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The Best Schedule to Optimize Your Photos

You’re engaged!  Congratulations.  In the next few months, you’ll make some of the most important decisions of your life, from choosing your venue to deciding what kind of favors to have.  Many times couples we’ve worked with have asked us what is the best way to ensure all those little decisions are captured.  Below we’ve put together a list of suggestions for each portion of your day, including what to include and how long to dedicate to each 🙂

Detail Shots

Time Allotment:
30-45 minutes
Location:
Bridal Suite or Hotel Room
Time of Day:
Morning / During Bridesmaid Hair & Makeup
Why:
Having at least 30 minutes ensures we have the time to snap photos of your shoes, accessories, invitations, and, of course, your dress.  Sometimes the space you have to get ready in doesn’t allow for the most beautiful photo, so we will find a location nearby that does.  This can take some time, but rest assured, capturing those details will be something you cherish forever.

Getting Ready

Time Allotment:
60 minutes
Location:
Bridal Suite or Hotel Room
Time of Day:
Morning or Early Afternoon
Why:

Having 60 minutes allows us time to snap those beautiful finishing touches on your hair and makeup, along with some candid moments in between for you to share with your bridesmaids.

Since we are a two photographer team, this time of day typically finds our lead photographer with the bride, while our second shooter spends time ensuring the bride and his groomsmen are ready for their close up.

 

Individual Portraits

Time Allotment:

30 minutes
Location:
Hotel Lobby or Garden
Time of Day:
Morning or Early Afternoon
Why: 
Once you’ve had a few moments to soak in just how stunning you look, we’ll take you for individual portraits. Many times we’ll either use the window light of your hotel room to create stunning, timeless portraits.

First Look (Optional)

Time Allotment:

30-45 minutes
Location:
Garden, Hallway, Staircase, Etc
Time of Day:
Early Afternoon – about two and a half hours before your ceremony
Why:

Now’s the moment you’ve been waiting for – you get to see your almost spouse.  A special moment for every couple, the actual ‘first look’ will only last between 5 – 10 minutes.  We will take the rest of this time to do a couple portraits.

 

Bridal Party Portraits

Time Allotment:
30-45 minutes
Location:
Location Previously Discussed Preferably Near Venue
Time of Day:
Early Afternoon – about an hour and a half before your ceremony
Why:

Whether you’ve seen each other or not, taking the time to immortalize the gorgeousness of your bridal party is always fun.  We always start off with classic, timeless poses and then move on to fun, creative shots.

Since we know how much your party means to you, we’ll also snag photos of you with each of them individually.  We have some fun and ask them to get a little creative along the way.

Immediate Family

Time Allotment:
15 – 30 minutes
Location:
Near Venue
Time of Day:
Early Afternoon – about an hour before your ceremony so there is time to be hidden away before all your guests arrive
Why:

Planning your family formal portraits shouldn’t be stressful.  That’s why we’ll help you plan out a list of family members you and your spouse would like photos with.  It allows your family members to relax in the moment and really be present knowing you’ve already planned out which combinations you want.

**Pro Tip:  Get a second (and third) pair of eyes on your formal family portraits by giving your list to both sets of parents.  If they want a large family photo we can always do that first thing after the ceremony ends.

 

Ceremony Detail

Time Allotment:
15 – 30 minutes
Location:
Ceremony Venue
Time of Day:
Immediately Before Ceremony
Why:

When you’re hidden away, awaiting the start of your ceremony, we’ll be busy taking photos of the set up.  If your venue is at the same location we will always grab photos of the reception site at this time.  If not, the second photographer will leave following the ceremony to capture the reception site before your friends and family arrive.

Cocktail Hour

Time Allotment:
1 hour
Location:
Venue, Garden, Beach, Park
Time of Day:
Immediately Following Ceremony
Why:

In this hour time frame, there are two options we recommend.  If you have decided to have a first look prior to getting hitched, much of this time will be utilized for extended family photos along with additional couple’s photos. If not, this is the time to complete your family photos, bridal party photos, and to have a short session as husband and wife.  Regardless of what this time consists of, it’s time to celebrate that you’re married!

Reception Set Up

Time Allotment:
15 – 45 minutes
Location:
Reception Venue
Time of Day:
Immediately Following Ceremony / During Cocktail Hour
Why:
While you’re spending an hour with your new spouse taking family photos, bridal party portraits or just enjoying being married, our second photographer will be taking photos of your reception setup. During this time, they’ll also snag candids and posed photos of your friends and family as they arrive.  Trust us, you’ll want to remember who was there.

The Party

Time Allotment:
Differs by couples
Location:
Reception Venue
Time of Day:
Afternoon – Evening
Why:
The timeline you have, and the time of year you get married, will all determine how long or late your reception will go.  From cake cutting and toasts, to first dances and bouquet tosses, we will be there to capture all of your candid moments.  We will make a timeline with you to determine how long you would like photos for.

The Getaway

Time Allotment:
15 minutes
Location:
Outside Venue, Sparklers, Field, Sunset, Etc
Time of Day:
Dusk to Nighttime
Why:
10 – 15 minutes during each reception is generally a good time for either a sunset photo, sparkler playtime, or an interesting city photoshoot.  Whether it’s saying goodnight to your friends and family with a sparkler exit or that special moment when you’re holding your spouse beneath the stars, this small moment in time caps it all off with the perfect beginning to your fairytale.