Having photographed hundreds of weddings it becomes incredibly obvious where timing has been planned perfectly and where timings simply don’t work leaving the day feeling rushed and the couple less able to relax and enjoy. A less relaxed couple clearly impacts on the photos and actually from a practical level timings can be really pushed to get all the photos you would like. !
At this stage the timings below may seem excessive but one thing I have learnt from shooting weddings is that the day FLIES by! The more time you have between the main ‘event’s’ of the day the more time you will have to take it all in and enjoy.
The best thing to do with your times is start at the ceremony as this can’t usually move then work backwards and forwards. In the mock timings below I have assumed the day is all at ONE venue so also don’t forget to plan in travel in vintage vehicles or traffic.
10.30am Photographer arrives
10.30-11:30 Photographer shoots ‘details’- please have these out and ready as it saves loads of time
11-12pm Photographer shoots ‘getting ready’ images of bride and girls
12.15 Brides gets in to her dress – must be done early as they take far longer to put on than you think. Allow at least 30 minutes!
12.45 Photographer leaves for ceremony to photograph groom, best man and ushers ,rings and guests arriving
1.15 Registrar speaks to bride (they will have already spoken to the groom)
1.30 Wedding Ceremony
2 pm ceremony finish
I RECOMMEND 2 HOURS BETWEEN THE END OF YOUR CEREMONY AND BEING CALLED TO SIT FOR THE WEDDING BREAKFAST
2 – 2.15 pm guests mill out of the ceremony and have a few mins to congratulate the bride and groom. I call this your meet and greet. It’s a fabulous time to get natural joyful photos.
2.15-2.45 Group photos – ideally no more than 8. Again these photos take much longer than you think
2.45-3 pm candid shots
3-3.30 pm Couple shots if not a summer wedding. When its still light after 7 pm I do couple photos after the meal but before your evening guests arrive.
3.30-3.45 candid shots of guests
3.45-4 table shots
4 pm guests called to sit
4:00-4:15 I will photograph all guests seated at each table
4.20 wedding breakfast meal starts
6pm -7pm speeches
7-7.30 Buffer time, room turned over and time for second set of couple shots (if golden hour or evening images if dark)
7.30 pm evening guests start to arrive
7.55 cake cut
8 pm first dance
9-9:30 pm I will leave. I just about always stay an hour beyond the first dance for those amazing party photos.
The above is a rough order of the day but gives you a good idea of the timings and order of your wedding.
I would say 95% of weddings don’t run on time and things can and do go wrong on wedding days! If in doubt add 10 minutes to your plans here and there, if you don’t need it on the day then it is more time to enjoy yourselves but if you do, you will be very glad that you did it!
I hope this helps you plan the perfect stress free day with oodles of time for gorgeous wedding photos!