There’s a lot to consider when you’re planning your wedding day. The venue, the guest list, what you’re wearing, the food… the list goes on and on! But there’s one important factor that really ties all the elements of the day in, and it helps to start there when it comes to planning your day perfectly. We’re talking about the wedding day timeline, of course!
Having a firm structure in place for when things will happen will help keep the day moving along and on track. And it’ll allow you to make sure you get all the essential parts of your day captured by us, your photographers, too.
Are you having your ceremony and reception in the same place? If you’re not, you’ll need to factor in travel time between locations as part of your day. As you probably know, moving around the city can be slow, so bear this in mind as you don’t want to spend half your day in traffic.
Does your venue have places to take photos, or will we need to find somewhere else? Not all venues have the space for big group shots, for example. Or you might imagine your couple shots in a more natural setting than your venue has to offer. It’s totally okay to head out for some photos, but again, this time should be factored into your day.
How important are portraits to you? Do you want lots of them or just a few and plenty of candid shots of your guests? We need to know this as, while we’re taking portraits with you or getting group shots with your loved ones, we can’t also capture those candid photos of your guests. So, deciding how important these are to you will help us schedule this out properly.
How many group photos do you want? The bigger the family or wedding party, the more formal pictures you’re probably going to want. But if you estimate that it takes anywhere from 3-5 minutes per group photo, you can see that time quickly adds up when working through the long list of group shots you wanted. If standing around for hours getting formal photos is not your thing, be selective about which groups you want. Then trust us to get lots of amazing candid pictures of everyone while you get to enjoy socialising with all your favorite humans.
You won’t need us there for your entire reception. Typically, we stick around for about 30-45 on the final dance floor after eeeverything else is all done. But believe us when we say it’s probably best that we leave after that. A long day of celebrating, tired guests, a few drinks and the photos at that point can be less than flattering. We’ll leave you dancing into the night while we get to work on your pictures.
About a month out from your wedding, you’ll receive an email from us with a little timeline questionnaire. This pretty much covers eeeeverything we need to know about your timeline. After you fill that out, we’ll have a little chat about how we can work your timeline into your package hours. It may seem a little daunting, but honestly, it’s not so bad.
We do love a first look, but we know lots of couples aren’t so sure to begin with. But, in our professional opinion, a first look can do a whole lot for your wedding day. That being said, if you’re 100% set on NOT doing a first look, skip this.
For one thing, it may well be the only time you’ll be totally alone (apart from us shooting at a respectful distance) for the whole of your wedding day. It means you can also get some of those more formal photographs out of the way early, allowing you to enjoy the party.
We don’t think a first look takes anything away from that first moment you see each other in the ceremony either. When you’re walking up the aisle, you’ve got a room full of people waiting in anticipation to see your reactions. That’s a lot of pressure – having that moment just be for the two of you can be a completely special and intimate moment that doesn’t take away from the aisle walk.
And a first look doesn’t have to be boring. You can totally have fun with it and get some fantastic photos as part of the story of your day. Sure, you can walk up and tap your partner on the shoulder… but you could also grab their butt, hug them, say something to them – whatever feels good to you!
We highly recommend you put together a shot list of important family or VIP photos ahead of time. We can help guide you through this process if you’re unsure, so just ask!
A quick tip… choose a reliable family member or one of your wedding party members to call guests forward. This will help us to move through your list as quickly as possible, something you’ll be grateful for on the day.
And do let loved ones know to remove items from their pockets before this part of the day. You’d be surprised how much the outline of a phone, wallet or keys in a pocket can spoil an excellent photograph!
It’s so lovely to capture the getting ready part of your day as part of your wedding story.
We’ll show up around 45 minutes before you’re done to get those last preparation touches captured.
Have the rings, copies of your invites, shoes, jewelry, perfume and any other details set aside ready for detail shots.
We’ll also be there to capture the finishing touches, getting dressed, and any cheers of celebration going on. You’ll be surprised how much we can capture in that time!
When it comes to your wedding ceremony, we are all about working unobtrusively. We’re there to capture a record of what we see, and you don’t need to remember us being around you and clicking away in your faces right then!
We highly recommend choosing an unplugged ceremony. While your guests can be totally in the moment with you, you’ll have us capturing it all in beautiful images. So ask your guests to pop their phones, tablets and cameras away, at least for the ceremony.
And a quick photo tip for you… slow it down. When you’re walking up the aisle, take your time, it’s not a race! The same thing applies when the two of you are walking back down the aisle.
And for that first kiss, to be absolutely sure we get the shot for you, hold the kiss as long as you possibly can. After all, you never know who’s going to jump into the aisle with a cellphone… because yes, even with unplugged ceremonies, it absolutely happens.
As a little reminder, if you’d like a full ceremony video captured at a single angle, we’ve got that add-on for $500. That way, you can have straight-through documentation of your ceremony. Just reach out and ask!
Now it’s time to kick back and celebrate. Y’all just got married!
Make sure you give us an outline of the run of the day ahead of time, so we can make sure we’re always in the right place at the right time. If you’ve got any special traditions or surprises, keep us in the loop, so we can be ready with our cameras.
When it comes to food, we’ll eat when everyone else is eating. Photos of you chewing just aren’t cute, and we need to fuel up ready for the party! That being said, we’ve always got our cameras at the ready in case speeches start while dining.
If you didn’t do a first look, now will be the time to get your formal portraits with loved ones done as well as whisking you two off for a few cute couple photos. And if you did do a first look? Well, you get more time to party, party, party!
Hudson Valley wedding photographers capturing candid, authentic moments. Documenting elopements and wedding days in Westchester, the Catskills, and beyond. Available in Ulster County, Orange County, Dutchess County, and beyond. Wedding photographers based in Beacon, NY serving all throughout the Greater New York Area including Tarrytown, Hudson, Kingston, and more. Proudly serving LGBTQ+ couples.
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