A wedding is more than just a celebration, it's an undertaking. With the right research and tips you'll be able to wake up to your wedding day knowing you can handle whatever comes your way.
From hair and makeup to the last dance, a wedding is a combination of separate events that slowly intertwine as the day goes on. Most start the day separate from their significant others and it's not until midway through the timeline where your individual stories start blending into one. Knowing ahead of time which events your day will consist of can help keep things flowing smoothly. You'll be spending the majority of the day with your photographer so balancing what type of photos you want versus how much time you have is one of the most important aspects to nail down. If your feeling overwhelmed about timing, many wedding photographers are willing to help with the layout of your schedule.
Below is a variety of events that can happen on your wedding day with a bit of information on how they unfold from a photographer's point of view. They don't always happen in this order and not all are required but it's helpful to know what's available so you get all your important moments documented the way you want.
Bride Getting Ready Photos
Chances are you''ll be starting your day early with hair and makeup prep so enjoy the last chance you'll have sitting down! This is usually a big affair with lots of people, accessories and never enough time so prepare for a little chaos. Photographing the dress, rings, invitations, flowers, shoes and jewelry before you put any of it on is one of the first things that will be documented so having it all in a central location can speed up the process. After still life documentation there will be a mix of candids, robe group photos and shots of the bride with her accessories before she puts them on. A record of the final zip or buttoning up of your dress and placing on the veil are always nice photos to have. Any final touch-ups with hair and makeup can be done during your bridal portraits. Between still life documentations and bridesmaid photos, it's recommended to have your photographer there for a minimum of 1.5 -2 hours.
Groom Prep Documentation
The guys have a tendency to be a bit more minimalist and require less time for prep photos but it's still an important part that helps set the day off right . 30-60 minutes is an appropriate amount of time to schedule for this. Expect your photographer to snap candids of socializing, putting on boutonnieres, completing final tie and jacket adjustments, and any groomsmen or family group photos. The timing of these photos is flexible but usually happens before or directly after bride prep. If the groom is getting ready at a different location than the bride it's recommended to have a 2nd photographer for the best efficiency.
Your wedding day is a combination of separate events weaving together to form perfect unity.
This is it, the moment you've been waiting for. It's time to seal the deal. Your wedding ceremony is one of the most intimate and important parts of your day so relax and let your emotions free. The commitment of two becoming one is a powerful statement on the strength of human connection. The future is now and this is your moment. You should expect your photographer to be able to convey all these concepts with their documentation. Elegant photos of the setting, candids of guests arriving, portraits of the procession, exchange of vows, the placement of the rings, the first kiss, and the celebratory walk down the isle as one are all important aspects of your ceremony that you'll want a record of.
Family and Wedding Party Formal Photos
Immediately following the ceremony is the best time to complete family and wedding party group photos. If your ceremony is later in the day these photos can be completed beforehand if enough time is scheduled for it. No matter what point in the day, formal photos with your family and friends should be a priority as it's a rare time where most everyone you know is together at their best. Your photographer should be comfortable directing large groups and personable enough to make your guests feel at ease.
It's a scene from a fairy-tale playbook, a reception for a legend in the making.
Wedding Reception Pictures
There's something special about a big beautiful room decorated just the way you like it, filled with all the people you love cheering you on just before a bountiful meal celebrating your marriage. It's a page from a fairy-tale playbook, a reception for a legend in the making. A lot of effort goes into setting up an apex event with most everything eaten or thrown out by the end of the night so it's important for your photographer to thoroughly document all the details. From the place-cards to the place setting and everything in between, including guests, you'll want a visual record to enhance your memories of this awe inspiring affair.
Dancing the Night Away!
After the prep, first look, vows, formal photos, speeches, dinner and first dances, it's party time, plain and simple! Hopefully your day has been memorable thus far but if your the type that takes a more serious approach, now is the time to finally relax and have some fun. Expect your photographer to capture you and your guests dancing, mingling, celebrating, cheering, and singing. It's also a great time to take any friend or family group photos that were missed earlier in the day due to time constraints.