Here is a little video tutorial for brides and grooms to help them plan their wedding day from a photography standpoint. Scheduling seems to be the big question in wedding planning, and these are tips gathered from shooting numerous, different weddings.
START OF WEDDING = BEAUTIFUL PHOTOS
The very beginning of your wedding day is when the most beautiful photographs happen – the light is soft and natural, makeup is fresh, and the guests aren’t crowding around you. I recommend starting photography as early as possible, but only after the bride is totally ready. Actually, brides should leave an HOUR buffer time between the makeup/ hair finish time and the photography start time. Getting ready shots can always be faked later, and hair and makeup ALWAYS run late!
Optional: Allocate about 30 minutes for shots of bride alone, and about 15 min for the groom shots. Definitely go for these if you plan on not seeing each other before the ceremony.
THE FIRST LOOK
I strongly encourage all couples to do a first look, if their tradition allows it. This means doing the shoot of the bride and groom before the ceremony. This is because fter the ceremony this time will be cut really short since you are rushing to get back to your guests. You also have a lot less flexibility in terms of locations. For a first look I recommend about 1- 2 hours (or even more if you want to try different locations)!
Family photos usually happen after the ceremony, since that ensures that everyone is present. If you choose to do these before the ceremony, then you have more time with your guests during the wedding, but there is a lot more coordinating on your part to make sure everyone is ready. The family shoot usually takes about 15-30 min, depending on the size of the list (which is something I have my clients prepare beforehand). Family formals tend to be the most tedious part of the wedding so I try to make it as fast and painless as possible.
If the couple doesn’t do a first look then their shoot would come next. I know you have to get back to your guests at this point, so I ask you to give me only about 15 min.
If you have dancing at your wedding, you should note that the pictures do start looking very repetitive after a while, so if you have limited photography time, allocate more time for the photography in the first part of the day (rather than at the end).
Of course the specifics and needs will vary for different weddings and couples, so definitely talk the details over with the photographer… good luck planning! : )