Let’s face it, creating your wedding day timeline can be as exciting as going for an oil change. You have to do it but want to get onto the fun stuff like flowers and food, all the pretty details and dancing the night away under the stars! And let’s not forget all those killer portraits and amazing candids from your day that you’ve been dreaming about.
Here’s the thing, and I know you’ve heard this before – your wedding day is just that, it’s one day and it’ll flash by in the blink of an eye. The best way to make the most of that day is to have a solid plan for how you’re going to spend it.
Here are three timeline tips I give all my couples so they can make the most of their wedding days and get killer images!
1. Start your wedding photography coverage 1 hour before you plan to get dressed. Why not earlier? Because nobody likes photos of themselves in yoga pants without any makeup on! An hour’s plenty of time to capture great candids of you and your best friends in the final stages of getting ready, and get images of your shoes, jewelry, invitations and other special details that you’ve put so much love and thought into.
2. Plan enough time to get amazing, unrushed portraits. Trust me, you’ll cherish these images. I usually advise couples to plan 30-45 minutes for wedding party portraits, 30-45 minutes for family images and 30-45 minutes with just the two of them. That may seem like a lot, but I work with my couples and their wedding planners to break it up through the day – some right after they get ready, some before the ceremony and some after.
3. If you choose not to have photography coverage extend to the end of your reception, remember to time important events towards the earlier part of the night, for example right after dinner or the cake cutting. Planning fireworks or a special dance? It would be so unfortunate if those events happened at the end of the evening and ended up not getting captured.
Whether you’re the kind of person who loves planning things down to the minute, or you prefer hiring a planner to handle all the wedding timeline details, my priority as your wedding photographer is to partner with you and your vendor team to make sure you’re covered. My bonus tip is this: having a solid timeline makes it easier to recover if things go off track, which they sometimes do on wedding days! It also helps you feel more at ease and enjoy your day, which not only is SO important in the moment but also makes for better, more connected images.
Timelines aren’t an afterthought – they’re something I invest a lot of time and care into for my couples starting with the first time we meet, right through their wedding day. If you have any wedding day timeline tips, or questions about timelines and getting killer images I’d love to hear them below!
Gen Palmer is a wedding and portrait photographer located in New Jersey and loves working with couples to capture the romance of their story, and simplify the process of planning their wedding day photography. Let’s connect about your wedding!