Valentine’s Day has come and gone, which means somehow we’re already at the start of new month and spring is just around the corner. In other words, wedding season is almost here!
If you’re getting married this year, more than likely you’ve already spent some time thinking through your day-of timeline. There are *so* many details to consider when putting together your wedding day, and it can get overwhelming very quickly! So today, we want to take a step back and focus on your timeline from ONE angle: the photography perspective.
We’ve invited our dear friend Sami of Sami Renee Photography – a local Indianapolis photographer – to share her thoughts and suggestions on what to keep in mind from a photographer’s perspective. And here’s what she had to say:
This may come as a surprise, but I am a firm believer that your wedding day should NEVER revolve around photos. After all, you’ve hired your photographer because you’re getting married – not the other way around! 🙂
However, I also believe that it would be a huge disservice to my brides to just throw everything to the wind and grab photos “when they happen”.
Can you even imagine how chaotic that would be?
Instead, I’ve found the sweet spot to be in the middle. Yes, your wedding day timeline should definitely take photography into consideration, but it should also consider convenience for you and your groom, your bridal party, your family members, and all of your guests, too!
With that in mind, here are three important things to consider when creating your wedding day-of timeline.
Let’s get started!
01. You should know when the sun will set
This one piece of information is GOLD when planning your wedding photography timeline. It’s the first thing I look up when working with my couples – especially if they are planning an outdoor ceremony or opting out of a first look.
It’s important to make sure you know when the sun will go down, as you will no longer be able to have natural light images after that time. That may seem obvious…but many brides often forget to consider that when planning their day. Especially if their wedding falls during the winter months when the sun sets before 5:00pm at times! If that’s the case for your wedding day, you’ll either want to take care of all photos before your ceremony, or you’ll want to plan for an early ceremony (2:00pm at the latest)!
It’s also important to know when the sun sets if you want soft, dreamy light during an outdoor ceremony. To avoid harsh light and shadows, you’ll want to coordinate your ceremony as close to golden hour as possible. It’s not always possible to plan your “I do”s right around that magical hour, but the closer you can get to it, the better!
02. Consider travel time and, at the end of the day remember LIGHTING is more important than the location
Another issue that can come up with timeline planning is TRAVEL. I know how easy it can be to get so focused on a specific location you want for your portraits. And trust me – a great location is worth gold! However, it becomes a problem when a specific location is hard-to-reach or out of the way. Especially when it pushes everything else on the timeline into a tight squeeze.
When the timeline allows, I’m all for traveling for a great spot! However, most of the time I recommend that my brides stick close to their ceremony or reception locations. Less travel time means MORE portrait time, and, more importantly, it allows for a less stressful day.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Sami, WHY would I want MORE portrait time at a less-than-awesome location?!
Well, let me tell ya. 🙂
While a good location may seem important, good LIGHTING matters even more. Great light can change even the most drab location into a stunning backdrop! Honestly! Here’s an example from a downtown Noblesville wedding I shot last year. The couple debated back and forth on hopping in cars and traveling to a park about 10 minutes away. However, it was just too tight of a squeeze. Instead, we walked a block, found an AMAZING alley-way, and got some of the most stunning portraits!
So, try not to stress about the *location* of your portraits and trust your photographer to choose spots with great light.
03. Remember your guests
Last but not least, make sure you remember your guests when planning your day. Yes, your wedding day is 100% about you and your groom. However, the more time you can spend celebrating with all of your friends and family, the better!
When you look back at your wedding day, I don’t want you to just remember all the time spent taking photos. I want you to remember LAUGHTER and JOY. The time you spent dancing with your best friends…hugging your grandma tight…talking with Aunts, Uncles, and more!
This is why I try to make portrait time REASONABLE for all of my couples. The sweet spot is again found in the middle…I’ll always take as much portrait time as I can get, but I never want to hog my couples or keep guests waiting.
Images by Sami Renee Photography