Wednesday Wine Chats because lets face it, sometimes you need a mid-week wine while planning your big day!
We usually end up having wedding timelines running one of two ways, either going straight to the groom first or (if there is a present for the groom that needs to be taken to him) a quick hello to the bride first then off the groom and it continues as normal. It’ll explain itself a bit better below.
The biggest tip I can give couples is please please allow for travel time between venues, unfortunately our teleportation option isn’t available yet.
Quick Hello – 30 Minutes max
Like I said this is typically when the grooms present needs to be taken to him or we need to take flowers or sometimes when its an early start and the groom doesn’t want to be woken up a 7am ( believe me it happens). We are pretty flexible but what we can do is we take photos of all the brides details (more on this later, i promise) and have a little fun in this time because thats what wedding days are about right, enjoying yourself!
Groom Preparation – 45 minutes
When I arrive at the location where the Groom is getting ready, the first 20 minutes is all about his details. I always ask my grooms to have the following items assembled and put aside before I arrive:
Suit, Cufflinks, Cologne, Shoes, Watch, Tie, Wedding Rings and any gifts/letters that someone may have given him that are not to be opened until I’ve arrived (you want those moments documented!) Im also well aware that you may not have all of the above list and thats ok, whatever you do have we’d love to document it.
Typically we stay with the bride until she is dressed and ready to go, so it can even just be an hour depending on the timeline but we work with it (don’t stress!) The first 30 minutes of coverage when I arrive is dedicated to the bride’s details, much like earlier at the grooms (if we haven’t already done this during the quick hello).
Her details include:
– Wedding Dress (on hanger – I bring wooden hangers with me in case they are needed), Florals, Shoes, Engagement Ring, Perfume, Veil or Headpiece, Copy of Invitation Suite, Jewellery and any gifts/letters that the groom has given her or that she is giving to her bridesmaids – again I ask that they aren’t opened until I’ve arrived!
By this time, the hair & makeup artists are usually doing their final touches or at least well underway with makeup – which is perfect for me to document candids of the bride & her bridesmaids. I always try and request if its not already happening that the bride is the last to have her makeup done, simply because she can relax, enjoy the moment and *bonus* your makeup will be sure to last longer and look gorgeous and fresh.
The last 45 minutes before I leave to get to the ceremony is all about the bride getting dressed into her wedding dress, with the help of her bridesmaids, sister and/or mum. Shelley (my awesome second shooter, is also a dressmaker so can help with any dress fastenings etc, don’t worry she’s never in your photos) Then I document the bride putting on her earrings, jewellery & shoes. With the remaining time, we take some portraits of the bride and some with her bridesmaids & family if time allows (FYI we will get more of these after the ceremony too!)
We try and leave for the ceremony about 15 minutes before the bride, simply because we want to capture the awesome ceremony set up.
Pre-Ceremony – 10/15 minutes
Before the ceremony starts I document any ceremony decor or environmental factors (it all helps to tell the story of the day), I also photograph guests arriving and greeting the awaiting groom and I take some portraits of the groom & groomsmen in their suits. This is when I pass the groom a couple of tissues.
Ceremony – 40-45 minutes
*This is controlled by your wedding officiant (celebrant/priest/pastor) – make sure you confirm this prior to the wedding so that your timeline can reflect this appropriately.
You might notice that I have allocated 45 minutes for the ceremony, your ceremony will most likely be shorter than this however having the extra time allows for family and friends to congratulate you. It’s awesome being able to capture these moments!
Group Photo and Family Formals – 20/30 minutes
I always do a big group photo with every guest in it, lets face it its something that you can look back on and see every single person who was there at your wedding. Warning we may or may not project our voices to assemble this photo and we bring step ladders so everyone can see us. We’re not afraid to get “the shot” and have a little fun while doing so.
After the group photo while I have everyone’s attention, I announce that family photos will be next. A few weeks before the wedding I always obtain a list of photos from the bride & groom, which means I can just call them out and we can get through them as quick and as easily as possible. Generally this will take about 15-20 minutes, depending on the sizes of your families.
Bridal Portraits – 40 minutes +
I like to shoot this portion of the day in 2 parts – starting with the bridal party and bride & groom for some fun photos to make sure everyone is relaxed and enjoying themselves… then I generally leave the bridal party to have a few drinks while I steal the bride & groom away for some more romantic and gorgeous photos. This also allows my couples to have a quiet 5 minutes to relish in the fact that they are now husband & wife!
Pre-Reception – 20 mins
I always allow this time on a wedding day timeline, especially if you have to travel from the bridal portrait location to the reception venue… if it is all in one location, this time can be reduced a little. Generally though, the bride & her girls use this time to freshen up before entering into the Reception, it also allows me as to sneak in and document the decor & details of the reception.
Reception – 3 hours +
Well this is it – I like to think of your reception as your wedding party!! Now, you get to really relax with your friends & family and just have fun. You get to eat cake, you get to dance until your feet ache and you get to celebrate with all of your loved ones, now as Mr and Mrs. That’s exactly how I like to document it… my time will be spend focusing on candids – photos of your guests naturally having a good time. I’ll also be there to document the more formal aspects, such as your entrance, speeches, cake cutting, first dance… and then I always stay to get some of the crazy dance floor antics… I mean, how can I not!! If time allows and there is a special exit planned we can stay and capture all those fun moments.