What Happens Next?
Thank you so much for booking with me! If you are reading this, chances are, you just received your wedding day questionnaire. (Yay!) Below you’ll find some great information on what to expect from me on your wedding day, along with a timeline of what will happen next on our journey together.
our journey together
Months, Weeks & Days Leading Up to Your Wedding - Please be sure to reach out to me anytime you have any questions, ideas, or just want someone to calm your nerves. You are always welcome to email, text, or call me with any questions or needs you may have. Please also know that you do not need to have your timeline or arrival/departure time for me figured out right away, as I only book one session per day to give you as much flexibility as you need. (Please note: Hours of coverage are consecutive and cannot be broken up into segments.)
6 Months Prior - If you are having an engagement session, I definitely recommend trying to do this approximately six months prior to your wedding to give you time to send out invitations. Please note, every couple is very different so some couples will do this sooner or later depending on their own wedding preparation timeline. (Please note: If you didn’t add a engagement session when signing your contract, you are always welcome to add one later on.)
4 to 10 Weeks Prior - If you are having a bridal session, this is a perfect time to schedule your bridal session. You can find some great information on bridal sessions here. (Please note: If you didn’t add a bridal session when signing your contract, you are always welcome to add one later on.)
2 Weeks Prior - Please be sure to have your wedding questionnaire completed approximately two weeks prior to your wedding. If you are still working on details with your hair and makeup and deejay or just generally do not know, please feel free to skip over those responses.
10 to 14 Days Prior - You’ll be receiving an email from me to set up a phone call overview of your wedding day. This will typically take approximately 30 minutes. Please be sure to schedule this for a time when you are able to discuss the excitement of your wedding free from any distractions.
3 to 7 Days Prior - Wedding Day Phone Call Overview <3 - I set the timing of this phone call to be as close to your wedding as possible to give you time to make final arrangements with your hair and makeup, deejay, and venue that will have an affect on your wedding day timeline. During this phone call, we’ll talk about the things most important to you, along with arrival and departure times. If you find as we talk through your wedding day or in the weeks prior while you are working on your timeline that you need to add time or add a second photographer, please know you can do so.
Day Of - The wedding day is here!!!! (Yay!!!!!) You’ll receive a text from me when I’m on my way with an ETA and from there, just enjoy a beautiful day surrounded by the people who love you most.
Day After - You’ll receive a few sneak peeks of your wedding day which you can download to use on social media or to send to your friends.
4 Weeks After - You’ll receive your full gallery! Click here for some great information on how to use your gallery.
Helpful Wedding Timeline Tips
Below is some great information for understanding the wedding day timeline from a photographer’s perspective. Please Note: If after building your timeline you do need to add additional time to your wedding or a second photographer, please contact me. I book only one event per day to ensure you are able to expand in time as needed. Please note approximate time are based on the typical timeframes set aside for each portion of the day. Every wedding and every timeline is slightly different based on what your envision about your wedding. As you have any questions, please do not hesitate to let me know!
Approximately 60 to 90 Minutes
I typically recommend setting my arrival time to be approximately 1 hour before the hair and makeup artist is set to finish. This helps to avoid having too many images captured of you without your hair and makeup while still giving me time to capture images of your dress and details.
Items to remember to bring and have ready when I arrive:
Invitations & Save the Dates
Wedding Ring & Wedding Bands
Any Jewelry (if possible, please wait to put these on)
During this time I’ll be:
Taking images of you getting your makeup on.
Taking images of you getting into your dress and having someone close to you zipping/buttoning your dress.
Taking images of the groom and groomsman getting ready.
Taking images of the reception area and ceremony location before guests arrive.
If you have selected to have a second photographer, the second photographer will assist with getting images of the groom getting ready, the reception area, ceremony area, and guests arrival.
If you plan to have a party bus, limo, trolly, or ferry to transport you from the getting ready location to the ceremony and have selected to have a second photographer, please include the second photographer in your guest count so he/she can capture moments during this time.
Helpful Tip — This is the time of the day when it’s super typical to run behind or to have the need to make adjustments to makeup and hair which will make this time extend a little longer than expected. Placing a cushion of time can be super helpful. This cushion of time also helps us to capture bridal images and images of you with your bridesmaids!
Approximately 30 Minutes Per First Look, Touch, Prayer or Letter Reading
A first look is when a couple sees each other before their wedding ceremony. It’s a private moment for the couple, away from the eyes of family and friends.
Give yourself at least 30 minutes for the first look.
Helpful Tip — Don’t want to miss all of cocktail hour with your family and friends? Couples photos can be done after the first look to give you a little more time after the ceremony.
Wanting to add a first touch, daddy’s first look, or letter reading moment to your timeline? The time between your getting ready photos and the ceremony is a perfect time add these to your timeline. Just please be sure to set aside approximately 30 minutes per additional moment.
Please keep in mind when building your timeline that I will need to be at the ceremony location approximately 15 to 20 minutes before your ceremony is to begin.
Helpful Tip — I always try to reach out to the officiant that day to mention this but don’t always have the opportunity to. If possible, please ask your officiant ahead of time to step to the right or left during your first kiss to make sure they are not standing directly behind you to prevent the ‘photobomb’ affect during the first kiss. More often than not, officiants who do a lot of weddings will instinctively do this but if you are having a close friend, pastor, or someone who has been recently ordained, practicing this movement during your rehearsal can be super helpful in reminding them to do this day of.
Helpful Tip — Giving your officiant a shortened list of the people who need to stay for photos that he/she can announce at the end of the ceremony can help guests with knowing where to go as well as making the start of family photos a little easier.
Helpful Tip — Add a ceremony send-off like bubbles or flower confetti for the end of your ceremony. It is such a fun way to have some incredible ‘just married’ photos to walk away from your day with. Here’s a great example of a wedding which had a flower confetti ceremony send-off.
Plan on having a videographer? I love videographers! During your consultation with your videographer be sure to ask them if they are able to record your first kiss from the end of the center aisle to ensure your photographer and guests can see and capture the moment.
Approximately 30 Minutes for Family Photos, 15 Minutes for Wedding Party Photos
Formal photos for the family and wedding party take approximately 30 to 45 minutes. Time is crucial here as your reception start time will depend on the time it takes for formal and couples photos to complete.
After the ceremony, have a helper available to gather your close family and friends who will be a part of your formal photos. Try to plan out ahead of time the images you would like to have captured here and be sure to add them to your questionnaire. (I will have a checklist with me on the day of your wedding.) It’s also super helpful to assign one person who will be responsible for adjusting your dress.
If you have selected to have a second photographer, the second photographer will assist during this time to help capture images that can be done side by side (i.e. bridesmaids with bride, groomsman with groom).
Helpful Tip — Plan to ‘escape’ to a location together right after you walk down the aisle away from your guests. Once we ‘lose you to the crowd,’ it is super hard to get you back!
Helpful Tip — If you have a family that likes to take phone photos, try to have a helper, such as a bridesmaid, to let your family know to put their phones down during family photos. This will help to make family photos go faster, along with ensuring everyone in the photo knows where to look.
Helpful Tip — If you have a family situation, such as two people who should not be close together during family photos, please be sure to let me know beforehand. Also, if you have specific ways you would like to have photos ordered (i.e. bride always on left, parents next to bride and groom, etc.) please be sure to let me know beforehand.
Approximately 15 to 20 Minutes
Couples photos will last for the remainder of your cocktail hour (15 to 30 minutes). During this time, this is a moment for you to enjoy each other and to be natural in the joy you have being together.
If you have selected to have a second photographer, the second photographer will be at cocktail hour to capture your guests enjoying this time.
Helpful Tip — Just have fun! Be adventurous, soak in this moment together, and dance, laugh, smile, and even cry, if you want to. Since genuine emotion is what I’m looking to capture here, the more ‘yourselves’ you are, the better your couples will be.
One of my favorite times of the day! I do recommend that you have me for at least 2.5 hours of your reception timeframe in which you’ll most likely be doing toasts, first dances, cake cutting, bouquet toss, and garter toss.
During your dinner service will be the time of the day when I take a break and will grab something to eat. (No one likes having photos taken while shoving food in their mouths!) Please be sure to give a 30 minute window here before starting any activities. Something else that is super, super helpful, if you are adding me to your guest count as a vendor meal, please make a window for me (and the second photographer, if you have one) to eat toward the beginning of your food service. A lot of times toasts will begin right a little before all of your guests have been served or have finished eating. I want to be there to capture any and all of these moments!
During your dances, please be sure to smile and laugh together often. This makes for the most amazing pictures!!
Helpful Tip — Unless you are doing a send off that you really want to have captured, having me stay until the end of reception oftentimes produces some image redundancy and less images being taken. The main reason for this is that oftentimes, those who will dance on the dance floor will do so at the beginning of reception when their images have already been captured. In addition, alcohol consumption doesn’t always make for the most flattering images.
Helpful Tip — Faux send-off or ceremony send-off. These are great ways to prevent extending all the way to the end of reception. Some examples of send offs include, flower confetti, bubbles (make sure you use bigger bottles for this), ribbon banners, or sparklers. If you decide to do this during reception as a faux send-off, maybe make this the point in which you go at sunset for couples photos. Please note: The one downside to a faux send off is that guests can see this as a window to depart so be very careful if you are planning to do this that it is at a time early enough or with enough instruction to prevent that from happening.
Helpful tips for wedding day
Nails. Sometimes overlooked, please be sure to have your nails as you would like them to before your photos. There will be a lot of shots which will be taken of your hands and those of your bridesmaids.
Remind members of your wedding party and those who are getting ready with you to be sure to smile throughout the day. This includes while you’re putting on your dress, while they are walking down the aisle, and for the wedding party as they stand next to you during your ceremony. “Smile while you’re walking down the aisle” is an easy, fun chant to remind your wedding party to smile throughout the day.
Videographer - If you are having a videographer day of, please be sure to let me know during your consultation or as early as possible so I can touch base with them beforehand.