Throughout your wedding day there are so many different moments and people and things to be captured from details of your dress and rings, to your groom’s reaction as you walk down the aisle, to your daddy-daughter dance. But sometimes it can be hard to judge just how much time all these milestones take to capture on a camera. Below is an outline of general wedding events and details, what a photographer typically captures during these and an average amount of time that is needed. But, remember that your wedding day is unique as you are and I work closely with my brides to be proactive in helping them design a timeline that fit’s their budget and wedding needs.

BRIDAL DETAILS

What’s Typically Captured:

  • Wedding dress
  • Bride’s shoes
  • Bride’s jewelry
  • Bride’s veil, garter or other items
  • Bride and groom’s wedding and engagement rings
  • Wedding invitation
  • Bridesmaid dresses (if time allows)

Ideal Time in Schedule: 30-45 minutes

Ideal Time of Day: When your photographer first arrives

Ideal Location: Wherever the bride is getting ready (typically I will take these items outside to capture them in natural light)

Pro Tip: Have all the details that you want captured in one bag so when your photographer arrives they can grab the bag and get started right away without you having to search for items.

GETTING READY

What’s Typically Captured:

  • Bride + bridesmaids putting finishing touches on hair and make-up
  • Bride + bridesmaids putting on jewelry
  • Bride putting on her wedding dress
  • Exchanging of gifts between bride and groom
  • Groom + groomsmen playing games, drinking and hanging out
  • Groom putting on his vest, tie and jacket
  • Groom having his boutonniere pinned

Ideal Time In Schedule: 60 minutes for women + 30 minutes for men (If you have a second shooter, the primary photographer will typically be photographing the girls and the second photographer will be photographing the guys.)

Ideal Time of Day: Early Afternoon

Ideal Location: Hotel room or bridal/groom’s suite at venue

Pro Tip: Set up the bride’s getting ready location next to windows. Windows provide flattering natural light for capturing the best pictures. I also suggest, tidying up your room before your photographer arrives. As much as we try to crop photos and work around messes, if you can have your bridesmaids and groomsmen pick up their bags and belongings and place them in one corner of the room, this allows for much cleaner looking images in the end.

BRIDE PORTRAITS

What’s Typically Captured:

  • Individual portraits of just the bride
  • Close up of hair, dress, make-up, jewelry and details on the bride

Ideal Time in Schedule: 15 minutes

Ideal Time of Day: Right after finished getting ready

Ideal Location: Near the getting ready or ceremony site

Pro Tip: Assign your maid of honor or another friend to come along to help with portraits of the bride. I often will ask them to help me with fluffing your dress, holding your veil and making you laugh.

GROOM PORTRAITS

What’s Typically Captured:

  • Individual portraits of just the groom
  • Close up of tie, watch, pocket square and details on the groom

Ideal Time in Schedule: 15 minutes

Ideal Time of Day:  Right after finished getting ready

Ideal Location: Near the getting ready or ceremony site

Pro Tip: Did you give your groom a special watch as a wedding gift? Let your photographer know ahead of time of special details on your groom so they can be sure to capture all the thought and intention that went into making him look his best.

GROOM + GROOMSMEN PORTRAITS

What’s Typically Captured:

  • A variety of group pictures with the groom and all his groomsmen
  • Individual pictures of the groom with each groomsmen
  • If time allows, individual head shots of each groomsmen

Ideal Time in Schedule: 20 minutes

Ideal Time of Day: Before the ceremony

Ideal Location: Near the getting ready or ceremony site

Pro Tip: One of the items that often delays being able to start on groomsmen pictures is not having everyone ready. Groomsmen should be in their pants and shirts upon the photographers arrival and finishing up last minute touches.

BRIDE + BRIDESMAIDS PORTRAITS

What’s Typically Captured:

  • A variety of group pictures with the bride and all her bridesmaids
  • Individual pictures of the bride with each bridesmaid
  • If time allows, individual head shots of each bridesmaid

Ideal Time in Schedule: 20 minutes

Ideal Time of Day: Before the ceremony

Ideal Location: Near the getting ready or ceremony site

Pro Tip: We cannot take these pictures without your and your bridesmaid’s bouquets. Please be sure your florist knows the timing of when we will start these photos so you ladies can be ready to walk out the door with bouquets in hand when you finish getting dressed.

WEDDING PARTY

What’s Typically Captured:

  • A variety of big group pictures with Groom, Bride, Groomsmen and Bridesmaids
  • Groom and Bridesmaids
  • Bride and Groomsmen

Ideal Time in Schedule: 15 minutes

Ideal Time of Day: Right after first look. Or, if you are not doing a first look, right after family portraits following the ceremony.

Ideal Location: Near the ceremony site

Pro Tip: Make sure your wedding party knows when and where pictures are happening. If you are not doing a first look and wedding party pictures will be after the ceremony, make sure everyone knows to stay nearby the ceremony site so we can move right into pictures after family formals are done – it can be time consuming to have to search for your wedding party as they are getting drinks and talking to friends at cocktail hour.

FIRST LOOK/FIRST TOUCH

What’s Typically Captured:

  • Bride and Groom get to see/talk to each other in private for the first time

Ideal Time in Schedule: 15 minutes

Ideal Time of Day: Right after getting ready

Ideal Location: Near the ceremony site

Pro Tip: First looks are incredibly special and intimate. After the official first look is over, your photographer can give you a few minutes to just be together and talk alone. Don’t feel selfish to take these few moments for yourself and remind each other exactly why you are here on this day – to start the next chapter of your life together.

CEREMONY + RECEPTION VENUE DETAILS

What’s Typically Captured:

  • The entire ceremony site completely set up before guests arrive
  • Details of signs, flowers and special items set up for your ceremony
  • The entire reception venue set up completely before guests arrive
  • Details of signs, cake, centerpieces, flowers and special items set up for your reception

Ideal Time in Schedule: 30 minutes

Ideal Time of Day: At least 30 minutes before the start of the ceremony before guests start arriving

Ideal Location: Ceremony and reception site

Pro Tip: Ceremony site and reception details cannot be captured until everything is set up and other vendors are not walking around. As you are making plans with other vendors, please make sure the cake is set up, flowers are complete, centerpieces are set up and all details are complete at least one hour prior to the start of your ceremony.

FAMILY PORTRAITS

What’s Typically Captured:

  • Pictures of the bride and groom with their family members

Ideal Time in Schedule: 10-15 minutes

Ideal Time of Day: Right before the ceremony if you are doing a first look. If you are not doing a first look, then directly after the ceremony.

Ideal Location: The ceremony site

Pro Tip: Family pictures can be very time consuming. I suggest keeping family portraits to just your immediate family and grandparents – we can always take additional family photos during the reception. To learn more tips about how to plan for family portraits that go quickly and smoothly see tip number 5 in Tips For Creating a Stress Free Timeline for Your Wedding Day.

BRIDE + GROOM PORTRAITS

What’s Typically Captured:

  • Formal portraits of bride and groom
  • Romantic/candid/fun pictures of bride and groom

Ideal Time in Schedule: 30-45 minutes

Ideal Time of Day: If you are having a first look, it would be great to do some bride and groom portraits before the ceremony and a few after the ceremony. If you are not doing a first look, then bride and groom portraits would be after the wedding party photos preceding the ceremony and family portraits.

Ideal Location: Various locations around the venue

Pro Tip: Planning these pictures around sunset is ideal to capture the most flattering and romantic light. If you are planning bride and groom portraits for earlier in the day, your photographer would thank you for planning 10-15 minutes to sneak outside together at sunset.

TABLE SHOTS

What’s Typically Captured:

  • Images of couples, family and friend groups sitting at their tables

Ideal Time to Schedule: Depending on the number of guests this can take anywhere from 15-30 minutes

Ideal Time of Day: Right after your reception entrance as guests are waiting to be released to get dinner.

Ideal Location: Reception venue

Pro Tip: It is often difficult as a single photographer to capture pictures of every single person if the guest count is over 100 people. If table shots are very important to you, consider adding a second photographer who would be able to help out with this.

RECEPTION SNEAK OUT

What’s Typically Captured:

  • Night time romantic photos of the bride and groom

Ideal Time in Schedule: 10-15 minutes

Ideal Time of Day: After dancing has begun during the reception

Ideal Location: Outside the reception venue

Pro Tip: Your night is filled with talking to a million people, crying over toasts and dancing the night away. When I steal couples away for just a few minutes during the reception, they often thank me for giving them a moment to breath and be with themselves. It doesn’t have to take a long time, but night pictures are a great opportunity to sweet and unique pictures to cap off your wedding day.

OTHER THOUGHTS

As you are getting ready to plan your wedding day, keep in mind that nothing ever runs perfectly on time. Schedule buffer times throughout the day to allow for delays in the schedule. Remember, at the end of the day, all that matters is you married the love of your life!

For more tips on planning your wedding, visit the following blog posts:

Tips For Creating a Stress Free Timeline for Your Wedding Day

How Many Hours Do You Need a Wedding Photographer For?

Need a Colorado wedding photographer?

Meet Larissa. Larissa is an adventure wedding and elopement photographer based out of Colorado. She’d take and adventure in the mountains over shopping any day and prefers and date night snuggling on the couch over dinner and a movie. Larissa’s obsessed with: morning snuggles with her rescue pup, Hazel, hot chocolate, a good book and yoga pants. She believes in making you forget a camera’s even there, that your story is the actual thing she wants to capture on camera and that real, raw moments are more important than perfectly curated poses. Book your Colorado wedding photographer today!

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CATEGORY

12/05/2017

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How Much Time To Allow For Photography on Your Wedding Day | Ideal Wedding Day Timeline

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My name is Larissa and I am an adventure elopement and intimate wedding photographer who absolutely loves capturing crazy in love couples!

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