May 6, 2022

The Ideal Timeline for Spring and Summer

Your wedding day timeline is really important and we understand that coming up with all of those details can be the most stressful part of planning your best day ever! Our goal as your wedding photographers is to make this one aspect of the planning process simple. Figuring out your timeline is not the most exciting aspect of planning your day, but it is the one thing that can make or break your photography and how much gets captured! 

Our ideal timeline is also based on a wedding day that includes at least 8 hours of coverage with 2 photographers and a first look. This blog will outline an ideal wedding day working off of a 6 pm ceremony time during those spring and summer months where the daylight lasts much longer.

The Details 2:30-3:15

Every bride loves having those beautiful shots of her bridal details. It’s an important part of the story and we love having some time to shoot the dress, shoes, jewelry, invitations, etc. We will get detailed shots of the groom’s stuff during this time too! The maid of honor and best man should have these items ready to go for us in one box upon arrival. For the groom, we ask for his tie, shoes, socks, jacket, cufflinks, rings, watch, hat, and cologne.

Getting Ready 3:15-3:45

After the details have been photographed, it’s time for you to get into your dress! This is a big moment! We usually ask your mom and all of the bridesmaids to be dressed before it’s time for you to get into yours. This ensures that everyone will look nice in those images. After you’re in your gown, you can put on your jewelry, veil, shoes, etc. and we’ll shoot some additional bridal portraits! The groom will get dressed and take some portraits separately as well. If time allows, we will grab some shots of the groom and his groomsmen hanging out.

First Look 4:00-4:10

This is one of our favorite parts of the wedding day! We will find the perfect location for your First Look, so don’t stress about that one bit! We will make sure the location is as private and secluded as possible. Recently, while shooting a wedding at Iron Manor in Montgomery, TX that perfect First Look location was a private patio behind the bridal suite. It later turned out to be a stellar location for some romantic night shots too!

Couple Portraits 4:15-4:45

After you and your groom take your time with the First Look, we will begin taking a few romantic portraits of the two of you while the initial excitement is still present! We will find the locations for these shots as well! Remember, the light determines where we shoot, which is why we wait until the day of your wedding to decide on portrait locations. As we shoot these portraits, the bridal party can start making their way to us for Wedding Party portraits as well!

Wedding Party Photos 4:50-5:20

Now it’s time for Wedding Party shots! We 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 Wedding Party portraits, we will make sure to take some great shots of the guys and girls both separately and together if that didn’t happen earlier in the day.

Bride in Hiding 5:30-6:00

After bridal party portraits are complete, you will go into hiding so that early guests don’t sneak a peek and the ushers will begin their duties.

Reception Details 5:30-5:50

If the reception is in the same location as the ceremony, we will use this time to shoot the reception decor untouched. If the ceremony and reception are in different locations, we recommend having a cocktail hour outside of the main reception area if possible so that we can grab some great shots of your reception before the night begins and guests start laying down purses and coats on their seats!

Ceremony 6:00-6:30

It’s time to get married!! Most ceremonies are 30 minutes long. If your ceremony is longer than 30 mins, we’ll make adjustments to the timeline. About half of our weddings are Catholic ceremonies. We have full respect for the Mass and the time that it takes!

Family Portraits 6:40-7:10

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 we will send our shot list prior to your big day to make sure we get everyone important to you! We

Family formals will take place immediately following the ceremony. It’s the best time because all family members will already be present when the ceremony ends. We’ll need about 30 minutes for family formals. We will send a wedding day shot list during the planning process, where you can list out each family member and group that you want to be photographed. We also recommend shooting these photos outside if possible so that they resemble more natural family portraits, especially if the ceremony location is dark!

“Just Married” Photos 7:15-7:30

7:00 pm is the best time of day for portraits in the late spring, summer, and early fall! This is when the sun is glowy and golden. We love having a few extra minutes with you and your groom to take a few “Just Married” portraits right after family formals!

Reception Begins! 7:30

This is when the bridal party lines up for introductions and the party begins!! By this part of the day, our timeline has a lot more flexibility. Since we work off of natural light, once the sun is set, our portrait time is over and we begin focusing on the reception events!

The Exit 10:30

8 hours of coverage typically allows us to be present for the main events of the reception and about one hour of open 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!

Download our Free Checklist for those must-have shots on your wedding day!

In case you missed it, check out our free guide detailing every shot that you need to be captured on your wedding day! Our wedding day shot list is our favorite resource that we use for every couple that we welcome to the Cedar & Sage family.

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