The Wedding Timeline. Such an important aspect in capturing beautiful images for your day!
For each couple that I work with throughout the year, this is a very important step that we go over at least 4-6 weeks before the wedding day itself. The Timeline not only allows for a wonderful flow to the day, but it also allows your photographer to make the best of each and every moment! If you are looking to effectively plan out your wedding day with your wedding coordinator or fiance, here’s a look at a typical wedding timeline from the photographer’s perspective!
3-4 Hours Before the Ceremony
This time is used for those beautiful getting ready moments between you and your bridal party! From the details to hair and makeup, we will work with you to photograph all the important aspects to the start of your day! Pro Tip : Getting ready at a family members home or hotel normally allows for a comfortable start to the day plus some beautiful light/backdrops for photos!
2 Hours Before the Ceremony
In an ideal timeline, we always suggest a “First Look” to help the flow of the day be as stress free as possible! This is where the bride and groom will spend a special moment at the start of the day seeing each other and starting off the Formal Portraits! Immediately after the “First Look” we begin wedding party and family portraits. Pro Tip : Plan on a First Look if the start of your day has a little more time than the time allotted between ceremony and reception. Sometimes a First Look isn’t necessary, but it’s best to check with your Coordinator and/or Photographer for the best timeline for your day!
We will normally try and arrive at the ceremony site anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour before everything begins! This is just to allow time for the entire bridal party to freshen up and for the photographers to capture the beautiful details within your ceremony site. Pro Tip : Consider an Unplugged Ceremony for your day! This simply means asking your family and friends to set their cameras/phones aside during the I Dos. This allows everyone to be present and instead of a sea of phones/cameras, you’ll only see smiling faces when you look out at your family and friends!
Directly After the Ceremony
This time is reserved for any additional Family Formal Portraits and of course a few Couple Portraits with the newly married couple! Then it’s time to head to the cocktail hour to enjoy some down time before the big reception begins. Pro Tip : Try and limit your Family Formals to 10-15 Groupings. In any given wedding timeline there is usually only a limited amount of time for these images and you always have the reception for fun photos with your family!
1 Hour After the Ceremony
Congratulations, you made it to the reception! At this time we focus on documenting the reception candidly as it unfolds, including the first dances, toasts, cake cutting, and of course dancing! But don’t worry; we are always available for any photo request you may have throughout the evening. Just ask! We will also be sure to eat while the Bride and Groom are eating. Pro Tip : Consider cutting the cake when you first walk into the reception. This helps with the flow of your evening after dinner and gets everyone out on the dance floor sooner rather than later!
Well I hope that helps clear up a few questions as to how a wedding day flows! And always remember to consult with your wedding coordinator and/or photographer before your big day to discuss the timeline for both a stress free flow and the most beautiful photographs from your day!
© Catherine Rhodes Photography 2014 | Destination Wedding and Fine Art Photographer | Columbia, Kansas city, St. Louis and Destinations World Wide