I shot my first wedding in October 2006.  Back then, I simply hoped for the best.  Hoped the wedding wasn’t delayed, hoped the family members remained nearby for formal pictures, and hoped I received a timeline for the day in advance.  I’ll never forget the terror of standing outside–in a garden–after my first wedding on a pitch-black night for the family formal pictures.  It was so dark I couldn’t get my camera to focus.  I actually resorted to my assistant holding a flashlight just to provide enough light to get my camera to fire.

I redefined awesome.

After that experience, I realized how important it was for me to address a wedding day timeline in advance.  Namely, using my experience (you know, all ONE wedding I had tucked under my belt) to best prepare my clients for an optimal photography experience.

This meant discussing my clients’ desires weeks in advance and offering guidance if the bride was inclined.  This was of tantamount importance if a wedding coordinator was not involved with the planning, as the ebb and flow of the day is controlled by the wedding photographer.

In 2007, I photographed 38 weddings and–through trial and error–created what I think is an optimal timeline.  Now, this is just my opinion.  Everyone works differently, but I’ve discovered I’m able to balance my clients’ desires as well as my creative desires adhering to the following timeline…

– Photography begins
– Details photographed (wedding dress, shoes, jewelry, invitations, bouquet, etc)
– Last minute hair and makeup touchups
– Candid photos of the bridesmaids preparing

– Bride dresses
– Candids of bride with mom and bridesmaids

– First Look
– Bride and groom see each other before the ceremony for photos

– Bridal party pictures
– Bride with her bridesmaids, group and solo photos
– Groom with his groomsmen, group and solo photos
– Entire group

– Bride gets tucked away from early arriving guests
– Photographers shoot ceremony details and cocktail hour location, if available.

5pm – Ceremony

5:30pm – Ceremony Ends

5:40pm – Family pictures

6:10pm – Sunset photos with bride and groom

6:25pm – Photograph reception details

6:45pm – Grand Entrance

6:55pm – First Dance

7pm – Welcome and prayer, if applicable

7:15pm – First course served

7:30pm – Toasts

7:45pm – Second course served

8:15pm – Father/daughter…mother/son dance

8:25pm – Open dancing

9:30pm – Cake cutting

9:40pm – Bouquet/garter toss

10pm – Photography coverage commences

Like I mentioned before, everyone works differently and there’s no such thing as a perfect approach.  I wrote this blog post because I wish I had something to consult when I first started.  I made many mistakes, but I learned from each of them, and I used them to build my business.

Most importantly, simply go out of your way to ensure you’re on the same page with the bride.  Your experience, your client’s experience, and the overall flow of the day will be amazing if everyone knows what to expect.

If you’d like to read more about how I work and other FAQs, here’s a specific link to just these types of posts:  FAQ Posts on Jasmine Star Blog

I appreciate the opportunity to share a little about who I am and what I love to do.  Thanks to the Kelby crew for welcoming me and I couldn’t be more honored.

Website:  Jasmine-Star.com
Blog:  JasmineStarBlog.com
Twitter:  @JasmineStar
Facebook:  Jasmine Star Facebook Page

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