Imagine a contractor arrives to an open field to construct a home….with no plans. You just pour a foundation, put up some walls and add a roof right? Well, don’t photographers just show up to a wedding with a camera and start taking pictures?
Not by a long shot. (In my opinion that is)
As most Brides and Grooms will attest to, there is so much more that goes into planning a wedding than you realize. Find a venue, pick a dress, flowers, ask my best friend to stand beside me, go cake tasting and pick a romantic first dance song. These might be your initial thought when planning a wedding, however, we’re missing quite a few details aren’t we? Most wedding timelines, in a sense, are all laid out the same: get ready, get married, take photos and party. What happens between these events is important for the day to run as smooth as possible and that’s where a wedding photography timeline comes in.
It’s important to make the most out of your photography coverage and understanding what to expect benefits the couple, the photographer and many other members of your creative team. Here are a few things to think about when preparing to discuss your wedding timeline with your photographer:
Any special details big or small
Family group photos that are a must have
Other photo shots that are a must have (besides the obvious ones such as the first kiss, more on this in a minute)
Travel time between locations for getting ready, ceremony and reception
Hair and Make Up schedules
Getting Ready, Ceremony, Cocktail hour and Reception start times and addresses
Locations you want to use for wedding party and/or Bride & Groom portraits.
Part of planning your wedding photography timeline is also creating a shot list. Before we dive into what should be on your shot list, let’s talk about what shouldn’t be. By this time, you’ve already hired your photographer. You’ve chosen this person because you seen their work, talked with them and trust them to professionally do their job. So, let them. There are countless ‘Wedding Photography Shot List’s out there and most of them are useless. Why you ask? As a professional photographer, we know to capture a photo of the dress, the bride walking down the aisle and the grooms reaction. We know to get a picture of the ring exchange and your first kiss. We also know to capture your reception introduction, first dance, parent dances, toasts, cake cutting…I think you get my drift.
What should be on your photo shot list are the items that make your wedding personal to you. Items such as the necklace your wearing belonging to your Grandmother. The gift for each of your bridesmaids in pretty packaging. The extra ‘Thank You’ on the back of your program dedicated to those that cannot join in your celebration. These are the types of details to create a shot list of and provide to your photographer before the wedding. Combine these unique details and the items listed above and you’re off to a great start to creating a wedding photography timeline suited especially for your big day!
Looking for more? Check out our other Wedding Photography Guides!