I love planning.
I love timelines.
Part of why the weddings I photograph run so smoothly is because ~8 weeks before your wedding, we have a “Wedding Timeline Planning Meeting” to review all of the details. Until then, here’s a ton of information that hopefully will be useful for you!
- Lay out important details the night before – shoes, jewelry, invitations, hair pieces, etc. I’ll photograph them alone (in a still life style), as well as while people are interacting with them (ie: putting on hair pieces
- BUFFER: Leave 30-60 minutes as buffer time, just in case makeup and hair run late, if you’re having an issue pee-ing in a large dress, or if we need to make a coffee run. You’ll thank me later for the extra relaxation time.
FIRST LOOK – Pre-ceremony Portraits
- If your family is like mine and often fashionably late (or APT: Asian People Time), I’d recommend you to tell them to get there 10-15 minutes earlier than when we actually start formal. 😉 (To my family – Yes, I’ve probably lied to you in the past. I love you.)
NO FIRST LOOK – Pre-ceremony Portraits
- Individuals – A beautiful portrait just the bride or groom by him/herself before the tears and hugs.
- Bride + both parents, Bride + mom, Bride + dad, Bride + siblings (same on the groom’s side)
- Bride + all bridesmaids, Bride + each bridesmaid (same on the groom’s side)
COCKTAIL HOUR PORTRAITS
- Identify “photo captain(s)”. This person will know the important people and will be loud enough to get people “on deck” for the next portrait. My assistant and I will hustle and arrange groups quickly, but we am unable to control your family members who are of waiting in line at the bar or in the bathroom. 🙂
- 4 weeks before the wedding, we will work together to create a list of important groups to photograph. These groupings include extended family as well as specific groups of friends. When you create a group photo, ask yourself, “Will this photo be printed”? If it’s a yes, let’s add it. If it’s a no, then perhaps not.
- It will take 4-5 minutes to photograph each group.
- If you want your reception details photographed, it’s ideal to do this before your guests enter the room. 15 minutes is ideal for reception details.
- If you are having a special “send off” (i.e.: bubbles, sparklers, etc.), it’ll be important to capture that. If not, then we prefer to stay for 1.5 hours of open dance floor after dinner has ended. After 1.5 hours, wedding dancing images start to look the same, except a bit sweatier.
- *CONTROVERSIAL* I feel that I am most un-useful during dinner service. Most do not want me photographing them eating, so I usually sit in a corner somewhere and twiddle my thumbs. This is the controversial part: I would like to eat when my wedding couple eats, so I never miss a beat. Typically, vendors are served after the guests are all served. By that time, we really should be getting into speeches, parent dances, and cake cutting. Instead, the entire wedding is waiting for the photographers, videographers, DJ, and band to scarf down their food. When I’ve politely asked the venue to feed me at the same time, many venue managers stare at me blankly and say, “We’ll feed you after everyone else”. I’m sure they walk into the kitchen and tell their colleagues about the “entitled photographer”. =P Some of my couples have been successful at asking their venues to feed their photographers at the same time. Three of the main benefits is that your timeline will run more smoothly, your vendors will be ready to roll, and there will be more time for open dancing. I’m happy to talk more about this issue. It’s something that all photographers face, but do not mention.
NIGHT PORTRAITS – Sunset, twilight, or night portraits
Sample timeline – Afternoon ceremony (First look)
Sample timeline – Daytime ceremony (No first look)
Sample timeline – Asian wedding with double tea ceremony
6:00-11:00pm Reception starts (*Photographers leave at 10pm)