How to Create Your Wedding Photography Plan
You’ve been dreaming about your wedding day for months, and you want every moment captured perfectly. The key to breathtaking wedding photography is having a plan in place. You’ve already booked a wedding photographer, so all you have to do is make a plan.
There are a few details of your day that impact your wedding photography plan. In this guide, we cover the keys to capturing pre-ceremony memories, the pros and cons of a first look and how it impacts your wedding photography timeline, and a sample wedding photography timeline to get you started.
Pre-Ceremony Photos With the Bride = 1 Hour
Your wedding photography plan should begin with pre-ceremony photos. Your wedding photographer will typically spend 1/2 hour photographing details and candids. The remaining 1/2 hours is spent capturing attendants, family and planned images of the bride.
Pre-Ceremony Photos With the Groom = 1/2 Hour
The photographer will typically capture the groom’s attire, images with groomsmen and family, pinning of boutonnieres, and other detail shots.
Post-Ceremony = 30 Minutes
Altar Images = 30 Minutes
Romantics = 1 Hour
Free Timeline Template
Download your FREE wedding timeline template! We’ve broken it down into 3 categories:
- Church weddings
- Venue weddings with a first look
- Venue weddings without a first look.
Start by choosing the template that best fits your wedding day.
- Next, plan what time you think your ceremony should start. It is best to plan the start time, then build your timeline around that. If it seems you wouldn’t have enough time, or something doesn’t flow, then change your ceremony time and try again.
- Use the “notes” section to jot down things like vendor arrival times, deliveries, and more.
- Don’t feel restricted. While this template is meant to help you plan your timeline, we recognize that every couple is different, and you may need to add or remove some things.
Preparing for Your Pre-Ceremony Wedding Photography Plan
Pick the right pre-ceremony location.
You’ll love your pictures when they are taken in a room that is orderly, not cluttered, and has some natural light options. The light pouring in from a window is much more flattering than overhead fluorescents that can create shadows and tint skin with a yellow tone. Ideally, you and your fiance will get ready in locations near each other, making better use of the time you have for your photographer. Simply put, less travel time equates to more pictures. The similar backgrounds and architecture help to create a cohesive feel in your wedding album too.
Schedule the photographer for the right time.
When you are creating a photography plan with your photographer, discuss the type of images you would like captured. It is recommended that your photographer arrive after your hair and makeup are completed (or nearly), but before you begin dressing. It is important to note that most delays occur during the hair and makeup preparation, so you’ll want to plan accordingly and build some time into your wedding day timeline. While your finishing touches are being applied, your photographer can capture your wedding day details like the dress, shoes, jewelry, and other items.
Have items to be photographed available.
Your wedding day is a flurry of activity, so planning in advance for the items you want photographed is essential. It’s common to capture photos of the bride’s bouquet, jewelry, shoes, dress, handkerchiefs, invitation, something old, new, borrowed and blue and other personal items. The groom’s cuff-links, pocket watch, boutonniere and attire is also commonly photographed. Any items you will give to your parents or bridal party attendant gifts are also photographed during this time. It’s easier for you and the photographer if your getting-ready items are available and not tucked away in bags or left at another location.
Let the subjects know they are needed.
When you have decided what images are to be captured during this time, let the subjects know. It is common to get pictures of the you and your attendants, each of you with your parents and other important family members (such as siblings) during your pre-ceremony time. It’s not uncommon for family members to begin visiting guests or attending to other issues. Letting them know in advance that they will be needed for pre-ceremony wedding photos, keeps everyone on the same page.