I've had so many brides ask me the same questions relating to wedding day timelines... I usually go over the wedding timeline with my brides a couple weeks before the wedding date to ensure we're on the same page and nothing has changed. Here's a run down on what I like to know from MY Brides about wedding day plans and times...
1. What time do you want your photographer to arrive, and where are they to meet you at? It is a good idea to have the bride and groom preparation locations close together. If you will be getting ready in a hotel, it's a good idea to book two rooms at the same hotel, one for the bride and another for the groom. This makes it easier for me to run back and forth getting preparation shots of both parties, without having to travel long distances and run the risk of missing something important or getting behind.
2. Another tip is to talk to everyone that will be involved in the getting ready process and ask them to help you keep the room clean and tidy. The photo's look so much nicer if there's not pop cans and girls purses, clothing, shoes, luggage and so forth laying all around. This will help you move around easier also when clutter is limited. If you're getting ready in a hotel... designate the closet for everyone's random necessities to be stored.
3. The key to bright, sharp preparation photos is lots of light! If you're getting ready at home, it's best to plan the putting on of your dress and getting ready shots near a window. Your hair or makeup artist will probably suggest the same thing. If you're getting ready at a hotel , ask for rooms that are facing east or south so we'll have lots of morning light streaming in!
4. It's a good idea to have someone delegated to be in charge of both the wedding rings, a wedding invitation, bridal bouquet and so forth as I like to arrive a little earlier then planned to be able to get some nice creative shots of these details. It's easier to not have to bug the bride or groom every time I need to ask where a relevant wedding item is at.
5. What time do you plan on taking the formal and family photos? How much time are you allowing for these shots to be accomplished? How long this will take depends on how many different groupings you have requested. It usually takes about 5 minutes to set up and shoot each different grouping, depending on how large the group is.
6. I highly suggest planning at least an hour for the bride and groom shots. This is best if planned to do right after you are dressed and before the formal family portrait session is to take place, or right after the first look! If you are wanting some unique and romantic images that may take a little more time.... it's best to plan for two hours of shooting for the bride and groom shots.
9. What time does the reception start? What time will the toasts take place? This is usually a good time for me to take a short break to grab something to eat and recollect myself! : ) I usually stay for the first few minutes of the reception... and then will be back in time for the toasts and cake cutting etc.
10. What time is the reception scheduled to end? When will the bouquet and garter toss take place?
11. What time is the dance supposed to start? Is there any important dance you want me to stay for? Usually I make sure and capture all the first dances... Father/Daughter Mother/Son your first dance etc. and then I'm on my way!! : ) Unless otherwise requested before hand.