Collaborating With Your Photographer 101: Plan a Wedding Day Itinerary That (Really) Works For You, ii. Some Sample Itineraries

02 | 11 | 2009

Here are some sample itineraries and guidelines. There are, of course, many variations on each.  This is just meant to be a starting point for considering the kind of flow you’d like your day to have. One thing to keep in mind—if at all possible, plan to take the most important photographs during the best light of the day (theoretically the portraits of you and your beloved and likely just before sunset for an evening wedding).

Option 1. Not seeing each other before the ceremony.
  • Getting ready. I like to photograph the last hour or hour and a half of this process, including the putting on of the dress. Photographs are generally much better after the makeup goes on … and there’s not too much to photograph when you are in a chair. I also recommend scheduling the bride to go first for hair and makeup.
  • Ceremony.
  • Family and Wedding Party Photographs.
  • Intimate Portraits (you’ll be skipping your cocktail hour to do this).
  • Reception.  If you are trying save money on photography, plan to do the “events” of the reception at the beginning, including toasts, first dances, and cake cutting.  The reception also usually lasts for hours, so after dinner is served, you can catch up on time if you’re running behind.

Pros – Things flow very quickly, and if well-planned can feel very spontaneous. This is also a good schedule for morning or noontime weddings with lunch receptions.
Cons – You spend a good part of your wedding day (maybe until 6pm) away from your husband.  Things may go by too quickly, or you’ll feel rushed.

Option 2. Seeing each other (but nobody else) before the ceremony.
  • Getting ready.
  • First Sight. (A quick meeting for the first time.  It’s nice to have the first time you see each other not be a production … it’s fun, memorable, and usually a good photo op.)
  • Intimate portraits.
  • Ceremony.
  • Family and Wedding Party Photographs
  • You go to the last part of your cocktail hour.
  • Reception

Pros – You might enjoy a little more peaceful time with your spouse. And you might be more present for your reception.
Cons – You may not be getting your portraits in the best light of the day.

Option 3. Seeing each other and just doing group photos before the ceremony.
  • Getting ready.
  • First Sight. (A quick meeting for the first time.  It’s nice to have the first time you see each other not be a production … it’s fun, memorable, and usually a good photo op. We’ll talk more about this soon in a future post.)
  • Family and Wedding Party Photographs
  • Ceremony.
  • Intimate portraits.
  • You go to the last part of your cocktail hour.
  • Reception

Pros – You might get to enjoy a little more time with your guests or more portraits, depending on your preference, and those un-rushed portraits might be during the best light.
Cons – It’s possible that things could feel a little slower and more staged if you do group photographs beforehand.

Option 4. Seeing each other beforehand and doing all the “organized” photographs before the ceremony.
  • Getting ready.
  • First sight.
  • Intimate portraits and wedding party and family photographs.
  • Ceremony.
  • Cocktail hour.
  • Reception.

Pros – You don’t miss any of the party, so you have lots of time with your guests.
Cons – You might miss the best light of the day.  And it’s possible things could feel a little slower and more staged.

Itinerary tips:
  1. If you have a big family and are doing group photos before the ceremony, consider making “call-times” for your family for the photographs.  It helps keep things moving without the total chaos of having 40 or more people standing around while you get your photographs taken.
  2. Be open to slipping away from your reception as the light changes for more portraits. We love to take a few nighttime portraits when the schedule permits.
  3. Be flexible.  Weddings are full of unpredictable moments.  Just try to enjoy whatever is actually happening with whoever is around you. Happiness always photographs well.
FacebookTwitterPinterest

One Note on “Collaborating With Your Photographer 101: Plan a Wedding Day Itinerary That (Really) Works For You, ii. Some Sample Itineraries

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *