One of the most commonly asked questions I get from brides is, “when should we start pictures”? Well, after photographing 200+ weddings, I’ve learned the do’s and don’ts of wedding timelines.
- Allow for a LOT of buffer time. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past few years, it’s that weddings always run behind. Always.
Allow for time for the bride and groom to go into hiding before the ceremony.
- Allow time for photos with family
- Allow time for sunset portraits… because these are always some of my favorites!
- Allow for extra travel time, because everyone will not be ready on time.
- Set up the timeline with the exact amount of time you think you need. Have the photographer cover the reception for longer than an hour after open dancing starts. A) after that, we start getting images of your guests that could potentially be used for blackmail later on after they’ve had one too many drinks… and no one wants that! B) the images start to get very repetitive. And C) the time is much better spent on the front half of the day!
- Forget time for details at the beginning of the day. This benefits both brides AND photographers!
One of the features that I offer all of my clients is putting together a timeline for the day. I will be your wedding planner for this one 😉 This is great for not only me, but all of the other vendors involved. This ensures that I have a sufficient amount of time for portraits, but also lets the other vendors know when they need to arrive as well (most commonly, the hair and makeup artists!).
I’ve created a downloadable PDF for you that has multiple timeline options that I share with my brides: 8 and 10 hours, and one with a first look, and one without a first look. Something to keep in mind is that the amount of time that I recommend for each part of the day should be relatively consistent. However, if your ceremony is at 3:00 instead of 5:00, all you need to do is shift the whole timeline ahead by 2 hours and you’ll be set!