Your wedding day is not an impromptu event. Every detail will be perfectly planned on a wedding timeline, which will be the entire blueprint for your dream day. Your list will be filled with important events, such as the ceremony, cocktail hour, the first dance and cutting the cake. The wedding timeline is never complete without creating space for the wedding photography. You will want to capture every flawless moment and all the details on your timeline. Let’s break down a wedding day and create a timeline with wedding photography.
Important Wedding Photography Moments
Before we start creating the wedding timeline, think about the important details you want to capture with your wedding photography. Not every couple adheres to the old tradition of not seeing the bride before the wedding. If you want the opportunity of the first look, take advantage of the moment and document all of that feeling of excitement and all the elements of surprise with your photography. Even if you are not planning the first look, you might want to capture an early morning toast with the bridal party and getting ready in the bridal suite. You will probably want to capture the obvious events like the procession, the ceremony, the introduction, toasting, the first dance, and the wedding exit. Do not forget the small details, such as the wedding dress, shoes, accessories, rings, bouquets, invitation, guest book and vow book. This is the time to get sentimental and document it all.
Breaking Down the Timeline and the Wedding Photography
While you begin a wedding timeline with a basic outline, it should always become a detailed itinerary. Your timeline should be broken down into blocks of time: getting ready at the hotel, getting ready at the venue, the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception. Segment each block of time and fill the spaces with all the details that will occur during each time period. Your wedding photography should revolve around each event and have designated spaces on the timeline to document important moments. Let’s create a timeline with wedding photography for a wedding that begins at 5:00 pm.
9:30 am: Wedding Photography at the Hotel
Begin your day with your wedding party at a hotel or a rented house for brunch and a small toasting. This is the time to capture those unforgettable moments with your wedding party. Capture all the excitement of getting ready and preparing for the day. You will want to take about thirty to forty-five minutes for some posed images and the little details, such as the rings, dress, shoes, bouquet and accessories. The style of photography might transition between traditional poses and a journalistic style that captures the candid moments.
12:00 pm to 2:00 pm: Hair and Makeup and Getting Ready
Allow an hour to an hour and a half for hair and makeup. If more than the bride will require hair and makeup, you might consider hiring additional stylists or allowing for more time. This is an opportunity to document the makeup and styling the hair, as well as candid moments with the wedding party. The groom will also be getting ready with the groomsmen and documenting moments with wedding photography. The lead shooter usually follows the bride, while a second shooter follows the groom.
3:00 pm to 4:00 pm: Arrival at the Venue and Getting Ready
This 3:00 pm arrival is based upon a wedding venue that allows for arrival two hours prior to the event and has a bridal and groom’s suite on-site. Arriving at the venue a couple hours in advance will allow time to meet inside of your designated suite with your hair and makeup artist for touch ups.This is an opportunity to document getting ready with the bridal party and stepping into the dress. The photographer will stand back and document the details, but will also incorporate some important posed images of the bride with her wedding party and the groom with his wedding party.
4:00 pm to 4:15 pm: Father’s First Look
Traditionally, the father gets a first look. This moment of surprise and emotion should be documented with wedding photography. This is also an opportunity to take special pictures with dad.
4:15 pm to 4:45 pm: First Look
If you are planning to give the groom a first look, you will want about fifteen minutes to capture the expression on his face and take a few pictures together.
5:00 pm to 5:30 pm: Wedding Photography of the Ceremony
The ceremony is the most important part of the entire day. This is the reason for the gathering and the entire celebration. Your wedding photography will capture the procession and ceremony from different angles. Discuss your vision for how you want to document the ceremony and all of the rituals with your photographer.
5:30 pm to 6:00 pm: Cocktail Hour
This is the moment when the bride and groom make a dramatic exit down the aisle and escape with the wedding party. The bride and groom slip away for a private toasting and some special wedding photography. This time period is called the cocktail hour. During the cocktail hour, guests mix and mingle with drinks and appetizers, while wedding photography captures images of the married couple and wedding party. The photographer will choose the best places within the venue and outdoors to capture the perfect backdrop and lighting for a variety of poses. This is a fun and creative set of images that are focused on the expressions and the energy of the moment.
6:00 pm to 6:15 pm: Reception Reveal and the Décor
This is when the reception space is revealed to the couple for the first time. The photographer will sneak into the reception area with the couple prior to the guests to capture all of the special details and the genuine reaction of the bride and groom. A second shooter usually covers the guests as they celebrate the cocktail hour in another lounge area prior to being invited to dine.
6:15 pm: Invitation to Dine
This is when the celebration begins and the guests are invited to take their seat in the reception area.
6:30 pm: Wedding Photography of the Introduction and First Dance
This is the place on the wedding timeline where you will make your grand entrance into the ballroom for the big introduction as husband and wife. Most couples choose to immediately take center stage and dance their first dance on cloud effects. Your wedding photography will capture several images of your entrance and first dance from different angles.
7:00 pm: Welcome Speeches and Toasting
After the couple takes their seat at the sweetheart table, the father of the bride delivers a speech and a very special toast to his daughter. The mother of the bride can choose to make a toast during this time. Wedding photography will capture the entire moment and focus on the expressions and reactions of the bride and her father with a documentary style.
Other Important Moments for Wedding Photography
7:15 pm: Dinner is served
8:00 pm: Bridal party makes a toast (maid of honor and best man speeches)
8:15 pm: Cake cutting ceremony
8:45 pm: Bouquet toss
8:45 pm to 10:45 pm: Open dance floor
10:45 pm: Last song
10:55 pm: Grand exit
Crystal Ballroom on Lake Melva
Crystal Ballroom on Lake Melva designs a fairy tale backdrop for your perfect moments. This all-inclusive wedding venue bundles the venue, furnishings, décor and staff services into one affordable package to bring your dream wedding to life. Professional wedding designers customize the ceremony space and reception hall to match your vision. Bring imagination to the design studio and hand select your flowers, centerpieces, linens and every detail of your dream wedding. Every event includes an impressive bartender service, banquet staff and fine china for a full three course meal. Crystal Ballroom designs luxurious events and creates unforgettable moments. Schedule your complimentary VIP tour and consultation with the wedding professionals to begin planning your wedding day.