Nearly every time I meet a couple, I get asked to describe what a wedding day looks like for me.
When I start, where I start etc.
So here is a run down of a typical wedding day. Everything is adaptable though haha.
Day Before the Wedding
I carry gear that need batteries, so the day before a wedding I charge all the gear up. I charge 6 to 8 camera batteries and all the flash batteries. I format cards in the cameras and make sure my cameras are time synced. Depending on the wedding I will prep two or three cameras. Everything gets packed into my Think Tank Roller bag so I am ready to go.
I make sure I have all the venue details ready and have google mapped everything weeks in advance, so I know when I need to leave. I always allow extra travel time in case of any traffic issues.
I take time to review the timeline, go though any special requests and make sure I have any relevant shot lists.
Wedding Day - Pre Ceremony
I normally start photos with the bridal party. I love getting the candid photos of hair and makeup getting done. This is a good time to get detail photos of rings and shoes and dresses and invitations etc.
These pre ceremony photos normally happen at a home, hotel or the venue if everything is in one place.
This is a good time to get detail photos of rings and shoes and dresses and invitations etc.
I like to get to the ceremony site a little before the bridal party if possible to photograph that and get any rules from the minister if there is one and it is a religious site.
If a couple wants a first look and formals before the ceremony we may do those at this time. If not I may take some photos of just the bride and her crew and keep everyone seperate.
I will never push a couple to do a first look or not do one. It is not my day. There are advantages to a first look but I love the tradition too.
During wedding ceremonies I balance two goals.
Firstly, cover the action and get the main moments and candid moments.
Secondly, stay out got the way and avoid being a distraction.
It's a delicate but essential balance.
I have attended weddings and watched photographers and videographers standing right on the couple and guest miss so much.
This is why I carry longer fast lenses. I can be out of the way and get close in photos.
I seldom use any flash during ceremonies. I carry very high quality cameras and fast lenses that allow this. It is far less distracting and very often flash is not allowed anyway.
This is normally the time for family formals and photos of the bridal party and couple.
I like to start with the older family members first to avoid them standing too long, then work through groups from there. A basic shot list of the groups here is often utilized.
If everyone is ready family normally takes about 30 mins to get done at most.
Then I move onto the bridal party and then the couple.
Ideally 30 minutes with the bridal party and at least 30 minutes with the couple is great. Often I get 30 minutes with everyone and we have to move fast.
Many venues only allow for an hour of cocktail time after the ceremony so all the family and bridal party photos have to be done in that time.
This is when getting photos of the bride alone and the bridesmaids with her before the ceremony helps alot as those are taken care of.
Often I get to a venue and just wish the whole timeline was planned around sunset haha.
Sunset may fall at any time during most weddings, but often it is just before the reception, or during the reception and hopefully at a time we can sneak out for ten minutes.
I love sunset photos and will always be happy to do them when a couple wants them.
I love receptions. I love the raw emotions in speeches, the faces of parents during first dances.
The crazy dancing once the bar is open!
I find receptions give me time to be creative with lighting and action.
I like to stay until I have at least a good amount of the shenanigans.
Home But Not Done
I often get done after 10:00p.m. but when I get home. The first thing I do is transfer all my photos from the cards to two hard drives at home. This gives me backup and peace of mind. I also edit about ten photos right away so I can send out a few teasers to the couple.