When I'm asked how I like to schedule myself into a wedding, I usually explain that the majority of the coverage should be at the start of the day, rather then the end. Why? For a few reasons! Lighting is the most important part of my photographers equation, so I want to be where the light is! The most interesting details are also at the beginning of the day, before all the guests arrive. I try and pay special attention to detail, so having extra time at the start of the day allows for me to capture bridal details, groom details, location details, and floral details. These are the story telling elements of your wedding day!
So then how do you get the most of your wedding coverage if I'm shooting during the day? Consider a few things. First, if the coverage is concentrated towards the evening, you won't have a lot of variety or naturally lit images. Second, if the coverage is during the middle of the day, I'm likely to miss some moments at the beginning, or at the end. So where's the compromise?
In order to get the most out of your coverage, you have to be smart about the timeline, and how many hours you are paying your photographer for. Remember, your photographer is there to capture your special moments and be there to tell your love story. Two plus hours of dancing won't end up in an album, and neither with two plus hours of getting ready images. For the optimum gallery, opt for shorter ceremony coverage, and make sure you have details to photograph during the day! If portraits are important to you, make sure to schedule those 45-60 minutes before sunset.
Here is a sample timeline! These eight hours will capture everything you need for your wedding gallery. Always consult your photographer on the timeline so he or she can advise you on how to get the best possible wedding day coverage.
12pm - Photographer Arrives, Capture Wedding Details
12:45pm - Getting Ready Images
1:15pm - Wedding Party Individual Portraits
2:00pm - Bride Hidden, Capture Venue Details
2:30pm - Guests Arrive, Candid Capture
3pm - Ceremony Starts
3:30pm - Ceremony Ends, Family Formals, Cocktail Hour
4:30pm - Cocktail Hour Ends, Guests Seated, Grand Entrance
5:00pm - Dinner Served
5:30pm - Speeches
5:45pm - Cut the Cake
6pm - Couples Portraits
6:30pm - First Dance
6:45pm - Special Dances
7pm - Dance Floor Open
- sun sets 7pm -
8pm - Photographer Departs