Wedding Photography Timeline
You said yes, chose the date and booked the venue, so now it is time to think about how wedding photography fits into your big day. Here is a breakdown of every key moment on your wedding day and how photography fits in, making sure that no precious memory is left undocumented!
These separate photo sessions are a great opportunity to meet your photographer and get used to their style before your wedding day. An engagement photoshoot is much more relaxed than a wedding day, so come prepared with a list of questions you want your photographer to answer. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different poses, angles and photography styles during this session. I personally like to offer my couples a lot of reassurance during this session. We would go to a location of your choice, take the nerves away and leave you with some stunning, natural pre-wedding photos that you will cherish for a lifetime.
The bridal prep session marks the official start of the wedding day and, as the bride prepares herself for her big day surrounded by her bridesmaids, photography plays an important role in capturing this special moment that might otherwise be overlooked.
One of my favourite aspects of photographing the bridal prep session is seeing the emotion and anticipation on the bride’s face as she prepares to marry the love of her life. I usually like to arrive early and get some shots of the bouquet and the dress before it is worn in order to tell the story of you big day in all its intricate beauty.
Groom and Groomsmen
After I capture the key moments during the bridal prep session, I usually meet with the groomsmen at the church or ceremony venue and capture some shots as they welcome the guests arriving. The lads are always relaxed and having fun which makes for some amazing candid shots. Some couples might prefer for the groom to have his own prep session documented separately, once you discuss this as a couple, do have a chat with me about whether it can be included in your package.
Once everyone has arrived at the venue, it’s time for the bride to make her big entrance. I like to meet her as she comes out of the car (or carriage, bus, van etc.) as this always results in some amazing and very emotional shots. I then like to capture a few shots of the bride and the rest of the bridal party before they make their way into the ceremony venue. This moment is usually quite brief, so I try to make the most of the short time available, as I believe some of these moments can be easily overlooked.
This is the most important part of the wedding day and the most difficult one to capture as well in many ways. The ceremony is only going to happen once and can’t be repeated or re staged, so I try to focus on capturing key moments such as the walk down the aisle, first looks, first kiss and signing of documents from as many angles as possible to make sure you get those stunning images that you will cherish for years to come. Having a second photographer is a big advantage, especially for capturing the ceremony because a special moment can be covered from a variety of angles and nothing gets missed.
Sometimes, depending on your chosen ceremony venue, the officiant might request that no photographs be taken during the ceremony as to not distract from the importance of the moment. I have worked with a few venues like this in the past and I usually set up a tripod in a corner and use a remote-controlled camera to capture the ceremony without disrupting the officiant. We can discuss other options in more details over a cuppa in my studio. I’m happy to answer any question and come up with the best solution to meet all your wedding photography needs.
Once the ceremony is over, I like to wait for the couple at the other end of the aisle and capture the joy on their faces as they take their first steps together as a married couple. Usually, the guests are asked to stand up for this moment, which makes for some amazing shots.
Formal & Group Photos
After the ceremony has finished and the couple has walked out of the venue, it is time for the group shots. I like to be as prepared as possible for this moment, so I always ask the couple for a list of groups they want to take pictures with. The bride and groom are usually much too busy to coordinate this themselves on the day, so having this list prepared in advance helps me make sure that nobody is missed out of group and family shots. Depending on timings for the day this moment can be very brief, so I like to get to work as soon as possible, often with the help of someone from the bridal party who knows all the guests in attendance. At the end, I like to capture a few pictures that include all the guests, as I think this is a lovely keepsake to have.
I advise all my couples to consider having a longer period in between the ceremony and the reception dedicated to an artistic photo shoot. This is the time when we can use the area surrounding your venue or a location that is special to you and capture some stunning, artistic pictures that will take pride of place on your mantle. This might not always be possible, of course, however it is always something that we can discuss together as we are planning for your big day.
A lot of thought and effort go into preparing for your big day, so I like to take some time to photograph all of those small details that make the day special to you. I always make sure to include images of the venue decorations, table arrangements and overall aesthetic of the day in the final wedding pack, so you can remember how beautiful everything looked on your wedding day.
During the reception I generally avoid taking pictures during the meal in order to allow people to enjoy this time in peace. I cover the speeches and toasts at the beginning and other special moments before the dance in the evening. This usually includes moments such as the cake cutting, the bouquet/garter toss and first dance. Having a second photographer is great during these moments as they tend to be very candid in nature, so it is always good to capture what is happening from more angles.
When the lights go down, the shoes get tossed under the table and it’s time to get the party started. The atmosphere during the dance in the evening is always so vibrant and fun, resulting in some amazing pictures! I like to capture movement and light in my night time party images which show how much fun people were having in that moment. This is usually when the funniest and most memorable moment happen, so I get a lot of my best candid images during the evening celebration.
One of my personal favourite moments is when I can sneak the bride and groom off for a few minutes to capture some twilight shots. I think this style is so romantic and it is always guaranteed to result in some stunning pictures. It is amazing how much feeling and emotion can be captured in silhouettes against a beautiful sunset. I love including these signature photographs in your collection. You can find out more about Twilight photography in my blog below.
Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and photography plays an important role all throughout. While not all weddings and budgets are the same, it is important to consider and think about what are the most important moments that you want to capture. I have wedding photography packages to suit any budget or wedding size, ranging from my bronze package designed for off-season or smaller weddings to my diamond package which covers you for a full day and includes 2 photographers, a twilight style photo session and approximately 600+ photos in an online gallery. Why don’t you get in touch and we can discuss what your vision is for your big day and how I can help you achieve it!