Planning a wedding is not an easy job, I get it. Try to keep your design cohesive and not all over the place. If you are having an elegant wedding at a classic venue, your invitations should not look rustic. Stick to your inspiration, whether it came from the lace in your dress or your venue. Always go back to what originally inspired you.
You have spent so much time picking out all the little details for your wedding day. Your groom made sure to pick that perfect ring out just for you. I want to capture all of these important pieces of your wedding day. Below is a checklist of the details. Please have all of these in a box ready for me when I arrive. Also, make sure to communicate with your florist to deliver the bouquet when I arrive and to bring some loose greens and flowers for detail shots. Lastly, even if you are not getting all your envelopes calligraphed, you should get one done just for detail pictures.
items to collect
Wedding details (rings, ring box, invitations, paper goods, etc)
Every single wedding day is different, but just so you have an idea of a typical eight hour wedding day timeline, below is a suggestion of a spring wedding with everything in one location.
Bride getting into her dress, putting on details, bridal portraits
Groom’s details & getting ready (second shooter)
Bride and groom portraits
Cocktail hour and family formals
Room shots (photographs of the reception before opened to guests)
Toasts, intro, dances, etc. Usually a break at this point for vendor meals
Dinner, dancing, and ending with cake cutting
The getting ready starts 3 to 4 hours before the ceremony start time. I usually begin photography when the makeup starts and flowers arrive. During this time, I will need around 1 hour to document your girls in their matching robes, sipping mimosas, and having your hair and makeup done. All bridesmaids should be done with hair and makeup leaving only bride to be finished. It is also during this time that I photograph all those meaningful wedding day details. This includes your shoes, veil, all rings, bouquet, dress, any gifts, and stationery. Touches you may have forgotten: hanger for your dress and flowers for me to style with.
Be sure to have all the bridal details (listed above) including flowers ready in one area for when I arrive. Having a special vintage ring box will make your pictures even better! Please also bring two sets of your wedding invitation for me to photograph. Having two sets allows me to photograph the front and back at the same time. One of the invitations should have your names and a dummy address in calligraphy. Be sure to get ready in a space that is clear of clutter and has lots of natural window light! Your getting ready room needs AT LEAST two windows.
This will happen 2 hours before your ceremony. I couldn’t recommend the first look to my brides more for a couple of reasons. You will receive more portrait images, feel much less rushed on your wedding day, and also get an intimate and quiet moment together on your wedding day. The day goes by in such a hurry that it’s so nice to be able to stop and be alone. During this time, no one besides the photographers and videographer (if you have one) will be present. If family is around, we can do family shots too before the ceremony and no one will have to stick around after the ceremony. And you even get to attend your own cocktail hour, which is way more fun than being in front of the camera.
If you chose not to have a first look, we will need to do your bride and groom portraits, family portraits, AND wedding party portraits after the ceremony which will take at least one and a half hours.
Plan to reserve 30-45 minutes for images of just you two. This is such a fun time of the day! These are the images that will go up on your walls and make up the wedding album and there should be no rush. When this is done right after the first look, there is no rush to get to your reception.
Wedding party photos take 30 minutes (more if it is in a different location or with a very large bridal party). If you are having bridal party portraits done in a different location than your ceremony or first look spot, be sure to plan for transportation for everyone (keeping the group together is the most efficient) and keep in mind that will mean extra time.
30 minutes before the ceremony, bride and groom will be in their separate areas to get freshened up. Guests will be arriving so we need to hide you two.
These photos happen immediately after the ceremony. Family shots are for immediate family only. Be sure to let your immediate family know they will be in portraits so they stick around as others leave for the cocktail hour. My goal is to keep family formals as efficient and fast as possible. The more people you include, the longer it will take and the crazier it tends to become. I will need to have your completed shot-list 6 weeks before the wedding. My standard list is as follows:
Please have THREE meals for my team. No vendor meals please. We do not need to sit in the reception room. Please let your caterer know that we will eat when bride and groom eat, NOT after guests. After the guests eat is when the toasts start and we need to be done and ready to keep photographing the reception events.
This is one area brides often forget to plan for. I need to get to the reception space before guests are allowed inside so that I can set up my equipment and document the untouched room. I need at least 30 minutes to take reception detail shots. This should happen during cocktail hour. This is yet another reason why having a first look is a great idea.
YAY! You’re married and it’s time to party! Most of my brides have me stay for about 1-2 hours of the reception to document the special dances and cake cutting but there is no need to have me stay for more than 30 minutes of dancing. After that, the dance floor does not change, some guests have been drinking for a while, and no one needs to pay for those pictures.
If you are doing a send off (like sparklers) after I leave, we can do a mock send off with your bridal party and immediate family so you don’t miss out on pictures. This is a way you can get the shot but not add any additional coverage.