When I have my initial phone or in person consultation with a couple, this is the question I am most frequently asked.
Scheduling your wedding day can be one of the more complicated and confusing tasks. But having the appropriate amount of time to get all the desired images, without rushing, is crucial to the flow and your enjoyment.
Here are some general things to consider, as well as my personal recomendations for scheduling.
1. Photography Isn't Everything
Sounds strange coming from a wedding photographer right? But it's true. If your whole schedule is comprised of taking photos, you won't have enough time to enjoy the little moments throughout your day.
Make sure you give yourself lots of breathing room to enjoy the little moments, eat, go to the bathroom (people often forget this), touch up make-up, etc.
2. Minimize Travel Time
The more you can reduce travel time the better. There may be an absolutely gorgeous place to take photos, but if it's an hour away, it's just not worth it. If the place you're getting ready at is really far away from the venue, consider alternatives such as a nearby hotel, or the bridal suite at the venue itself.
You don't want to spend one of the most important days of your life stuck in traffic.
3. Communicate with Family
When it comes to your family portrait session, communication ahead of time is everything. Be very clear about when and where they need to be. The last thing you want is to be standing around waiting for Aunt Doris.
If you know certain family members are chronically late, give them an earlier call time.
4. The Nitty Gritty
Every wedding photographer is different, but this is how I like to schedule the wedding days I'm a part of. I often don't use all the time I'm given, but the last thing I want is for my bride and groom the feel rushed, so wiggle room is a good thing.
This is for a wedding with a first look, but the same would apply for a traditional aisle reveal, just in a different order.
Getting Ready - 90 minutes
The bride should be 30 minutes away from finishing hair and make-up when I arrive. I take that time to do candids and details shots, then it's time to put on your dress, and do a mini portrait session.
The groom and groomsmen should also be about 30 minutes away from being ready to put on their suits upon the photographer's arrival.
First Look and Couple's Portraits - 30-40 minutes
Bridal Party - 30 minutes
Family - 15-30 minutes
Pre-ceremony - 20 minutes, no photography
I always give you some time to decompress and collect yourself before the ceremony.
Post-ceremony - 20 minutes, no photography
A super important time for the two of you to simply be with each other. You may even want to consider designating a room at your venue that you can escape to for some privacy.
Reception Room Photos - 15 minutes
Ideally, the reception room will be guest-free so I can take photos of all your pretty details. If there's time and you feel up to it, we can do a quick shot of the two of you in the space.
Every wedding day is different and requires a tailored schedule, but the above is a good place to start!
Consult your photographer and your planner (if you have one) to figure out what's best for you.