As a fellow engaged person, I know that drafting a schedule for your special day can feel like rocket science. There are the age old debates on how time should be spent, first look vs. traditional, having a send-off from the reception, and understanding how many hours you actually need the services of your photographer. It can feel incredibly stressful to attempt to predict what you’ll need on your wedding day, and paying for a wedding planner’s services to keep the day flowing smoothly may not always be within feasible reach for a budget.
I’ve drafted this example timeline for my clients that helps them understand how much time may be spent capturing each special moment during the wedding, and I figured sharing it here in blog form may prove to be incredibly helpful to my clients (and all the other friends that may find this page!).
1:00pm – 3:00pm: Getting ready, venue shots, and other detail photos
Photos of the full bridal party getting ready can be some of the most candid and treasured shots from the entire day. I get the chance to see the bride’s radiant energy on camera, and see how all the members of the bridal party interact with each other. It’s so fun to get these early shots!
This time pre-ceremony (or pre-first look) is also used to take photos of the venue you chose for your wedding and the smaller details you may forget you wanted to be documented, such as your invitations and the rings. As a photographer, I understand and appreciate how much time is sometimes spent on the intricate details of the day, and I want to take my time capturing that for you!
3:00pm – 3:45pm Individual portraits and first look
If you and your partner choose to do a first look, I’ll capture that moment roughly an hour before the ceremony, so that we have time to hide you before any guests might show up! I’ll also use this time (when makeup is freshest and each person looks their best) to take some individual portraits. Similar to the getting ready shots, the individual portraits really give the photographer the chance to capture each person’s energy on camera before showcasing their love for the remainder of the day!
Pre- or Post-Ceremony Couples Portraits
Deciding when to take couples portraits is entirely up to the couple, but these are of course some of my favorite photos to take. I allow roughly 45 minutes to get various shots, because these are the photos that are most likely to become your most treasured memories of the day! After the first look or ceremony is a great time for couples portraits, and schedules permitting, I love to steal couples away for a few more minutes during golden hour(about an hour before sunset) too!
4:00pm – 4:30pm: Ceremony
This is of course the most important part of the wedding day — the actual wedding!
4:30pm – 5:30pm: Family and Bridal Party Photos
If a traditional aisle-moment is selected, your couples photos would be taken during this time too! This photo session is the last of the formal photo-taking before everyone gets to let loose and have fun at the reception. These are the photos that your loved ones will probably frame, so I take it very seriously an appreciate any advance input about specific shots you and your partner may want!
5:30pm – End: Reception
Capturing special reception moments is so, so fun! People’s true personalities have the chance to shine through on camera, and I can always sense when precious memories are being made.
Regardless of the schedule that my couples decide on, I can assure you that my documentation of your wedding day means just as much to me as it does to you. I always feel so honored when I have the chance to photograph a wedding, and getting every special shot is so incredibly important to me! Hopefully this potential schedule gives couples options to think about as they craft their own ideal timeline for their day.
-Jacqueline, may 2021
"I walked away from my session wanting to put her in my pocket to boost my self esteem all day long because she just made me feel like the most beautiful person in the room.
"Working with Alaina was effortless"
-Brooke, July 2021
"The second I met her, I felt like I had known her forever, which made it a million times easier to just be ourselves in front of the camera.
"Her personality made it for me."
- Tracie, October 2021 bride
Alaina is spunky and fun and full of great ideas. She made my fiance and I feel so comfortable during our engagement session. We loved all the candid photos she caught of us
"She had us laughing the whole time"