Often one of the questions that comes up when I meet a couple to chat over wedding plans is -
how does it all work timing wise?
Every wedding is different, and I just want to throw in here quickly that really, the only thing you have to do on your wedding day to make it a legal marriage is the legalities in the ceremony. The rest you can do whatever you like!
Generally speaking though, there are four main elements to a wedding day from a photographers perspective;
01. Prep photos
So, let’s run through these areas of the day and then at the end I'll go through a mock run sheet assuming a 3:30pm Ceremony and my most popular package - package 02. Which is one photographer for full coverage of the day from both preps through to the dance floor.
I'll let you in on an open secret I hold here - I love shooting prep photos.
I think it's the perfect way to start the day - super chill, pop some champagne with your crew and we'll take a couple of portraits.
It really is as much or as little as you want it to be. Personally, I find it really adds so much through the storytelling aspect of the day. If you've spent the morning apart - it's a really nice way to see how your partner got ready and also to see how they might have been feeling at that time. It's can also be the perfect opportunity to get some family photos of just you and your family - which for those with family travelling from overseas, is invaluable.
Normally, I'll shoot anywhere between thirty mins to an hour at a half at any prep - depending on what you're comfortable with.
This is where the magic happens.
What I love about photographing ceremonies is that all the emotions are on display. Not just from you two - but from all your friends and family too. It's such a beautiful thing, hearing the story of how it all came to be and the moments when you both make a commitment to each other. I love when couple's write their own vows - it's honestly my favourite moment at a wedding.
In terms of the photo run sheet for the day, the moments after the ceremony are generally filled with celebration - hugs and congratulations to the two of you. I'll let you in with a hot tip here - let your family and friends know before the wedding they're allowed to come up and give you a big hug after you walk back down the aisle. It makes for some epic photos and always brings out the emotion in everyone.
After a few congratulatory shots - this is the perfect time to get some group and family photos as everyone is here. Another hot tip - let the family members you need for those group photos know that they'll be needed then. Always - a little preparation pays off on the day and we can fly through these and get back into the celebrations.
Grab your bridal party, get some champagne, and lets go for a walk.
I love shooting portraits, it's always a really fun time. I keep it pretty low key on the shoot - think natural, relaxed vibes and no stiff, awkward poses. First, we'll do some bridal party shots and get all the important combo's of everyone there. Shooting all the bridal party photos first keeps them happy too - generally speaking they're always pretty keen to get back to the party.
After they head off - depending on where we are we'll shoot another couple of locations. A few laughs, a couple of intimate moments and we'll be done. I love giving you the space to just be together at this point.
Where the day all comes together.
Food, friends, family.
Eating, dancing and celebrating your love. The reception is the time of the night that will probably move quickest for you on the night (speaking from personal experience there). Time to settle in and enjoy it. Generally, a reception will include an entrance, speeches, food and the formalities (if you wish) - a first dance, cake cutting or any other traditions you want to include.
My favourite shots to sneak in are the reactions to guests throughout speeches. Tears come out and I love it!
A draft runsheet:
Now we've gone through each part of the day, let's draw up what a draft run sheet looks like, from a photographers perspective.
Let's assume you've booked my most popular package (02), a 3:30pm Ceremony and a 7:15pm Sunset (both important times to note).
12:30 - 1:30pm - Partner one prep - Location A
1:45 - 3pm - Partner two prep - Location B
3:15pm - Ceremony setup
3:30pm - Ceremony Starts
4pm - Ceremony Ends
4:10pm - Group Shots
4:30pm - Cocktail hour
4:45 - 5:45pm - Portraits (on location)
6pm - Reception
7:10 - 7:20pm - Sunset shots
8:15pm - First Dance then Dancefloor
It's as easy as that!
I'll stick around for 20 mins or so of the dance floor, then leave you two to dance the night away with your guests.
I'll be in touch the next day with a preview gallery with a few beautiful moments from the day, perfect for reliving it while still in that emotional high (which is 100% real).
And that concludes this blog post. If you have any more questions about how wedding day run sheet's work - head on over to my inquiry page and swing me a message.