F
A
C
E
B
O
O
K
MENU

Wedding Photography Planning

 


Photography Timelines

Congrats on your big wedding day coming up soon! This info will help answer questions about timing for the photography on your day. 

One of the main questions we'll ask is: Are you seeing each other before the ceremony or not? It's typically called a "First Look". First Looks have become popular in recent years because they allow more time for photography to happen before the ceremony, therefore giving you more time to enjoy the cocktail hour.  It makes that first moment of seeing each other more private, which some people like, and some don't. Traditionally, the first look is when the bride comes walking down the aisle, which is wonderful too. Every couple is different and we actually don't prefer one way over the other. We encourage you to do your research and make that decision yourselves according to your preferences and needs of your timeline.

Whether you are doing a first look or not, we typically recommend having us arrive about 2 hours before the ceremony. Every wedding is different though, and sometimes it's nice to have us arrive 3 hours before your ceremony if: 

  1. You have a larger sized wedding party (over 10 or so) and want lots of photos with them in different scenes and locations around your venue
  2. Getting ready photos are quite important to you and you want more than 30 mins of those photos
  3. You want to do family photos before the ceremony (we typically do not recommend this, for reasons outlined below)
  4. You want a lot of "rest time" after taking photos, before the ceremony (more than about 20 minutes)

Most commonly, our coverage on the wedding day is for 8 hours but it also depends on your selected package (if you are unsure of your coverage time, please check the contract that was emailed to you). Need more time? No problem, just let us know. Additional hours can be added and paid later after the wedding.

Typical photography timeline for a wedding WITH a "First Look":

  • Our arrival 2 hours before ceremony 
  • Photograph "getting ready" and "details" photos for first 15-30 minutes
  • Photograph first look, some bride & groom portraits, and wedding party portraits (30-60 minutes)
  • Photograph details of ceremony site, reception site, and guests arriving for (15-30 minutes, while you're hidden away & resting/preparing for ceremony)
  • Ceremony
  • Cocktail hour: Photograph family photos, groups of friends photos, possibly some additional bride & groom portraits & wedding party portraits. Exact time required varies, but typically 15-30 minutes total
  • Reception: We always try to quickly sneak away at some point in the reception for additional bride & groom portraits at sunset. Exact timing is tough with with varying weather/lighting conditions, reception events, etc but usually sunset photos only require about 10-15 minutes. 
  • If you opt to have us arrive 3 hours before ceremony instead of 2, there's a bit more cushion time for all the pre-ceremony photos above


Typical photography timeline for a wedding WITHOUT a "First Look":

  • Our arrival 2 hours before ceremony (3 is almost definitely too much without a first look)
  • Photograph "getting ready" and "details" photos for at least first 30 minutes
  • Photograph guys wedding party portraits and ladies wedding party portraits (30 minutes)
  • Photograph details of ceremony site, reception site, and guests arriving for (30 minutes, while you're hidden away & resting/preparing for ceremony)
  • Ceremony
  • Cocktail hour: Photograph family photos, groups of friends photos, bride & groom portraits, wedding party portraits. Exact time required varies, but typically 30-60 minutes total
  • Reception: We always try to quickly sneak away at some point in the reception for additional bride & groom portraits at sunset. Exact timing is tough with with varying weather/lighting conditions, reception events, etc but usually sunset photos only require about 10-15 minutes. 


Every wedding is very different and we love that! We actually try to be quite hands off when it comes to the planning and don't impose any strict schedules for photos, as we find things work out best that way. You've hired us to do what we do best, and we'll get all the photos you want and need whether theres a ton of planning or not.


Family Photos

When is the best time to take family photos? With all of our experience, we believe the ideal time for family photos is shortly after the cocktail hour starts. We know everyone wants to hug and enjoy the moments right after the ceremony, grab a drink, and chat with friends for a bit, which is all great! We typically start doing family photos about 15 minutes into the cocktail hour and only take about 10-15 minutes of your families time. We typically do not recommend doing family photos before the ceremony unless your family is very small and/or you don't want photos with your extended family. The main reasons why we don't recommend family photos before the ceremony are because there's often family members who are late and rounding up everyone before the ceremony is generally a hassle (especially for extended family). It's usually much better to do the family photos in the cocktail hour when everyone is readily available together (your immediate & extended family). With that said, everyone is different and we've seen before the ceremony work great as well. We're happy to do either way! 


Photo Lists

We don't rely heavily on photo lists as many of our clients prefer a "go with the flow" approach, but we absolutely welcome a list if you prefer one. We of course photograph all the events you have going on and try not to miss a thing, so don't worry about obvious things like first dance, bride walking down aisle, etc. We also photograph many different combinations of your family, probably many you didn't even know you wanted. We make it a point to keep it quick, easygoing, and relaxed. 

Sometimes though it's nice to have a list for family/wedding party photo combinations and any special individual/group portraits you'd like taken with guests. It's easy to forget things with all the action of your wedding day happening, so we do recommend making a list if you have a lot of requests beyond the list outlined below. Please feel free to copy/paste this list into an email and send it to us with your own revisions (adding/subtracting/etc) to suite your family dynamics and situation. If you don't get around to doing a list, no worries, we'll get it all taken care of! 

This is our standard list:

BRIDES FAMILY:

  • All Brides immediate & extended family photo (aunts/uncles/cousins etc)
  • All Brides immediate family (with groom)
  • All Brides immediate family (without groom)
  • Bride and her siblings
  • Bride and her parents
  • Bride and her dad 
  • Bride and her mom 
  • Brides parents
  • Bride and her grandparents (with or without groom)


GROOMS FAMILY:

  • All Grooms immediate & extended family photo (aunts/uncles/cousins etc)
  • All Grooms immediate family (with bride)
  • All Grooms immediate family (without bride)
  • Groom and his siblings
  • Groom and his parents 
  • Groom and his dad 
  • Groom and his mom 
  • Grooms parents
  • Groom and his grandparents (with or without bride)


WEDDING PARTY:

  • Bride & Groom with whole wedding party and ring bearer/flower girl etc
  • Bride & Groom with whole wedding party
  • Bride with bridesmaids 
  • Bride with each bridesmaid
  • Bride with all groomsman (usually without groom)
  • Groom with groomsman
  • Groom with each groomsman
  • Groom with all bridesmaids (usually without bride)
  • Bride & Groom with maid of honor & best man (sometimes with decorative marriage certificate)
  • Bride & Groom with children ring bearer/flower girl etc
  • Bride & Groom together, Bride alone, Groom alone, etc


Hopefully all this info helps with your planning! Please let us know if you have any questions at all. We're looking forward to capturing your big day!

 
Sign up for email promotions.
Your information is safe with us and won't be shared.
Thank you for signing up!
 
Loading More Photos
Scroll To Top
Close Window
Loading
Close