with guests during cocktail hour which is definitely what I’d recommend. If you decide you’d like a receiving line, however, know that it will likely take at least 20 minutes and cut into your cocktail hour.
I know your family will want to get to cocktail hour ASAP, so it’s important we work together to make the family photos as painless and efficient as possible. About 2-3ish months before the wedding, I’ll send a Wedding Questionnaire including a request for a family photo list. I highly recommend limiting family photos to 12 different groupings to keep photos within this 20 minute time block, especially if you’re not doing a first look. Gathering relatives for family photos can be a lot like herding cats. As I’m sure you know by now, I’m a proud cat lady, but herding cats is not my jam, especially when I don’t know who your Uncle Jim is. Instead, assign the task of gathering family members to an organized (read: bossy) relative. That way, we’ll fly through family photos lickity split. If you want random group photos with other family members/friends once you’re at the reception, just grab one of us and we’ll be glad to snap that casual photo.
Everybody all together! If the whole wedding party is organized and stays nearby during family photos, we’ll be able to do these photos super quickly.
Now you two finally get to spend some alone time together… with us photographers there as well, LOL. We’ll take some killer photos of you and if all goes quickly and efficiently with family and wedding party photos, we might be able to get you to a little bit of cocktail hour.
By this part of the day, our timeline isn’t as strict. We simply photograph the important moments as they happen. That being said, decide what reception events are most important to you and be sure they occur before your photography coverage ends. People usually don’t like being photographed while chewing, so we’ll eat dinner while the guests are eating so we can be ready to get right back to work photographing toasts and dances.
We’ll give hugs and say bye! I generally say it’s unnecessary to have the entirety of your reception photographed. Otherwise, it’ll end up being lots of photos of drunk dancing which are fun photos, don’t get me wrong! But after an hour of open dancing, it all starts to look the same. If you’re thinking, “Sarah, I want those photos so I can blackmail my drunk friends.” No problem… Let’s talk about adding extra time 😉