From an early age, most of us women have dreamt about our wedding day.  Those dreams are filled with fragrant flowers, flowing white dresses, mushy vows, good food and cake, and a lot of dancing and laughing!  What most don't realize until their in the thick of it, is that unless you have a wedding planner to take the dirty details of the day off your hands, that wonderful flow of the day takes a bit of finessing to obtain.  Often, as the newly engaged couple emerges from their excitement and overwhelment, the biggest obstacle (aside from the shock of the price tag that often emerges its ugly head) couples face is where to begin! ... But I'm here to help.

I say it all the time, once you find your venue, everything else seems to fall into place - and while it's true, fine tuning the events of your wedding day and finding time to enjoy yourselves can be a fickle labor.

You might be thinking - there's the hair and makeup, often the first look, your guests arriving, the ceremony, and reception - how hard could it be, right?!  As as seasoned pro, I've seen it all.

Grandpa is lost and running an hour late but you can't start the ceremony without him, he'd be devastated if he missed his only granddaughter say her "I Do" to the man of her dreams.  The makeup artist is running behind, which sets the whole day behind schedule.  Your first look is planned, but all your guests are gathered in the area you planned to greet your partner.  The couple planned 5 hours for hair and makeup, and just 30 minutes between ceremony and reception to snap the family photos and a few quick shots of the bride and groom, but the schedule is running behind so the couple forfeits their wedding-day sunset scene!

I pride myself in the praises I receive time and time again for the thorough assistance I provide in my dedication to helping couples fine tune their wedding day. What's important to me, is that you never feel rushed on one of the most important days of your life, and that you get to enjoy yourselves, eat, mingle, dance, laugh - and have a memorable time! So many couples plan their day with so much to do, it feels like it's gone in a flash before it even started.

I'm here to capture the memories, but also to preserve the moments which you worked hard to plan, and deserve to enjoy.

Through your pre-wedding questionnaire, I'll gather the details necessary to outline the work you've put in to planning.  The great thing about the questionnaire is it helps highlight the grey areas, and allows me to better assist in those areas - you can feel confident in knowing that I leave no rock untuned in the planning process.

From there, the first thing on the agenda during our final consult prior to your wedding day, is the timeline.  I'll share my thoughts and expertise in avoiding hiccups which may otherwise arise, and create a full-proof timeline which accounts for details often over looked; such as events running later than expected, the buffer needed in transitioning from one activity or area to the next, staging family formals, bridal party photos, the iconic and unique bride and groom's photos, staging the first look and depart or faux depart, and more.

Being so involved in planning and preparation of the timeline allows me to better assist during your wedding day if/when something comes up, the weather doesn't turn out as planned, or if we're just generally running behind - while still nailing every shot we discussed and providing a thorough story of your day without missing a beat.  The timeline serves as a guideline, allowing for pockets of time throughout the day to take it all in and enjoy the company of your new spouse.  I'm there every step of the way to deflect any stressors which might otherwise dampen the mood; together, we've got this.

I always tell my couples that you will likely spend more time with me, than you do each other, on your wedding day (see the easy way to use the toilet in a wedding gown, and Yes we can capture that shot! Note, the image was not taken by me)!  I am here to assist you during each step of the way, am available by phone, text, email, and on the day of your wedding won't miss a beat.

Without further adieu, I've outlined a few sample timelines to give you an idea of what your wedding-day might look like.  Keep in mind, each couple's day will look a little different based on time frames, length of coverage, events of the day, travel, and other circumstances.

Here are 8 general tips; we'll look more closely at these together during the planning process.

  1. Ideally, we schedule a half hour or more each for the first look, bridesmaids and groomsmen, family formals, bride and groom, and end up with less time for each during the day (which is okay & why it's designed this way).
  2. Don't skimp on the time frame for your hair and makeup.  Brides often try to schedule this later in the morning so that she can sleep in or shorten the venue/photographer coverage.  Regardless of what you plan for, hair generally takes an hour per head, and makeup 30 minutes.  This is the #1 reason timelines run behind schedule.  When it happens, we roll with it - but it can be avoided with proper planning.  Ask about additional tips and alternatives to work within a shorter coverage time and stay on budget. 
  3. Going with tradition, or planning for less coverage time?  No sweat - let's plan a staged shot instead of a first look!  You'll both be pictured, without seeing each other - Romance!!
  4. Formals can be scheduled before or after your ceremony, or split between the two, depending on how traditional you are, number of guests, and what's ideal for your day and your guests.
  5. Stay on the move - a lingering couple often gets bombarded with endearments from their guests, hindering the schedule.  To save time without disruption, I generally place the bride & groom where we want everyone to be - guests will naturally migrate towards the bride and groom.
  6. I always suggest a group photo including all of your guests during reception, when possible - this is traditionally shot from a higher angle, and usually ends up one of the most popular shots of the day, and framed in your home.
  7. Couples often ask about a receiving line, and while I am not opposed to them like most photographers, there are some pro's and con's, as well as alternatives, I'm happy to suggest during your planning process.  (Keep your eye out for a blog post on this subject in the near future!)
  8. Keep an open mind!  We can plan until we are blue in the face, but let's face it, things happen.  Feel confident in my abilities, and knowing that I'll capture your day seamlessly without missing a beat.  After all, aside from your beautiful pictures, that's why you hired me!!
Note - I typically arrive 30-60 minutes prior to coverage beginning, and take up to an hour to pack up and leave.  This is not taken from your designated "coverage" time. 

Full Day Coverage (8-12 hours)

  • 9:00 - Coverage begins - Details & Venue Shots
  • 10:00 - Hair & Makeup
  • 12:00 - Lunch/snack (tip: don't starve yourself, and eat before bride & groom's dressing!)
  • 12:30 - Groom & Groomsmen photos
  • 1:00 - Bride dresses
  • 1:30 - Bride & Bridesmaids photos
  • 2:00 - First Look
  • 2:30 - Full bridal party photos
  • 3:00 - Guests begin arriving (bride should not be visible or she will be bombarded)
  • 4:00 - Ceremony + signing marriage certificate
  • 4:30 - Happy Hour + Family formals (smallest family//combined families//largest family)
  • 5:00 - Happy Hour + Bride & Groom photos
  • 6:00 - Reception (grand entrance, dinner, cake cutting, first dances, bouquet & garter toss)
  • 8:30 - Grand, or faux grand, exit
  • 9:00 - Photographer depart

Partial Day Coverage - Including Prep (6-8 hours)

  • 12:00 - Coverage begins - Details & Venue Shots
  • 12:30 - Bride's Hair & Makeup
  • 1:30 - Groom & groomsmen photos (while bride finishes up)
  • 2:00 - Bride's veil & dressing
  • 2:30 - Bride & bridesmaids photos
  • 3:00 - First Look
  • 3:30 - Guests begin arriving (bride should not be visible or she will be bombarded)
  • 4:00 - Ceremony + signing marriage certificate
  • 4:30 - Happy Hour + Family formals (smallest family//combined families//largest family)
  • 5:00 - Happy Hour + Bride & Groom photos
  • 5:30 - Reception (grand entrance, first dances)
  • 6:00 - Photographer depart

Partial Day Coverage - No Prep Coverage (4-5 hours)

  • 2:00 - Coverage begins - Details & Venue Shots
  • 2:30 - Bride Hair & Makeup touch-ups + bride & bridesmaids photos
  • 3:00 - Groom & groomsmen photos
  • 3:30 - Guests begin arriving (bride should not be visible or she will be bombarded)
  • 4:00 - Ceremony & Signing the Marriage Certificate
  • 4:30 - Family Formals (smallest family//combined families//largest family)
  • 5:00 - Bride & Groom photos
  • 5:30 - Reception (grand entrance, first dances)
  • 6:00 - Photographer Depart

Elopement (2-3 hours)

  • 3:00 - Coverage begins - Details & Location Shots
  • 3:30 - Pre-ceremony photos
  • 4:00 - Ceremony + signing marriage certificate
  • 4:30 - Formals w/ family
  • 5:00 - Bride & Groom photos
  • 5:30 - Candids/after celebration
  • 6:00 - Photographer Depart