Getting ready.60 minutes.
For most wedding day timelines we like to have at least 60 minutes of the getting ready process. We use this first hour to photograph final touches of make up as well as details like the wedding dress, shoes, and any of those special items that make your day unique. We also like to have plenty of time to photograph the bride getting into the wedding dress because it can be the first OMG this is getting real moment
Because there will be two photographers, the second shooter will be with the guys capturing those candid moments as well as the groom finishing up with ties, shoes, jackets and any other small details
By the time we arrive, the bride should be finished (or finishing up) with hair and makeup and the guys should be partially dressed (they can wait to put on ties/bow-ties, jacket, shoes, etc). It’s important to ensure that the getting ready portion runs on time so the rest of the day goes smoothly. Be sure to consult your hair and makeup specialist in order to figure out how much time is needed for each girl. Sometimes we even recommend having some girls go after the bride, so that if anything does happen to run late, then at least we can get started on the photos with the bride before having to head out for the First Look or Ceremony.
Pre ceremony portraits. 30 minutes.
Directly following the bride getting into her dress we will need 30 minutes for portraits of the wedding party. Bride and bridesmaids as well as groom and groomsmen can be happening simultaneously.
During our 30 minutes we will photograph just the bride, as well as group shots with all the girls and finally finish up our time with the bride and each bridesmaid individually. (We have the same plan for the guys.)
First look. 30 minutes.
If you plan to do a first look we will need 30 minutes. That 30 minutes will allow us to find the best spot and set up the shots. We like to let our clients soak in the moment during this time too. It makes for great candids. We will also use the last bit of our time for formal portraits of the bride and groom.
Ceremony site and reception details. 30 minutes.
This one is very dependent on the scope of the details as well as the venue but typically 15 minutes for ceremony site details is great and 15 minutes for reception details. We are always looking for those specials details that took blood, sweat and tears to put together during the reception as well:)
Family portraits. 3 min a group. +30 minute minimum Including extended family
Family portraits can jam up the timeline for the day if not planned and prepped well. If you are doing a first look we strongly recommend doing all of the family photos right after the first look. It gets them done early in the day with much less distractions (cocktail hour: let’s be honest, we’d all rather be at cocktail hour). We need 3 minutes per group or arrangement of people. We recommend starting with the largest group and getting smaller as we go. (10 groups = 30 minutes, etc.) This option works really well for the couple that wants to spend more time at their cocktail hour :)
Immediate family with more than 20 people: If you have a large family, we recommend doing all of the family photos directly following the ceremony. It can be hard for everyone to get there early for portraits. And with large groups, traffic, lost keys, or a crying baby can get us off schedule. Rounding people up for family photos is the one thing that takes the most time. Especially if they get lost “grabbing a quick beer at the bar.” In this scenario, we will typically shoot all of the bride’s side and all of the groom’s side separate to keep the number of people in one photo manageable. Also, the more people in one photo, the smaller they will be.
It’s always best to let your family know that while we are photographing one side of the family, the other side needs to stay close.
If you’d like to include extended family (aunt’s, uncle’s, cousins and their significant others), I would plan for an additional 30 minutes minimum.
Full bridal party portraits. 20 minutes. Sunset photos. 25 minutes.
Either after the first look or directly after the ceremony, we need 20 minutes to photograph the combined bridal party. That allows us time for formal portraits as well as some of the silly and fun shots too.
Sunset photos. 25 minutes.
Depending on your location, the “rad” spot can either be just a step away or a few minutes away, but we highly highly recommend using the time to photograph just the bride and groom in the best natural light of the entire day.
(The last 35 minutes before the sun sets is typically rad light) Do remember that sunset times change everyday too:)