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Wedding Photography Timeline

PHOTOGRAPHY BY LIFESTORY.FILM

Since every couple and wedding is extremely unique, it can be challenging to create a precise wedding photography timeline template. However, there are standard time frames to consider when planning your day. While some of these times may seem excessively long on paper try to keep in mind that the day will zoom by and you will be having so much fun, the times won’t seem long at all.

RINGS, DRESS, SHOES, AND OTHER DETAILS

Ideal Time Allocation – 30 minutes

Ideal Time of Day – Morning

Ideal Location – Bridal or Hotel Suite

Tips – Giving us at least a half hour for detail photos ensures that we have plenty of time to
capture the perfect photo of the dress, rings, shoes, bouquets and the other importan details of the day. It can take time, for example, if we need to find a place outside your bridal suite to take photos of your dress. As you can see from the finished product, though, the extra time is always worth it.

PREPARATION

Ideal Time Allocation – 60 minutes

Ideal Time of Day – Morning or Early Afternoon

Ideal Location – Bridal Suite or Hotel Suite

Tips – An hour of preparation is ideal for our style of photography. In this time, we will capture close ups of the makeup and hair being done. We will also get candid moments as the bridesmaids and groomsmen get ready for the day. These are often some of the most emotional and fun times of the day, so you want to make sure we have plenty of time. During this hour, the lead photographer will be with the bride while the second photographer will be with the groom. Although it doesn’t take the men an hour to get dressed, there are still plenty of great interactions to capture during this time.

INDIVIDUAL PORTRAITS

Ideal Time Allocation – 30 minutes

Ideal Time of Day – Morning or Early Afternoon

Ideal Location – Bridal or Hotel Suite, Venue Lobby or Garden

Tips – Immediately following prep photos is the best time for individual, separate portraits of the bride and groom. Since makeup and hair is fresh and the day has not gotten too hectic yet, it is a relaxed time to take perfect portraits. Additionally, window lighting in most hotel rooms creates a unique look that can’t be replicated in any environment the rest of the day.

FIRST LOOK AND DAYTIME COUPLES SESSION

Ideal Time Allocation – 45 to 60 minutes

Ideal Time of Day – Morning or Early Afternoon

Ideal Location – Venue Garden or Empty Venue Hallway (shaded areas with natural light)

Tip –First look photos are when the bride and groom see each other for the first time on the
wedding day. Although they may only see each other for five to ten minutes, the session should be around 45 to 60 minutes. The rest of the time is spent on basic portraits of the bride and groom. The majority of the “together” photos will be during the couple’s session later. However, if there will not be a couples session later, it’s to allocate another 45 minutes to an hour here. We always want to ensure we have enough photos of the two of you.

WEDDING PARTY PHOTOS

Ideal Time Allocation – 45 to 60 minutes

Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Afternoon

Ideal Location -Venue Lobby or Garden, Beach, Park or Off-site Location

Tips – Typically, wedding party photos should take 45 minutes to an hour. We take a variety of shots in a variety of poses during this hour, beginning with basic, classic photos focused on great expressions and lighting. Next, we take fun and creative shots. We end the session with photos of you and each one of your bridesmaids or groomsmen individually.

IMMEDIATE FAMILY

Ideal Time Allocation – 30 to 45 minutes

Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Afternoon

Ideal Location -Venue Lobby or Garden, Beach, Park or Off-site Location

Tips – The immediate family photos also take about 45 minutes. Try to plan on 3 minutes per
group. For example, if you have 10 groups schedule a 30 minute time slot. We know how much weddings mean to the immediate family and it’s important to give you additional images with your parents, grandparents and siblings beyond the basic formal shots (mentioned in the section below).

CEREMONY DETAIL AND VENUE

Ideal Time Allocation – 30 minutes

Ideal Location – Ceremony Site

Ideal Time of Day – Morning or Afternoon

Tips – We like to have 30 minutes for the second photographer to take pictures of the set up ceremony site without any guests or vendors in the area. Therefore, before you have the guests seated, make sure we’ve captured the complete set up of your ceremony site.

FORMALS (EXTENDED FAMILY, IMMEDIATE FAMILY, AND FRIENDS)

Ideal Time Allocation – 45 to 60 minutes

Ideal Time of Day – Post Ceremony, Morning or Afternoon

Ideal Location – Ceremony Site

Tips – Formal photos take around 45 minutes to an hour depending on the size of your family and the number of guests. Again, plan on 3 minutes per group. Some couples prefer a picture with all guests while others only want pictures with select guests to save time. We recommend something in between. It will help tremendously if you are organized and prepared with a list of groups. Pre-arranging helpers from each side of the family to help round people up is also of great assistance.

COUPLES SESSION

Ideal Time Allocation – 1 hour

Ideal Time of the Day – Sunset, Late Afternoon

Ideal Location – Venue Garden, Beach, Hotel Lobby or Park

Tips – Our couple sessions typically take an hour. The best time – in terms of lighting – is 30 to 45 minutes before sunset. This time of the day also allows us to capture beautiful scenic shots with colorful skies. This is especially true if you booked your venue particularly because of the view. If your wedding location is in an area with tall buildings, it’s not as crucial for us to have this specific time frame, but it still helps.

RECEPTION DETAIL AND VENUE

Ideal Time Allocation – 30 minutes

Ideal Time of the Day – Early Evening

Ideal Location – Reception Site

Tips – Our second photographer will need 30 minutes to take pictures of the set-up reception room, with no guests or vendors in the area. Like the ceremony details, this is the only opportunity we have to capture the look and feel of the reception room prior to guest arrival.

RECEPTION FIRST LOOK

Ideal Time Allocation – 10 to 15 minutes

Ideal Time of Day – End of Cocktail Hour (before doors open for guests)

Ideal Location – Reception Site

Tips – The reception first look is when the reception space is revealed to the couple for the first time. This provides a wonderful opportunity to capture an authentic reaction.

COUPLES SESSION – RECEPTION SNEAK OUT

Ideal Time Allocation – 20 to 30 minutes

Ideal Time of Day – Dusk to Night Time

Ideal Location – Areas with interesting lights, fountains, city scapes and mirrors

Tips –Please plan on sneaking out for a couple of night shots during the reception. We understand the importance of being a good host. However, these 20 to 30 minutes are important if you appreciate the night photography that we deliver. The ideal time for these shots is after you grab a bite to eat or during open floor dancing (after you’ve danced a few songs). Alternatively, we can get these shots at the very end of the night once all the guests have departed.

Additional Wedding Day Details

Table Shots – Table shots are taken when you go around visiting tables at the reception. We can take formal pictures with each of these tables or photojournalistic shots the capture the smiles and hugs as you mingle with each table. If you select the first style, these photos will take about 3 to 5 minutes per table. With 20 tables that would require 60 to 100 minutes of time. Cultural Weddings – For cultural weddings like Indian or Filipino weddings, there are additional elements that require time to photograph.

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