Wedding timeline - Planning 101 {Auckland weddings photographers}

Wedding timeline is one of the most important things on the wedding day and many clients ask us how better to plan photography events and how many hours of coverage do they need for capture all important moments. As wedding photogpraher who captured many weddings around New Zealand & International Im happy to share my experience and give some time frames for orientation.

Of course each wedding and their timelines are unique. Following information just something what can be considered for make your wedding day more enjoyable and create perfect conditions for stunning photos. Take on only those points what suits your situation!

Getting ready

 Getting ready: Maya

Getting ready: Maya

1. Getting ready - 1.5-2 hours. Minimum time for getting ready photos is 1 hour {we usually start shooting when make-up, hair half way through. If you would like us to capture some special events as first look with dad, family portraits, lots of pictures with bridesmaids, many details shots etc you need to add on time. Better prepared beforehand all special for you items what you want us to capture {it will save the time and make morning less stressful for you}. Groom getting ready photos usually faster ones {as there no make-up and hair done :)}, but if groom planned something special with his groomsmen {as play golf on the morning, fishing, shooting etc.} definitely let us know, we would love to capture a complete story of your wedding day.

First look

 First look: Madeline & Barry

First look: Madeline & Barry

2. First look - 30 min - 1.5 hours. First look is a special event which became more popular lately {not for traditional couples}. Its a moment when groom seen his bride before the ceremony {turn back to her walking towards him and then turn around}. First look is emotional moment and flow into the bridal party and couples photo shoot {thats why its up to 1.5 hours long}. This event allow to save some time between ceremony and reception when couple traditionally doing photo shoot on location, or add on extra location and variety for images.

Wedding Ceremony

 Wedding ceremony: Ilinke & Shaun

Wedding ceremony: Ilinke & Shaun

3. Ceremony - 30 min {outdoor} to 1 hour {traditional church ceremony}. Ceremony usually take between 30 min and 1 hour. We need to arrive on site 20-30 min before ceremony starts to capture details, guests arriving, groom waiting etc. Also allow yourself at least 10-15 min after ceremony for greetings, relax and hug your family and friends.

Family Formals

 Family formals: Kara & David's wedding

Family formals: Kara & David's wedding

4. Family photos - 20-40 min {depending on amount of groups}. Something to consider: big group with all guests can take up to 10 min, each small group up to 3 min. We usually recommend to have up to 10 groupings as its can be exhausting for couple to wait for everyone and keep tuned {they are usually starving and thirsty at this moment {needed provide some drinks and snacks}. Also good idea to have a shepherd - a person who know well the family and can gather people together {which save a time}. Good to have a little breath after family photos {drink and snacks} to refresh.

Bridal party + Bride & Groom session

 Bridal party: Kathleen & Steve wedding

Bridal party: Kathleen & Steve wedding

 Bridal party: Hana & Aidan wedding

Bridal party: Hana & Aidan wedding

5. Bridal party and Bride & Groom intimate session - 1.5-2 hours. Minimum time for photo shoot is one hour {20 min - tidal party photos and minimum 30 min bride & groom photos with basic amount of photos}. Extra time give more opportunity to be creative, walk and talk, relax and go with the flow. Also allow extra time if there few locations or travelling involved. Many couples worried about their guests waiting for them, but believe me your guests are fine, they talking, enjoying outdoor games and other activities, snacks and drinks. If you would like to mix & mingle with your guests its a good idea to arrive to reception 30 min before its starts and have a good chat with all family members and guests.

 Bride & Groom session: Georjarna & Gareth

Bride & Groom session: Georjarna & Gareth

Best time for photos: morning or during two hours before the sunset. Placing couple photo shoot in this time frame can be ideal but often impossible at the wedding day. We used to work with different lighting conditions. Solutions can be: moving ceremony to later time during summer as 3.30-5 pm {later is better for outdoor ceremonies, otherwise there can be tricky lighting situation with light and shade and hot spots on the faces}. Winter weddings usually scheduled with 1-3 pm ceremonies. 

 Sunset Bride & Groom intimate session: Jenny & Andrew

Sunset Bride & Groom intimate session: Jenny & Andrew

Other option: have a separate photo shoot just before the sunset during summer time - sneak out of reception while guests eating their dinner, relaxing, chatting.

One more option for night lovers - get creative photos when sun go down, at late evening with dark and moody atmosphere:

 Night time photos: Ellise & Wasim

Night time photos: Ellise & Wasim

Reception

 Reception: Megan & Chris wedding

Reception: Megan & Chris wedding

6. Reception {coverage depending on amount of events planned, usually its around 3-4 hours, including speeches, dinner, cake cutting, first dance, father-daughter dance, mother-son, guests dancing + any more cultural traditions}. You can move these events around to suit your needs and what you like to do, its your time to enjoy rest of the day.

 First dance: Chauntelle & Jayden

First dance: Chauntelle & Jayden

Full day coverage {from getting ready till guests dancing usually around 9-10 hours {if there late evening events planned its comes to 11-12 hours which is rare}. Small weddings, elopements usually take around 3-5 hours. 

Hope this orientation and tips with wedding timeline will help your planning. Let me know if you have any questions! As I said each situation is unique, just allow yourself time to breath and move from one part of the day to another without rush and enjoy every moment!

 Sony & Ryan

Sony & Ryan

Its your time, time of your life!

{Other thing to consider - having a wedding planner can make you life so much easier and save lots of hours planning, putting things together, looking for wedding vendors and communicating with everyone. Experienced wedding planners know exactly how make your day run smoothly and allow you fully enjoy your time}.

 Wedding reception

Wedding reception

We will help you with everything run smoothly!

x Warmly, 

Olga & Matt

 Guests dancing {Langham}

Guests dancing {Langham}