Brides and grooms often ask me for ideas and suggestions on an agenda for wedding photos. A general photo timeline for a couple who does a First Look/Reveal looks something like this:
1:00 – Pictures of Bride (and girls) finishing getting ready, other detail shots of dress, flowers, etc..
2:00 – Pictures of Bride and Bridesmaids
2:30 – “First Look” shots when you see each other all dressed up
2:40 – Pictures of Entire Wedding Party (bride/groom/girls/guys)
2:55 – Bride and Groom Only
3:20 – Pictures of Groom and Groomsmen
3:35 – Family Pics. (*Since it’s before the start of the wedding, make sure that your families have a copy of your schedule and know when and where to meet for pics. )
3:40 – Bride’s Family & Groom (siblings, parents, grandparents, other special guests)
3:45 – Bride & Grooms Family Together (shots of you two with combo of parents, etc. that you might want)
4:00 – Groom’s Family & Bride (siblings, parents, grandparents, other special guests)
4:25 – Guests Arriving, Location Details (Girls out of sight; Guys greeting Guests)
4:45 – Ceremony
5:30 – Cocktail Hour
6:45 – Grand Entrance
7:00 – Dinner Served
8:00 – Toasts/Speeches
9:30 – Photographer Leaves
*The key to getting all the pics done early and out of the way is to make sure that everyone knows the schedule ahead of time, as well as designating an additional family member to be in charge of rounding up/being a contact point for all the family. Remember that many people tend to run a bit late, one missing person can throw off your whole schedule. It never hurts to add in a bit of extra time and even telling people early start points. : )
PREPARATION (if bride and groom are at same location, i.e. a hotel)
60 Mins – Pictures of Bride (and girls) getting ready, other detail shots of dress, ring, etc..
30 Mins – Pictures of Groom (and guys) getting ready
20 Mins – Location Details
30 Mins – Pictures of Bride and Bridesmaids (family shots can be added in this window too; i.e. bride with her parents and siblings, etc..)
30 Mins – Pictures of Groom and Groomsmen (family shots can be added in this window too; i.e. groom with his parents, grandparents, etc.)
20 Mins – Guests Arriving, Location Details (Girls out of sight; Guys greeting Guests)
10 Mins – Bride and Groom with Parents & Family
15 Mins – Photos of Wedding Party
20 Mins – Bride and Groom Alone
30 Mins – Location Details & Cocktail Hour
Time Varies – toasts, first dances, speeches, friends/family groups, cake cutting, bouquet/garter toss, dancing, etc.
Make sure to add in time to walk between locations. It can be helpful to have family and wedding party arrive a few minutes early too, so that if you have any people running late, that you don’t cut into your photo times.
This is just a rough sketch to give you an idea of how much time is ideal for getting the kind of shots that many couples and families are looking for. In the end though, I make it all work based around what your timeline is. I ensure that things are relaxed, fun and flow smoothly. Even when we are doing the ‘work’ of getting the photos taken, this time will fall in with the unique tone of the whole day – it’s a celebration after all!