Planning your wedding photography timeline is equally exciting as it is stressful. Many people work with a planner to shift this (potential) logistical nightmare away from themselves. We don't blame you! Timeline planning is difficult, especially if this is your first wedding or large party.
Here are our top four tips for planning photography into your wedding day:
- Always, always, always add more buffer time than you think for family portraits and wedding party portraits. Any portrait time that includes larger groups of people includes more variables that can cause your whole day's timeline to go amuck. By adding an extra 10 minutes to your 30 minute family portraits (making it 40 minutes) can save you if Aunt Shirley needs to take a trip to the bathroom right as she's supposed to be in a picture or Groomsman Joe gets lost on his way to the wedding party portrait location. Believe us, it will save your timeline and keep you from unnecessary stress.
- So how much time do you need for family portraits? Our rule of thumb is 5 minutes per grouping of 4+ people. This gives us time to make sure everyone is standing in the right spots and no one has blinked in the picture. For every 2 extra people you add to the grouping, add 1 minute. Err on the side of adding more time! This means for every wedding, the amount of time for family portraits will vary - exactly why a customized timeline is so crucial! We also suggest creating a list of the family portraits you desire so we can take portraits efficiently and stay on schedule easier.
- How much time do you need for wedding party portraits? Again, this answer is more complicated than you'd like, but we promise it's important to consider all of the points! Read more about those specifics here.
- Add time for golden hour portraits! Golden hour is the hour (or so) of dreamy lighting before sunset. We understand that taking an hour out of your reception is difficult, so we typically add 45 minutes to our couple's timeline: 30 minutes before the sunset time you see on Google and 15 minutes past. If your venue is located in a valley with the mountains directly nearby, you will likely need to shift the time earlier - ask your venue for more specifics! This golden hour time allows us to walk around your venue and get some stunning portraits of you and your brand new spouse. It also gives you a moment to reset before continuing to throw it down at the best party of your life.