Wedding Day Timeline Guide
We believe the perfect wedding day and amazing photos start with a well planned timeline. Below you will find all of our insider tips and tricks making the most of our time together!
We will need a Minimum of 1 hour & 30 minutes for photography.
1. Do a First Look First looks are great because you can get all or most of the photos taken ahead of time. They allow for your day and timeline to be much more relaxed and easy going. You will also receive more photos in your final gallery as this gives us the time to get those natural and romantic poses everyone loves! If you are trying to decide if a first look is right for you, check out this post: Should we do a first look? *We do not typically do first looks for catholic weddings as the ceremony is early in the day and we usually have a large gap of time between the ceremony and reception.
2. Natural Light
makes a Huge difference in the look and feel to your photos. Have a backup photo location with lots of windows and natural light for your rain option. If your wedding is near downtown Indianapolis, we have backup photos locations that we typically go to.
3. Everyone needs to be dressed and ready 2 hours before the ceremony for pictures--
Even if you aren't going to see each other before the ceremony. We will do photos separately with your wedding party.
Please have your details all together in the prep suite: This is the first thing I photograph when I arrive. This includes BOTH rings, 2 Invitations, attire, Shoes, Flowers, Jewelry, Family Heirlooms... This is VERY Important. There isn't another time during the day for these items to be photographed.
4. Get a Hotel suite to get ready!
Keep in mind that if you wedding venue's getting ready space is dark, cluttered, or in most cases- school rooms--Your pictures will suffer and due to florescent lighting (Most will be in Black and white) I suggest getting a hotel room to get ready in for the most bright and modern pictures. You will need plenty of room for stylists, the wedding party, family, and me :)
We suggest getting ready at the same location (Separate room's is fine) if you would like prep photos.
** BEST HOTELS DOWNTOWN INDIANAPOLIS FOR GETTING READY***
Omni Severin, The Alexander, JW Marriott, Le Meridian, The Conrad, The Westin
*The Alexander & Omni Severin are wonderful for winter weddings due to the interior photo locations
*The Westin and Hyatt Regency have a beautiful courtyard and is across the street from the state house providing beautiful photo locations
Carmel Area: Iron Works Hotel or Hotel Carmichael
These hotels have lovely suites that provided excellent light and a beautiful backdrop to get ready
6. Skip the receiving line after the ceremony.
You will have plenty of time to greet and mingle with your guests during the reception. Receiving lines take up a huge amount of time and guests must wait and watch you mingle with every guest rather than enjoying cocktail hour. This is one of the number one complaints of guests that attend weddings.
7. Reception Decor:
Doing a first look gives us the time after the ceremony to photograph cocktail hour and the reception decor giving your more complete coverage of the day. The photographer will need to be in the reception room to take pictures 15 minutes before they let guests in the room or earlier in the day. Typically we do this during cocktail hour. (If you've done a first look) If not, please tell the catering staff that the room needs to be set up earlier in the day as we will be doing wedding party photos during cocktail hour.
8. Family Formal Groupings:
No need to send us a shot list- As we get closer to the wedding day, we'll send you a client questionnaire that offers seven standard family portrait combinations. If you'd like to add more, you can always add them to the questionnaire, just keep in mind that each extra pairing takes about five minutes, so that might cut into and reduce other portrait time or require that firsts look be added. We recommend sticking to our 7 groupings for family combinations or adding additional time to your package. We can always grab tons of family shots at the reception on the dance floor, too! Just grab us and we will be happy to take photos of family combinations at the reception.
We love Pinterest! We should follow each other! Pinterest boards are so fun, but they tend to paint an unrealistic picture of a wedding day for couples, because they patchwork together hundreds of different styles, themes, climates, and light conditions, leaving a collage of great inspiration and beautiful images, but an impossible task for anyone to achieve in a single day. We don't want you to feel that pressure at all, but comfortable that you've got two professionals you can trust not to give you pinned pictures, but a wedding that's uniquely yours. If you have a pose you have been dreaming about...TELL US!
We just ask that you don't send shot lists. If we are looking at a list all day recreating someone else's wedding - we won't be capturing the beautiful way your day unfolds. We have shot over 600 beautiful weddings for happy clients.. Sit back, relax, and just know -- we got this!!
Please have your flowers delivered to the hotel where we will be photographing the details. We love having those gorgeous blooms for your ring shots! Typically one hour before our arrival is the best time for flower delivery.
I hope this information helps you navigate the timeline planning. Check out the sample timelines below for an idea of how our typical wedding days flow. Let us know if we can help you in anyway, we love being involved in the planning process with our brides!
Please read though this post about pro's and con's of doing a first look:
Sample Timeline with a firstlook
1:00 Photographer arrives to photograph details and prep
1:45 Client One prep and finishing touches photos (if at same hotel)
2:00 Client two prep and finishing touches
3:00 First Look - Photos together
3:30 Wedding party 4:00 - family portraits -- Immediate family only. Mother, Father, Siblings, Grandparents
4:30 - completely done with photos - wedding party freshens up while guests arrive 5:30 - ceremony
6:00 Ceremony Ends Cocktail hour begins
6:00 Finish up any remaining photos or go to second photo location for variety - Couple can attend cocktail hour or relax with wedding party
7:00 Introductions - go straight into first dance \
7:15 Welcome or blessing
7:30 - dinner
8:15 cake cutting, Toasts, followed by other special dances
8:30 Bouquet and garter toss or open dancing if you aren't doing one
9pm: Photographer departs
My most popular packages include 8 hours of coverage on the wedding day.
Sample Timeline with no First look
1:00 Photographer arrives to photograph details and prep
2:00 Client One finishing touches photos
2:30 Client two finishing touches photos
3:00 Client one wedding attendant photos
4:00 Client two wedding attendant photos
4:45 Finished with Photo's - couple, grab a snack and freshen up
6:00 Ceremony ends -Cocktail hour begins -NO RECIEVING LINE
6:00 Family Formals,
6:30 wedding Party Pictures,
6:45 couple's portraits
7:10 Photographer photographs empty reception room prior to guests entering
7:15 Introductions - Straight into first dance and cake cutting
7:20 Dinner is served
8:10 Toasts followed by other special dances
8:30pm: Garter and Bouquet toss or other reception event
8:45 Open Dances
9:00 Photographer departs
Earlier Ceremony Wedding Timeline with NO first look
12:00 Photographer arrives to photograph details
1:00 Client one prep photos
1:15 Client two prep photos
1:30 Client one attendant photos
2:15 Client two attendant photogs
2:45 Pictures end: Couple relax, freshen up and grab a snack
4:00 Ceremony ends
4- 4:30Family Formals
4:30, wedding party photogs, and couple Portraits
5:15 Couple introduced to reception - First dance, Cake cutting ,
5:30 Dinner is served
6:30 Toasts followed by other special dances
7:00 Garter & bouquet toss - or other reception events
7:30 Open Dancing
8:00 Photographer departs
Photography coverage would be from 12-8pm with this timeline
*Want to do a petal toss, or confetti toss with the bridal party?? We love these! Just order (Light colored confetti or petals (Ivory & blush photograph best)
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