When I first meet with my couples, some of their questions are: “How does the day flow? When do you take portraits? Can you take more candids than posed?” My shooting style is pretty laid back in the sense that it is based off of my couples. I’ve had couples who want me all day and want all the photographs and I’ve also had couples who only want a handful of portraits and the rest to be candid moments. I’m okay with either way because it’s not my wedding day. It’s yours and what you want matters! I truly want my couples to open their gallery and love everything they see, so I always ask them what their photography goal is. What do they want to see when they open their gallery? I don’t want them to wish that I had captured more candids or more getting ready pictures or whatever it may be. Even though I base my style for the day off of my wonderful couples, I would still like to share a “typical” wedding day photograph schedule and maybe that will help you decide on what you’re truly wanting on your big day. This could also help you create your timeline! If you need to see examples of a timeline see HERE for one with a first look and HERE for a timeline without a first look. I always try to arrive at every wedding 30 minutes early. This gives me time to check in with everyone, meet up with my second photographer, and to walk around the venue if I haven’t been there before. It also gives me wiggle room if there is traffic! We start the day with getting ready pictures and detailed shots like the dress and bouquet. This is if the couple is wanting those photos and it also depends on the time we arrive. Sometimes, my couples have us arrive after everyone is already ready to go!
If there is time after getting ready photos, I photograph the bride and bridesmaids while my second photographer photographs the groom and groomsmen if there is no first look. If there is a first look, we go right into that and then get bride and groom portraits right after. If there’s still some time before the ceremony after the first look, then we go ahead and photograph the wedding party together as well. Whatever we don’t get to before the ceremony, we will make sure we photograph after the ceremony during cocktail hour. I always photograph everything during the ceremony from the walk down the aisle to the first kiss and the walk back down as a married couple! Once the ceremony is over, we typically photograph family formals. My second photographer doesn’t shoot during this time, but she does call out family names to insure that we get through them all. Around 2-3 weeks before your wedding day, I will send you a pre wedding questionnaire that asks for a list of family formal groupings. I recommend staying around 10 groupings and doing extended family photos during the reception.
After family formals are done, we head into the portraits that we didn’t get to before the ceremony or if there was no first look. I photograph the wedding party all together first, that way they can enjoy the cocktail hour after they’re done. Then it’s bride and groom portraits! Again, this is all based on what you’re wanting, so this could look different for you. I try to get my couples back to cocktail hour before it’s over so they can enjoy time with family and friends before the reception begins. If this isn’t possible or we have gotten behind on the timeline, I will make sure to get them back as soon as cocktail hour is over that way we aren’t leaving guests hungry and we stick to the timeline as best as we can.
Once the reception begins, we photograph all the reception events such like the introduction, bouquet toss, cake cutting, etc. I also offer sunset shots if the sunset is a pretty one! Some couples want them, some don't. If you are wanting sunset shots, I only take you away for 10 minutes or so. During the reception, we make sure to capture a lot of candids of the guests and the couple enjoying their wedding! We also photograph any last minute pictures that the couple is wanting.
To end the night, we will photograph a special exit if you’re having one and that’s it! Please remember that this can change depending on what you’re wanting for wedding photos. If you have poses picked out like on a Pinterest board, please let me know before the wedding and I will make sure to do those poses first! I hope this helped paint a picture of what a typical wedding day looks like. I truly love all my clients and want them to be happy with their gallery!
If you enjoyed this post, you might also like: