The wedding of your dreams does not include uncles arriving late, a longer dinner, a shorter first dance, or your grandparents wandering off in the middle of your photos. Your wedding should be everything you want, and your photos should be too. So, our resident photography expert Sarah Harms chimed in on how to build your wedding day timeline to get the photos you want so everything runs smoothly and according to plan on your big day.
Whether you are planning your own or your planner is shouldering the bulk of the decisions, there a few key things to know before building your wedding day timeline.
Before you schedule your day down to the minute, Harms suggests making a list of photos and moments you want to ensure are captured. These photos can include: getting ready, the first look, the couple, the wedding party, the families separately and together, the first dance, cutting and eating the cake, the receiving line, and the exit.
Your list is already getting long. But don’t worry, Harms says, these photos will be a breeze if you plan and communicate with your photographer ahead of time.
Start planning your timeline two to three months in advance. You should have most of your vendors and details narrowed down, and you should know what time the ceremony will start because it is the keystone of your day.
Harms laid out a typical timeline, but remember, this is your wedding day, so you can decide which photos you want and which to skip.
Getting ready shots are more for the girls, Harms says, but guys can do some tie-tightening and shoe lace-knotting for classy detail photos. The actual process can be lengthy, but if you know what you want captured prior to the day of, you can talk with your photographer to determine when they need to arrive and how long the photos will take.
A second photographer can be useful for getting photos of one of you and getting set up for the first look, while the lead photographer is snapping away with the other fiance.
The first look is optional, but if you do want a peek it’s most natural to do so when the couple is finished getting ready. Then you can move into formal shots together, and formal photos with your wedding party. Here, knowing what photos you want as a couple and what photos you want with the wedding party will streamline the day and help organize your timeline.