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For Photographers: Wedding Day Timeline

By February 8thOctober 19th, 2020No Comments

How do you plan a wedding day photo timeline?

This depends on a few factors: the time of the sunset, whether or not the bride and groom intend to see each other before the ceremony, the distance between locations for getting ready, ceremony, and reception, and how much reception coverage is needed.

For a typical American wedding, six, eight, or ten hours of photography coverage works well. After a meeting or phone call with my clients, I can tell what their priorities are in terms of photography. Then I can make recommendations for a package that suits those priorities. (Sometimes I recommend six hours of coverage, which means the photography concludes after the first dances and cake cutting. For a couple whose priority is beautiful fine art portraits and meaningful emotion photos, an heirloom album is more valuable than two hours of reception photos. Iā€™m flexible and love for my couples to have exactly what they want in their package, as long as they meet the minimum required investment to reserve a weekend date on our calendar. Eight hours is the most common amount of photography purchased, with ten hours being great for extended wedding days including several venues, toasts, a longer dinner, or a delayed departure.)

About 2 months prior to the wedding day, I will sit down with my couples and talk about their wedding photography timeline. I will explain my approach and find out which moments and photos are most important to them. Depending on logistics, a typical wedding day timeline looks something like this:

1 hour of detail photos and bride getting ready photos (link to ā€œgetting into the dressā€ blog)
1 hour of bridal portraits and photos with her family and attendants
30 minutes of groom portraits and photos with his family and
30 minutes of detail and set-up photos
30 minutes of ceremony coverage
30 minutes of family and full wedding party photos
1 hour of couple portraits and photos of the end of the cocktail hour
1 hour of reception set-up, first dances and cake-cutting photos
(6 hours of coverage concludes)
2 hours of dancing photos before a sparkler exit


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