Every wedding is unique, which is one of the reasons I love them so much! From indoor to outdoor ceremonies, dates during the summer or winter, and bridal parties of a single bridesmaid and groomsman to those with ten of the couple's best friends standing up on either side, the one thing that is consistent between all wedding days is the need for a schedule or timeline. As a wedding photographer, I often lend my experience to the creation of these schedules, so I've put together a list of five of the most common questions that come my way:
How much time should I budget for photos if my fiance and I are planning to do a first look beforehand?
The first look provides the opportunity for a quiet moment with your fiance before the wonderful craziness of your wedding day begins! You may not realize it beforehand, but you are actually rarely alone on your wedding day - you'll be nearly constantly surrounded by your bridal party, parents, and guests that want to wish you well - and if you're a bride with a gorgeous ball gown, sometimes using the restroom still requires a helpful friend to be by your side! When my couples opt for a first look, I like to plan that we'll go right into portraits afterward, followed by full bridal party photos. We can usually knock most of these out before the ceremony begins, providing more time for you to kick back during cocktail hour! I typically budget 45 minutes for portraits and 30-45 minutes for the bridal party. Family shots usually take around a half hour - see question #4 below for more information on when to best fit them in!
How much time should I budget for photos if we do not want to do a first look and prefer to wait until the ceremony to see each other?
There is always a little spark of magic that I feel incredibly lucky to witness when my couples choose to see each other for the first time when walking down the aisle! In those instances, I focus my pre-ceremony photos mainly on each of you with your respective bridal party members - separately - since we won't bring the full group together until after the ceremony is over. My personal preference is to wrap up family and bridal party photos before going into your portraits so that you don't have a large audience when we want to capture those special moments featuring just the two of you! This timeline layout usually means a little less time spent at cocktail hour, but is still a very popular choice! In these cases, I usually plan 30 minutes for each of you with your squads respectively prior to the ceremony (with the plan to always have you hidden at least a half hour before the show begins!), with an additional 30 minutes for the full bridal party and 45 for your portraits afterward.