How to plan your wedding timeline so you get the best photos
Time is going to be a fleeting concept on your wedding day, but using it wisely will help make sure you’ve got the dreamiest photos for your happily ever after. Planning ahead and mapping out a timeline is the ultimate way to ensure we can capture all the gold as it unfolds. Here’s what to keep in mind.
We don’t want to be the pushy photographers in everyone’s faces. (Ugh.) So we’d love if you could allow time for us to get to your homes and meet your loved ones, have a coffee and make sure everyone’s relaxed before we whip out our cameras. Generally we’ll spend about 30-45 minutes with the groom and at last 1.5 hours with the bride before she leaves for the ceremony. Ladies, it’s a huge time-saver if your bridesmaids can collect and style your oh-so-fine details like shoes and jewels for their close-ups. Same-sex couples: just point us in the direction of who wants more camera time.
Those pre-ceremony jitters are photographic gold. We recommend that we spend at least 15 minutes at the venue to capture the nervous wait. Best to factor in a 5-10 minutes late start for that walk down the aisle - because good things take time, right? It’s also wise to map out a traffic plan. Check if there are any big events that might affect your route, and arrange to leave a little earlier if you’re getting married during a busy time like a Friday night.
Once you’ve tied the knot, we’ll leave you for about 15 minutes so you can soak up the celebratory hugs and kisses. We’ll then set up a lovely spot for family photos, which will take about 15 minutes depending on how many variations you’d like. To save time here, plan out exactly who needs to be photographed and let us know. It’s helpful to write a list of these important people and give it to a trusted loved one so they can help huddle everyone together. We usually get the wedding party photos done pretty quickly so we can spend more time with the two of you.
It’s up to you whether we do your couples shots at the venue or duck off to a local spot we’ve picked out. Most people want to get back to their party pretty quickly so we usually take about 30 minutes here. This is the sweet spot that will generally give you a good selection of photos together. It’s good to manage your expectations before the day. Some couples might skip out and only need 20 minutes to get a few nice shots for the wall. Or there are those who are happy to allocate more time - some up to 1.5 hours - for more photos. Whatever your preference, please always let us know in advance. We find some of the best photos are the spontaneous ones - sharing an ice cream on the street, taking a break for a beer at the old heritage pub or finding some cool urban backstreets. We’re down for it if you are!
One thing we’ll always recommend - and to be honest, never really take no for an answer - is pulling the two of you out of your party to get golden hour shots. Seriously, these sunset photos are going to be your absolute faves. All we’ll need is about 10 minutes, then we’ll deliver you back to the d-floor. We’d suggest keeping us around for about an hour after the formalities wrap. That’s usually plenty of time to catch some crazy shirtless uncle doing the worm.
For summer lovers, it’s always a good idea to plan your ceremony for later in the afternoon. The sun isn’t as harsh, and will instead create a beautiful glow. Trust us, let’s say no to squinting. Or if you’re getting married in winter, remember to factor in the shorter days. It’s best to plan an earlier ceremony so we can get your portraits in good light, and still make that sunset shoot.
Lovers, please note that this is just a guide, and of course any extra time you can delegate for us and our lenses will make for a smoother, stress free day.