A QUICK GUIDE TO YOUR
WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY TIMELINE 

Every bride loves having those beautiful shots of all the bridal details. It’s an important part of the story and I love having some time to shoot the dress, shoes, jewelry, invitations, veil, flowers etc. These shots allow me to get warmed up for the rest of the big day. I normally like to allow at least 45 minutes for this part of the day. While I’m shooting details, I’m also capturing some shots of the bride and her girls getting ready!

If the groom is getting ready nearby, my second photographer (if you’ve selected the second photographer option) will begin photographing the boys getting ready close to 40 minutes before the ceremony or the first look, since it always takes them less time to get dressed!

 

Put all the details into one area with the most natural light. This allows me to shoot right away without having to find the details I need. Designating a key person to ensure that main items that need to be photographed are easily available is also helpful.

Getting Ready​ - The Details - Dress, Shoes, Flowers, Rings

Time Allotment - 45 mins in the Morning

After the details have been photographed, it’s time for the bride to get into her dress! This is a big moment! I usually ask the mother of the bride and all of the bridesmaids be dressed by the time the bride is ready to get into her dress. This ensures that everyone will look nice in those images. After the bride is in her gown, she can put on her jewelry, veil, shoes, etc and I will shoot some additional bridal portraits!

Do your best to keep the room clean for beautiful and nice photos! Some hotel rooms aren’t big enough for the bridal party and family. Try to get an additional room that can be kept empty and to have fewer worries of crowding. I also suggest getting a house on AirBnb. The benefit of getting an entire house to get ready is that everyone has space. There will be less clutter, more light and rooms to shoot the bridal party before the ceremony.

Getting Ready​ - Bride Prep

Time Allotment - 60 mins

The Ceremony

Time Allotment - 30 - 60 mins

It’s time to get married!! Most ceremonies are 30 to 60 minutes long. If your ceremony is longer than 30 mins, simply make some adjustments to the timeline! Cherish these moments! Your ceremony will pass by so quickly!

The Family Portraits

Time Allotment - 30 mins

Family formals normally take place immediately following the ceremony. It’s best to save all of the family formals until after the ceremony because ALL family members will be present at that time. We’ll need about 30 minutes for family formals and it's good to start thinking about the family shots that you want. I recommend shooting portraits outdoors, if possible so that they resemble more natural family portraits, especially if the ceremony location is dark. Please make sure you have someone to help with organizing all family members to make this run smoothly!

Have a list of family members for portraits. We start with the immediate family of the bride and then the groom right after the ceremony. If there are additional family members that want pictures, in the interest of time, let them know ahead of the ceremony or we will get pictures of them at the reception.

Bride and Groom Portraits

Time Allotment - 30 mins

First Look Option -- If you choose to see each other before the ceremony, this will be one of my favorite parts of the wedding day! I will find the perfect location for my couple’s First Look prior to the getting ready portion of the day! Don’t stress about that one bit! I will make sure the location is private and as secluded as possible.

If you choose not to, that’s okay too. But please schedule enough time after the ceremony for just the two of you. It's your wedding day and the last thing you want to do is rush through your portraits together. Schedule enough time, and be sure to secure any necessary permits for this time.

The Reception Details

Time Allotment - 10 mins

If the reception is in the same location as the ceremony, I will use this time to shoot the reception decor UNTOUCHED. If the ceremony and reception are in different locations, I recommend having a cocktail hour outside of the main reception area if possible so that I can grab some great shots of your reception before the night begins and guests start laying down purses and coats on their seats. Please allow at least 10 mins before you enter so that I can capture your special room.

 

If you'd like to have a Grand Reveal - then we'll need about 30 mins instead of 10 mins. (The Grand Reveal is when the Bride and Groom enter the Reception room before the guests for a few pictures in the space.)

Golden Hour (1 hour before sunset) is the BEST time of day for portraits in the late spring, summer and early fall! This is when the sun is glowy and golden. I love having a few extra minutes with the bride and groom to take a few more shots. This may be possible during dessert or at some other point in the evening. But if not, don't worry! It's just an option to consider.

Golden Hour

Party Time!

This is when the bridal party lines up for introductions and the party begins!! By this part of the day, my timeline isn’t strict at all. I work off of the natural light and so after the sun is set, my portrait time is over and I begin focusing on the reception events!

If you’re interested in adding more hours of photography coverage, please let me know. Thanks! Let me know if you have questions. I can't wait to receive the timeline from you or your coordinator soon.

FOLLOW ALONG @SAMANTHACLARKE
  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon
  • Black YouTube Icon