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  • Writer's pictureleyrephotography


Updated: Aug 24, 2023

bride smiling on her wedding day

Planning your wedding day can be super stressful, but it doesn’t have to be! We want to help you every step of the way, especially when it comes to getting that PERFECT shot! We’ll start with bridal details– Every bride loves having those beautiful shots of her bridal details. It’s an important part of the story and I love having some time to shoot the dress, shoes, jewelry, invitations, etc. These shots allow me to get warmed up for the rest of the big day. I normally like to allow at least 30 to 45 minutes for this part of the day. We ask you to create a “Bride Box” to have ready for us when we arrive on the day of your wedding. Your bride box should contain jewelry, shoes, extra flowers, ribbons, extra fabric, rings, ring box, invite envelope, save the dates (if you have it) and absolutely anything sentimental. We also have our own ‘flat lay kit’ that we bring to help out if you are not sure what to pack.

After the details have been photographed, it’s time for the bride and her girls! I will photograph the final hair and makeup touches and you and your girls getting ready and having a blast! After that, the big moment has arrived as the bride gets into her gown! I usually ask the mother of the bride and all of the bridesmaids to be dressed by the time the bride is ready to get into her dress and to stay hidden so we can do a first look with the girls. This ensures that everyone will look nice in those images. After the bride is in her gown, she can put on her jewelry, veil, shoes, etc. and I will shoot some additional bridal portraits! Then we will capture a first look with the girls and some fun photos of everyone all dressed up! After the bride’s time, we will head over to the groom and gather some shots of the groom and groomsmen getting ready, hanging out, and sharing some laughs inside the groom's quarters (if there is one, if there is not, no worries! We will find the best spot for these!). We will then grab some formal portraits of the guys outside as well as some fun ones!

newly weds during their first look on their wedding day

The Bride and Groom ‘First Look’ is COMPLETELY OPTIONAL! This is one of my favorite parts of the wedding day! I will find the perfect location for my couple’s ‘First Look’ prior to the getting ready portion of the day! Don’t stress about that one bit! I will make sure the location is private and as secluded as possible. We can also capture a first look with any significant loved one at this time. We can absolutely do different locations for each first look. Whether indoors or outdoors, we can help locate the perfect location for each! Now it’s time for some Bridal Party shots! I buffer in extra time throughout the day just in case we have some unexpected things that hold us up! One way to make sure we stay on schedule for bridal party portraits is to have someone put the boutonnieres on the guys BEFORE they arrive for portraits. During Bridal Party portraits, we will make sure to take some great shots of the guys and girls both separately AND together!

newly weds embracing each other

After bridal party portraits are complete, the bride will go into hiding so that early guests don’t sneak a peek and the ushers will begin their duties. If the reception is in the same location as the ceremony, I will use this time to shoot the reception decor UNTOUCHED. If the ceremony and reception are in different locations, I recommend having a cocktail hour outside of the main reception area if possible so that I can grab some great shots of your reception before the night begins and guests start laying down purses and coats on their seats! This is also a really important time to do any last minute prep for the ceremony for the both of us. If you need to use the bathroom, now is the time! This is also a great time for us to gather any equipment needed for the ceremony. And FINALLY! It’s time to get married!! Most ceremonies are 30 minutes long. If your ceremony is longer than 30 minutes, we’ll make adjustments to the timeline! Cherish these moments! Your ceremony will pass by so quickly! Family formals normally take place immediately following the ceremony. It’s best to save all of the family formals until after the ceremony because ALL family members will be present at that time! We’ll need about 30 minutes for family formals and I will guide you on how to create the shot list before the wedding where you can list out the specific combinations that you want. I recommend shooting portraits outdoors if possible so that they resemble more natural family portraits, especially if the ceremony location is dark! Typically we would schedule the “Just Married” portraits about 20 to 30 minutes before golden hour. We would definitely figure this out when we do your timeline planning meeting. This is when the sun is glowy and golden. I love having a few extra minutes with the bride and groom to take a few “Just Married” portraits right after family formals! This is when the bridal party lines up for introductions and the party begins! By this part of the day, my timeline isn’t as strict. I work off of the natural light and so after the sun is set, my portrait time is over and I begin focusing on the reception events! Events include (but not limited to) first dances, dinner, cake cutting, bouquet garter toss, toasts, etc. I include 8 hours of coverage so that I can be present for the main events of the reception and about an hour of dancing! If you’re interested in having your exit photographed, there are several options for this! You can either add additional coverage or plan a faux exit with just your bridal party! We have had GREAT success with this and the party never stops! Email me about this if you’re interested in learning more!

I know this isn’t the most exciting aspect of the wedding day, but this is the one thing that can make or break your photography! Every Wedding Timeline is TOTALLY CUSTOM, so yours may look completely different, and that's totally fine!

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