Wedding Photo Ideas, Tips & Timeline

September 10th, 2018 Wedding Ideas, Tips and Inspiration

You’ve probably been searching for wedding photo ideas on Pinterest for months! We don’t blame you one bit for being excited and perhaps nervous about getting the perfect photos of your big day. Breathe.

Now that you have a collection of images you adore, we’ll share tips for helping you and your photographer snap the wedding photos of your dreams.

Wedding Photography Timeline

Let’s start with something practical: the timeline. George Street Photo & Video, a wedding photography and videography company with 40 locations in the U.S., suggests this as a timeline option:

  1. Getting Ready/Details: 30-45 minutes (groom/s); 60-90 minutes (bride/s)

  2. Wedding Party: 30-60 minutes

  3. Couple Portraits: 60-90 minutes

  4. Family Photos: 30-45 minutes

  5. Ceremony/Ceremony Details: 30-60 minutes

  6. Cocktail Hour: 30-60 minutes

  7. Reception Details: 15-30 minutes before guests enter the room

  8. Reception: Time will vary

This timeline will vary depending on the flow of your day. To determine a timeline that’ll work best for you, let’s consider a few wedding photography tips.

Wedding Photography Tips

When you’re sharing the most important moments, details and people you want captured with your photographer, George Street Photo & Video recommends you consider these tips to maximize the quantity and quality of your wedding photos:

Schedule Your Photographer for Eight Hours

It’s important to spread this time somewhat evenly over the course of your wedding. For example, you don’t normally need four hours of reception coverage. Instead, some of this time could be dedicated to family photos, detail photos and other can’t-miss moments.

Hire a Second Photographer

A second photographer provides two perspectives throughout the day, including one of the most important moments--walking down the aisle. By having two photographers, the couple’s expressions will be captured simultaneously. It’s a magical moment that deserves to be captured. Two photographers can also photograph separate moments simultaneously to save time (cocktail hour/reception details).

If budget is a concern, you could book fewer hours and hire a second photographer--even if only for two or three hours. The two can “divide and conquer” when there are separate activities occurring simultaneously. For example, cocktail hour and family photos can happen at the same time in different locations. Having two photographers ensures neither activity is missed!

Are you breathing yet? Good. Now onto those must-have wedding photos and list.

Must-Have Wedding Photos & List

Professionals have the “standard” wedding photography checklist covered. The bride in her dress. The rings. The cake. The first kiss. You shouldn’t need to provide this shot list. When photographers ask you for your must-have wedding photos, they’re likely looking for pictures that are important to YOU. Here are a few examples:

  • The moment you and your sweetheart read each other’s letters

  • At least 5-7 reception place settings because each is different

  • Candid moments of your grandmother

  • Wide-angle landscapes of the mountain resort for a canvas print

  • Classic dramatic pose of bride with bridesmaids

(For “real bride” bridal photo ideas, you can browse our Val Stefani real brides photo gallery.)

Feel free to ask your photographer about current wedding trends as you get closer to your wedding date to incorporate “en vogue” drip wedding cakes which George Street Photo & Video says debuted last year and are all the rage in 2018.

A wedding photo list is usually the group pictures you want. Here are a few typical ones:

  • Bride with her family

  • Groom with his family

  • Couple with both parents

You may need to provide this list to your photographer and include special notes. For example, you may want a photo of you and your spouse with your parents first then a photo with your parents and your grandparents. Or perhaps your mom refuses to be a photo with your dad and his new wife so you’ll note separate photos with each of them. Don’t worry, a wedding photo list for family pictures helps your photographer move through this quickly and painlessly so everyone can move onto the reception fun!

Wedding Party Photos

No doubt you’ve seen some funny ones on Pinterest or wedding sites. If your group is into it, why not take several classic photos and humorous ones? The groomsmen showing off their silly socks. The “let’s party” jump. The explosive toast with Champagne. Perhaps the location is epic--high above the air in amusement park swings or at a zoo. Possibilities are endless. You know your friends best to know what kind of wedding party photos they could be into.

By collecting wedding photo ideas and putting together your must-have list, you’re well on your way to getting photos that’ll make you swoon...over your own wedding. Looking for a list questions to ask your potential photographer? Check out our Guide to Picking the Perfect Wedding Photographer. 

Wedding Photo Ideas, Tips & Timeline
Wedding Photo Ideas, Tips & Timeline
Wedding Photo Ideas, Tips & Timeline
Wedding Photo Ideas, Tips & Timeline


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