The Ultimate Wedding Day Timeline for Photography and Real Wedding Samples
Whether you are the Couple-To-Be or the photographer, you will find that Time is Queen! Over the years, I have finessed the average time that I allocate for every part of any full-day wedding that I shoot, from classic white weddings, to cultural Indian weddings. Each and every wedding have their own unique flair... your Timeline should be unique too!
Before even starting on your Wedding Day Timeline, make sure you have finalized your own unique decisions on the following details:
Photography Time Allocation Guide
You should start working on your Wedding Day Photography Timeline about a month to no less than two weeks before your big day! Once you have finalized your unique details, here are some time allocations you may find useful:
Photos of Wedding Attire, Shoes, Jewellery, Stationery, Bouquet, and other wedding details
Photos of Bride(s)/Groom(s) and Bridesmaids and/or Groomsmen getting into dresses and/or suits, group photos, photos with mom/dad/aunt/uncle/grandparents
Individual Portrait of Bride(s)/Groom(s)
Family Formals with Bride(s)/Groom(s) after Ceremony
Wedding Party Photos with Bride(s)/Groom(s)
Bride(s)/Groom(s) Couple Portraits
Photos of Reception Details: Building, Entrance Decorations, Seating Chart, Guest Book, Center Pieces, Head Table, Menu, Table Setting, Bar, Dessert Table, Chandelier, etc.
Bride(s)/Groom(s) Sunset and/or Night-Time Couple Portraits
The above time allocation guide is the minimum average, but the more time you can spare, the better!
Sample Wedding Day Photography Timeline I
The following sample is logistically a very easy wedding - only one travel in between. Usually, a more complex timeline involves two different locations for preparations, and the ceremony/ reception are in two different locations. I like to minimize any room for error or any acts-of-God that can happen in between and therefore typically recommend for the bride and groom to get ready close to their ceremony/reception locations.
For this wedding, their decorations were put up the day before - another bonus. Usually, decorations are scheduled for when we return from Wedding Party photos at around 5.45pm, before the guests arrive at the Reception (if cocktail hour takes place elsewhere). However, since I am able to do them at 12 noon, I am able to maximize the time for Wedding Party and Bride and Groom photos.
Sample Wedding Day Photography Timeline II
in this next example, there is a lot of time in between each individual event, hence we were able to capture a lot more images (even with a single photographer). Clients often ask if a second shooter is necessary, and I often advise that with proper planning, one photographer can be more than enough.
This bride allocated plenty of rest time throughout the day - a very, very wise decision. It also leaves plenty of room for potential delays, and it take the pressure off everyone involved - especially herself, her groom, her wedding party, and inadvertently, her wedding vendors. The extra two or three hours makes a very big difference.
Meet In Person (Or Video-Call) Ü
The easiest way to finesse the Wedding Day Photography Timeline is to sit down or video-call with your photographer. This way, you can brainstorm and share each other's perspective to ensure everything is covered. Send each other the Timeline via E-mail, or your preferred method of communication to ensure you are on the same page on the day of the wedding!
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