Planning your wedding has been a significant process for the last 12 to 24 months of your life. You’ve taken the time, energy, and resources to create the experience that you wish to have with your future spouse and loved ones. This hasn’t always been an easy thing to do! Balancing life, career, home, pets, and all of the ancillary events that come with a wedding – engagement photos, engagement parties, bachelorette parties, and more is really a juggling act. After spending so much time and energy investing in creating this wedding day, don’t you think you should enjoy that wedding day and not work it? Hire a planner for that. On another note, after investing all this time and energy into planning your wedding day, don’t you want it captured as beautifully as possible? As a professional and certified wedding planner, I am here to give you one piece of advice – give your photographer adequate time. Here are my top three tips for creating a timeline that gives your photographer enough time to document your wedding day.
I call this my 15 Minute Rule because things always take 15 minutes longer than you think they will and here’s why – it takes time to usher guests from one space to another. It takes time to organize bridal parties and family members into various poses, and it takes more time than you anticipate to enjoy a first look. When you think about having your first look at 2 pm, plan 10 minutes as a buffer, 15 minutes to enjoy your first look, another 15 minutes to move to the next location. That looks like:
1:45 Begin making way to First Look location
2:00 First Look
2:10 Once all parties have arrived, do First Look
2:25 First Look Ends
2:25 – 2:40 moving to the next location
If you’re planning to have a beautiful outdoor ceremony, give your photographer time to adjust to the lighting. In the example timeline, we have here this may mean that your 3 pm ceremony actually happens at 3:15. It takes times to usher guests to their seats, your wedding planning team will need time to remove any empty chairs or move guests to the forward in the pews or chairs, and your photographer needs to be ready to catch the grooms waiting for you, the officiant and guest reactions.
2:40 Bridal party remains hidden and is lined up with the planner
2:45 the photographer makes their way to the ceremony site to adjust camera settings
2:45 – 3 photographer will capture the grooms, officiant, details
3 – 3:15 guests are settled in and seated
3:15 bridal party begins entering
When you’re working with a wedding planner or event coordinator, these are things they will know and take care of for you. However, if you’re choosing to go without one on the day of, you’ll want to be sure your timeline is including enough time for the photographer to do their job well!
When I work alongside my vendor teams, I always make sure to stop and ask them what they need specifically. Every artist is different, and everyone works at a different pace, but the key to creating a seamless day is to know what each vendor needs. Asking your photographer how much time they’ll need to pose your family of 20 people is ideal. It could take 45 minutes to pose that many people in a variety of settings and poses, so be sure to ask the photographer what they think they’ll need for time and when. Will your photographer need a snack break at cocktail hour? Don’t forget they’re on their feet for nearly 12 hours sometimes! Will they need extra time to set up a grand exit? Is there anything else they can think of that may be nice? Ultimately, it’s these details that make all the difference in the quality of your final product and the photographer’s experience in working with you.
So if you’re asking yourself, “How much time do I need to give my photographer on my wedding day?” this was the blog for you. If you have any questions about photography, event management, or developing timelines please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly here.
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A sustainable event production company creating the most eco-friendly weddings and events. Our mission to change the world through the art of celebration. Protecting our people, planet and communities one event at a time.