How Much Time Do We Need? | Planning for Great Images
Here is a simple breakdown of the portions of your wedding day I typically photograph and how much time I generally request for each piece. Please know, my requests are simply that- I will never demand that you do anything my way. My requests and recommendations are based on my experiences in the past and the best practices that I have found to be most helpful in keeping your day smooth, organized, and relaxing!
Your Wedding Day in Photographs: a Basic Breakdown
While each wedding day is unique, most days will include a very similar order of events from beginning to end. Your schedule will slowly come together as you plan each piece of the day. I like to give my couples an idea of how much time I'd ideally like to have for certain parts of the day so that you can reference this throughout the remainder of your planning. Whether you give me the time I request or not is up to you- but most of my couples find photography to be one of their most important investments and are happy to know what I need to do my best work! I hope this little breakdown helps!
Bride Getting Ready: Minimum of 1 hour
Nearly all of my couples begin their photography coverage before the bride has gotten dressed, and that is definitely my recommendation. This is one of my favorite pieces of the day; we get to hang out for a bit before things get really busy, while all of the excitement is in the air and the day is just getting going. I will find a lovely spot to photograph your shoes, jewelry, veil, dress, and other details while you sip on a mimosa and put the finishing touches on your bridal style.
Something to consider:
Take note of how long it takes to get into your dress. This is a good thing to figure out on your final fitting, where you should have someone present who will help you on the wedding day. Some wedding gowns are simple and take only a few minutes to put on, while others take a little longer. If your gown requires a good amount of buttoning or lacing, you definitely want to account for that when you decide when to start the clock on your photography.
Groom Getting Ready: 20-30 Minutes
Capturing the guys preparing for the day is not usually quite as intense and detail-oriented as it is with the girls, so it isn't always necessary to have as much time as I request with the bride. Now, keep in mind that if you have a second shooter and are starting your day in relatively close locations (the same house or hotel, or a quick drive away) it may be possible to have your second shooter capture the men-folk while I hang out with the bridal posse. If I am capturing both of you, however, I can keep it quick in the interest of using your time wisely.
Something to consider:
The guys often get dressed pretty darn fast, and then we're left standing around awkwardly in a bare hotel room watching TV or cracking wise. You may want to consider giving the groom some VIP paparazzi time once he's all done, and head to a nearby lobby, atrium, or quiet outdoor spot for some quick and easy portraits if time allows. An added bonus is that he gets an excuse to leave the boys behind for a few minutes and clear his head before the day moves on.
First Look: 10-20 Minutes
There are a few different first looks we can account for on your wedding day, so keep these in mind! The first and foremost would be the bride and groom, of course. If you're having your ceremony later in the day or just want to get the nerves taken care of before you've got an audience, then this is a great way to start your wedding celebration just the two of you or among an intimate group of VIP's. This is usually captured in the same general vicinity as your getting ready location. I like to allow about 15 minutes to orchestrate your intimate first meeting of the day so that there's enough time for me to back off and let you enjoy one another's company for a little while before we move on to more portraits. Sometimes, Mom or Dad or someone else special would like to have a special moment to see the bride all dressed up, too! In those cases, we can go a little shorter on time.