NO TWO WEDDINGS ARE THE SAME, BUT THIS IS MY ROUGH STANDARD TIMELINE WHICH YOU COULD USE AS A GUIDE, AND SOME USEFUL TIPS FROM A PHOTOGRAPHER'S POINT OF VIEW TO HELP YOUR DAY RUN SMOOTHLY
3 HOURS (2 - 2.5 HOURS FOR ME)
As bridal prep is such a huge part of the day, I’ve allocated a whole separate blog post to this - some dos, some don’ts, and plenty of ideas about how to get the most out of your bridal prep photos! Check out my “10 Top Tips for Bridal Prep” blog post for all the details!
Pick a large, spacious room to get ready in wherever possible, with as little clutter and as much natural light as possible, or make use of any nice outdoor space - this will make for the best photographs.
Details - Try to have as many of these out and gathered together as possible, ready for me to photograph - this includes things like shoes, cufflinks, buttonholes, ties and rings.
When getting ready, try to do this together with the other groomsmen if you can - it’s always nice to get some shots of you doing your ties together/helping each other with buttonholes etc.
Speaking of ties, these can sometimes be problematic in the rush of a wedding morning! If you’re not normally a tie-wearer, or perhaps you’re wearing something a little bit different, like a cravat, it’s a really good idea to practice in advance! Make sure at least one member of the groomsmen party knows exactly what they’re doing, and can show the others - the last thing you want is to be tying yourself in knots and getting flustered when you’re trying to get ready!
If getting photographs of your groom prep is a priority for you, consider adding a 2nd photographer to your package. If you are getting ready in separate venues, there is not usually time for me to visit both the bride and the groom for morning prep photos, so generally speaking I will just be with the bride (unless you’ve advised me otherwise). Or, you could consider getting ready in the same location (ie, if you’re both staying in the same hotel the night before the wedding then this can work well) - if you are in the same place then it’s easier for me to pop in to see you both during the morning.
30-45 MINS FOR CIVIL CEREMONIES, OR 1 HOUR FOR RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES
Walking down the aisle - Practice makes perfect! Have several run-throughs with your bridal party, making sure the various entrances are coordinated well with the music (work out how long your track is and try to make sure entrances are well spaced throughout the track). Put someone in charge of coordinating this with you on the day, giving a signal to each person when they should start walking. When you’re walking down the aisle, remember to smile, and most importantly of all, DON’T RUSH! To get those picture perfect shots of you walking down the aisle, you need to keep your head up, keep smiling, and make sure there is plenty of time for me to snap away, so do take your time. If bridesmaids are entering first, it’s a good idea to make sure they have finished their entrance before the bride walks in. If you all come in together the bride ends up being blocked in all of the photos, and I can’t get a clear shot of you making your entrance.
First kiss - HOLD IT! Everyone wants a beautiful photo of their first kiss as a married couple - it’s such a special moment of your ceremony! But you’d be amazed at the number of couples who go for a really quick peck, and it’s a real case of blink and you miss it! As your photographer, I definitely don’t want to miss that moment, so remember to hold the kiss for at least a good few seconds, to make sure I can capture a great shot of you both. Again, you can practice beforehand so it doesn’t feel awkward on the day!
Bridal trains - if you have a big train on your dress, make sure you have at least one of your bridesmaids prepped to keep an eye on it and help fluff it out for you throughout the ceremony. Often there are several moments where you have to move from sitting to standing, and into different positions throughout the ceremony, and you want to make sure the train of your dress looks as beautiful as it should in all your photos, flowing out behind you, rather than being tucked round the back of you or scrunched in a heap.
Confetti - it’s a good idea to provide confetti for your guests, as very few guests bring their own these days, and leaving the ceremony to a shower of confetti is not only a wonderful moment full of joy and excitement, but usually makes for some great photos too, if you have enough of it - I always say it’s a good idea to bring lots! It can be a nice idea to fill little cones with confetti so that each guest can take one and get ready to throw this as you walk past. Think about the colour scheme of your wedding and consider choosing something which would fit nicely with this, and also remember to check the venue’s policy before you buy, as a lot of venues now ask for you to use biodegradable confetti only. Assign one or two groomsmen to help give out the confetti and rally everyone together at the end of the ceremony, making sure everyone gathers in the right place (ask everyone to form two lines for you to walk down the middle) and knows what is about to happen.