Every photographer has a different process for the way they shoot a wedding and obviously every couple’s day is different too! Here’s a basic outline of what the average wedding day looks like for me as your wedding photographer.
For every wedding, I bring a second shooter. I will typically get to the venue a couple of hours before my second. Usually I plan to meet up with my bride and her bridal party after they have already started getting hair and makeup done. Preferably towards the end! I like to do it this way because, in my experience, most women don’t like getting their picture taken when they are 100% bare-faced, so I like to let them get a head start before I arrive!
After I’ve gotten some great photos of everyone in the bridal suite, I will start on detail shots! Then I make sure to get photos of the venue itself, all of the beautiful florals, the decorations that my couples so intentionally planned, the rings, save the date, invitation suite, etc! This part is my favorite because I have some time to get creative on how I want to tell the narrative of my client’s wedding.
Normally the groom and groomsmen don’t arrive until later in the day. So we usually get some shots of them getting ready and hanging out once they’ve gotten to the venue.
When the bride is ready to get in her dress, I will get photos of the buttoning or zipping up with whoever is planning to help her. Whether it be her mom, grandma, sister, or best friend who lends a hand.
Some couples choose to do a first look and others forego it. If my bride wants to do one with her soon-to-be husband, father, or bridesmaids, now is the time!
Afterwards, we head into group shots. If my couple has decided that they don’t want to see each other before their ceremony, then I make sure to keep the groom hidden while I take photos of the bride and her bridesmaids, then vice versa. Some couples like to do a first look, so I’ll keep them hidden from each other until the reveal. I will typically get photos of the bride/bridesmaids, groom/groomsmen, and then all of the wedding party together.
It’s finally ceremony time! My second shooter and I will head to the ceremony site and make sure we get photos of the site itself and guests getting seated before the ceremony begins. During the ceremony we make sure to get far away photos, close up photos, and photos from different angles.
After the ceremony, we start family photos. I will have my couples create a list for me of every photo they want ahead of time. (i.e. group photo with all cousins on the bride’s side of the family, photo with each set of grandparents, etc.) I ask that my couples let their family members know they should stay after the ceremony and also have their officiant announce it, that way Aunt Sue or Grandma Mary don’t stray away! Then I either have my second photographer or the day-of-coordinator get everyone lined up for me so we can make these photos as streamlined as possible.
Next come wedding party photos (if we didn’t already do these before the ceremony) and then wedding day portraits of just the bride and groom!
By the time all of the portraits are done, everyone has gone to cocktail hour and the reception is beginning. We take photos of everything from dancing, toasts, bouquet toss, and cake cutting. I always let my couples know ahead of time that I don’t take photos of guests eating dinner. I’ve seen some photographers do this, but in my opinion, these aren’t the most flattering photos and I personally wouldn’t like to have my picture taken when I’m diving face first into my plate! Then I ask that my couples leave room for me and my second photographer at a table nearby so we can also eat and then get back to shooting when the time comes!
The last part of the day is the exit ceremony. This part always differs! In the past, some couples have decided not to have an exit, some have an exit but don’t care for it to be photographed, and others want me there to capture every moment! That’s a basic timeline of my day as a wedding photographer! Was that helpful for you? If it was, I’d love to know! Click here to drop me a line or let me know if you have any burning questions that I can answer for you! You can also click here to see more wedding photos I’ve taken in my portfolio!