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Wedding Day Schedule Tips
Many wedding days can take up to 14 hours; if you consider that you will start to get ready shortly after you wake up in the morning and the party ends shortly before everyone goes home and goes to sleep. While some weddings can take about 8 hours; if you are staying at a hotel that will host the ceremony and reception. And, Elopements or Intimate weddings can take as little as 4 hours.
Below we will help you figure out how much photography coverage you need as well as, give you advice on areas that can be adjusted if you are having a smaller more intimate wedding.
Let us start by saying that the most important sections of the wedding day are; the Ceremony, Group Photos & Romantic Photos, which take about 4 hours in total. Therefore, you can start there and build onto that what you may like. As well, for any section of the day that you may not feel the need for a professional photographer; for example getting ready, you may decide to have a family member take some photos.
We have outlined the standard break down of a wedding day. Each section below typically takes around 2 hours, especially if you include travel, hugs & kisses, forgetting things and normal delays when you are trying to organise a large group of people. A wedding day hours goes by quickly.
Getting Ready (2 hours each)
Depending on how many people there are and how far along you are when we arrive; we find 2 hours gives us time to cover everything, as well as allow us to keep our distance. There are many details to photograph during this time and often many photos with the parents, family and wedding party. This gives us the ability to photograph everyone looking their best and gives you time to hangout with the friends and family.
To save time, the Bride & Groom can get ready at the same location, be half way dressed when we arrive and have a small well organized group of people.
First Look (2 hours)
A first look is when the Bride & Groom decide to do a surprise visit with each other before the ceremony. You may find this to be an exciting idea or you may want to stick to tradition. The advantages of a first look is that you can get the romantic photos done early in the day when you are fresh, as well as save time between the ceremony and reception and join your guests sooner. If you do choose to go with a first look, we recommend using the full 1-2hours here, so that you can go straight from your ceremony to your reception later.
Ceremony & Group Photos (2 hours)
Many wedding ceremonies are about a 30 min to 1 hour service. The receiving line can take anywhere from 15-30mins. This would allow about 30 min for family photos and take about 1.5 to 2 hours in total from the start of the ceremony to the end of the group photos.
Romantic Photos (2 hours)
This will be your first chance to relax and gather yourself and enjoy a little time with your partner. Also, the wedding party will surely want to crack open some refreshments. Depending on the locations you have chosen, there may be some travel time and everyone has to get in the limo and out of the limo at each location.
To save time , you can havegroup photos with the wedding party right after the ceremony and send them off with the guests and then have your romantic photos at a nearby location.
Dinner & Speeches (2 hours)
This section always takes longer than expected. It really does normally take a long time for guests to settle down, find their seats, the wedding party entrance, dinner to be served and speeches throughout.
To save time, you can do the wedding party entrance, first 3 dances, bouquet toss, garter toss and cake cutting immediately (which will take about 1 hour) and let your photographer go before dinner.
Traditions (2 hours)
If you save the traditions for after dinner, they typically take a little longer. Likely you will be going by a more relaxed timeline, which may mean there will be a few more speeches, you will be socializing with guests and so on. This will typically mean about a 2 hour time frame to get all of you traditions donw.
To save time, you can remain diligent and get the traditions donewithin 1 hour after diner.
Guests, Party and Exit (2 hours)
At this point it is up to you how much longer you would like the photographers to stick around.