Wedding Photo Ideas, Tips & Timeline
August 10th, 2022 Wedding Ideas, Tips and Inspiration
Wedding Photography Timeline, Ideas, & Tips
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 wedding day. Breathe.
Now that you have a collection of images you adore, we’ll share tips for helping you and your photographer snap the photos of your dreams.
Wedding Photo Timeline
Let’s start with something practical: the timeline. It’s important to get a solid plan in place with your photographer. Sticking to the schedule will help ensure you have enough time for each part of the day and don’t have to skip any pictures you were really hoping to get.
George Street Photo & Video, a wedding photography and videography company with 40 locations in the U.S., suggests this as a timeline option:
Getting Ready/Details: 30-45 minutes (groom/s); 60-90 minutes (bride/s)
Wedding Party: 30-60 minutes
Couple Portraits: 60-90 minutes
Family Photos: 30-45 minutes
Wedding Ceremony/Ceremony Details: 30-60 minutes
Cocktail Hour: 30-60 minutes
Reception Details: 15-30 minutes before guests enter the room
Reception: Time will vary
This timeline will vary depending on the flow of your day. Details like if you have to allow extra travel time to get from your ceremony site to your wedding reception location can also impact your wedding day photography timeline. To help determine an agenda that’ll work best for you, consider a few of the following wedding photography tips.
Wedding Photographer 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 such as cocktail hour and 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. Having two photographers ensures no activity is missed!
Are you breathing yet? Good. Now onto those must-have wedding photos.
Must-Have Wedding Photos List
Professionals have the “standard” wedding photography checklist covered. The bride in their dress. The rings. The cake cutting. The first kiss. The first dance. You shouldn’t need to provide this shot list. When photographers ask you for your must-have 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 grandparents and parents
Wide-angle landscapes of the ceremony and reception location for a canvas print
Classic dramatic pose of bride with bridesmaids
First look photos before you walk down the aisle
The couple’s parent dances
The hair stylist or make-up artist helping the bridal party get ready
Fun wedding party portraits
Candid shots of guests on the dance floor
(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 date to incorporate “en vogue” elements...like sparkler exits or wedding party grand entrances to your reception.
A wedding photo list also usually includes the group photos you want. Here are a few typical ones:
Bride with their family
Groom with their family
Couple with both parents
Couple with all immediate family members
Family formals of the couple with their extended families
You may need to provide this list to your photographer and include any special notes they should be aware of when taking the pictures. 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. Don’t worry, providing a list for family pictures helps your photographer move through this quickly and painlessly so everyone can move on to the reception fun!
Bridal Party Photos
No doubt you’ve seen some funny bridal party pictures 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. The possibilities are endless and 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 special day. Looking for a list of questions to ask your potential photographer? Check out our Guide to Picking the Perfect Wedding Photographer.