Every wedding is as unique as you. From the time you take to get beautified, to the length of your ceremony, the time of year, weather, and wish list… it can all impact how your wedding will unfold hour by hour. Whether it’s you, your photographer or your wedding planner, or perhaps it’s a collaborative effort of all, you’ll want to develop a detailed Wedding Day Timeline to ensure your day runs smoothly and effortlessly. Here’s a general idea of what your wedding day (photo) schedule should ultimately look like.
1. Getting Ready
For the Bride: A trial run of hair and makeup always helps to estimate how much time you will need to look your best. To be sure you have enough time to enjoy and relax, add another 30 minutes to this for a safety net for any issues that could come up, and if nothing comes up, then you’re golden and you can just sit and relax! Your photographer only needs the last hour or so of the getting ready. Let’s face it, you don’t want photos fresh faced and straight out of bed. Also allow about 20 minutes for getting into your dress and putting your accessories on. Some wedding dresses are tricky and take a bit of practice and time to get zippered, laced, or buttoned up. Average time: 1.5-2 hrs.
For the Groom: Most Grooms like to involve some sort of group activity early on, like golfing, surfing or shooting pool. Afterwards, we will get some details of the grooms finishing touches. Photos of the groom and groomsmen putting their jackets, shoes and cufflinks on. These little pieces will help tell your story. We will finish up with a few portraits of the guys hanging out together and having a few drinks. The Grooms generally take a little less time than the bride and bridesmaids, but obviously, this can vary. Average time: 1 hr.
Keep in mind things like bride/groom gifts and love notes as well as any other personal touches that are unique to your day. A common photo request to consider for brides is if you’ll want first look photos with your Dad or family/bridesmaids.
Please Note: The next phase of your timeline can really change here depending on whether you choose to have a first look or not. Having your photos done before the ceremony have their pros and cons, please talk to me further if this is something you may be interested in knowing more of.
The ceremony is one of the most important parts of your day, it is where you announce your love and commitment for one another in front of your family and friends. It is the part of the day that goes by so quickly so remember to take it all in! Plan for 15 additional minutes to allow your guests to exit the ceremony, and give their congratulations. Average time: 30-45 mins.
3. Family Portraits
This can be one of the most tedious parts of the day. Mostly because, if not well organised it can suck into precious time! Your guests will be enjoying the canapés, the flowing champagne and of course catching up with long lost friends/relatives. I love to work with your MC during this time to ensure the group photos are as stress free as possible. I always urge my couples to put a lot of thought into who they need to have in these images and try to keep the list to around ten combinations. It also is important to share the time and location with your family to ensure everyone is there and ready to smile! Just having your parents, siblings, and grandparents is a great way to keep the process simple, stress free, and fun! The less people you have to worry about gathering, the more you can enjoy the process. Average time: 30 mins.
4. Cocktail Hour & Bridal Party Photos
Depending on what you did before the ceremony (first look versus no first look) this can change your timeline. The buzz in the air is always at its peek during this time! Take a moment to enjoy a drink or two before rushing off to do your photos. Or if you’ve already done them… relax! If you’re having a signature cocktail from a bar service like Hello Audrey, make sure you enjoy that cocktail! After all you are paying for it! Depending on your venue you may not need to go far for photos. Remember less is more! One or two locations that offer versatility is much better than 5 locations all across town. The less time everyone is in the car getting from point A to point B, the better. Most photographers have secret photo spots that are great and easily accessible from the venue! Average time: 1hr-2hrs.
Food, glorious food! During this time it will include: bridal party and the newly wed introductions, toasts/speeches, dinner, cake cutting and the first dance. Typically if the weather allows you will go with your photographer during a portion of dinner to do sunset photos. I always encourage my couples to do this, even if it’s just for 10mins! It is such a lovely time to escape and enjoy each others company in the last of the evening light. Also by this stage in the day you are a lot more relaxed, (thanks to the champagne) and the photos are effortless and private. What more could you want?! Average time: 3hrs.
Remember, this is just a guideline and the specifics will differ from wedding to wedding. Planning is key to less stress on your big day, so be sure to use your wedding planner or day of coordinator to their full potential!
I hope this offers a little insight and gets you excited to plan your wedding day timeline! After shooting weddings every weekend, I have realised what tends to work and what doesn’t work so well. At the end of the day I want my couples to be insanely present and enjoy each and every aspect of their day from getting ready to the final dance. I want them to enjoy the raw and authentic moments and a carefully crafted timeline can help ensure that everything runs smoothly for all involved! I work with each and every couple to talk through their wants and needs on their wedding day and to offer the best experience possible with tons of laughs, a few tears, and a million beautiful photos to prove it.
I am so excited to announce that I have been nominated for the 2018 Taranaki Wedding Industry Awards. It’s an event that takes place each year to celebrate the vendors that help to bring your special day together. Below, you will see I have created a little highlight video from my 2017-2018 wedding season. I hope you enjoy it and I would absolutely love your vote!
One of my favourite wedding venues in New Plymouth is Waiongana Gardens and it’s where William and Chiron, (one of the loveliest couples I know) tied the knot. It was the middle of February and like Taranaki weather it was four seasons in a day.
As we drove to the ceremony the heavens opened and it poured down with rain. I thought surely this will pass over, but it did.not.stop during the whole ceremony. The guests were seated, the groom and groomsmen awaited. Then, like a ray of sunshine, walks in Chiron, the most beautiful of Brides unfazed by it all with the biggest of smiles. Instantly creating the warm fuzzies. Because at the end of it all, she married her highschool sweetheart. And no rain can come between that!
Take a look at their story below. It’s a long one, so grab a cuppa and enjoy the love and light of this stunning day. Thanks for having me there to witness the magic!
Vendors who helped make this day possible:
Hair and Makeup: Jaz Lee & CO
Dress: Boho Bridal
Flowers: Flowerlounge Floral Design
Hirage: Victoria Jayne Weddings
This was my first wedding at the wonderful Pihama Lavender Farm where Cody and Kate tied the knot on a sunny February afternoon. Kate wore a gorgeous dress from Essense of Australia parterned with long veil that caught the coastal wind perfectly. Their heart felt vows and speeches left most with a tear in their eye and love in their hearts. Take some time to enjoy their story below its a good one!
Venue: Pihama Lavender
Dress: Essense of Australia from Churchwood Bridal
Jaron and Alkina were such a treat to photograph for their Engagement Photo Shoot. The camera loved them with their easy going nature and their love towards one another. Beauties inside and out! These two have been together since they were 16 so when they experienced their first overseas trip together, Jaron thought it was the perfect time to propose, and that it was. I can tell just how happy they are together and what an adventure they will continue to have. Thanks so much for having me document this special time for you both. It was my pleasure.
Elopement Weddings have become a real trend here in New Zealand… most popular in the South Island but for Lars and Michaela it was here in New Plymouth. Both originally from Germany it was the perfect elopement. New Plymouth, a place Michaela had visited in the past, a place where she knew she would love to come again, but this time to marry. I was so fortunate to photograph their special day on the cliffs of Back Beach alongside celebrate Rose Haskell.
It was a typical winters day but at the right time the rain stopped and we got the most moodiest of skies and a beautiful sunset to finish. See below their slideshow of highlight images from their special day. Make sure you press HD to view it at its best.
I had the pleasure of being the photographer for Daniel and Tara’s Taranaki wedding this summer, and what a wedding it was to remember! Two piece lace wedding dress, gorgeous flower girls, and one heck of a bridal party made up one small part of their incredible day. Surrounded by tall trees at The Barn, Hawera, a little hidden gem of a venue, Daniel and Tara opted for a relaxed laid back ceremony with the help from celebrant Kelly Judkins. The bridesmaids danced down the isle, they spoke their own personal vows and there were confetti for days. My favourite!
Enjoy looking through their wedding story because I sure enjoyed telling it.
Justine from Hello Audrey organized a group of Taranaki wedding creatives to get together to produce this beautiful styled shoot. It took place on a very wet day but inside the rustic barn was nothing but warm and cozy. Victoria did an amazing job of creating a space that was intimate yet all about mood and evoking romance. Candles, lights, soft florals & Audrey filled the space perfectly. We wanted to showcase an indoor ceremony location for something a little different. Everything stemmed from this initial concept, from the gowns Liah Roebuck designed & hand made to the models, Dave & Abra, who were celebrating their 10 yr wedding anniversary this particular day. Their wedding song played at the beginning of the shoot and they sizzled! Authenticity is really important, so having a real life couple that are so in love helped provide that.
The collaborators in this shoot are all girl bosses running their own businesses locally and creating incredible work. I love what we have created here – everyone nailed their part and it was magic on the day.
Styling – Victoria Jayne Weddings | Wedding Dresses – Liah Roebuck Bridal | Flowers – Flowerlounge Floral Design | Hair – LOLA Hair Studio | Makeup – Blackbird Boutique | Mens Suit – Hallensteins
I have so much happiness for Nick & Lexi who were married at Oak Valley Gardens and St Marks Church on one of the best days we’ve seen this summer. Their vision of the day came together beautifully with the help of many talented Taranaki vendors. They wanted their guests to have fun and soak up the welcoming atmosphere. Live music was a big part of the day right from when the guests arrived to when the guests staggered home after the epic dancing. Audrey the caravan bar sat beautifully next to the church for guests to indulge while we were off taking photos. Nick and Lexi share a strong and honest love that all their friends and family were honored to be apart of. Thanks so much for sharing your day with me, it was the best!
Vendors include: Planner/Stylist: Victoria Jayne Weddings, Florist: Petal Pusher Flowers, Bar: Hello Audrey, Catering: The Public Catering Company, Lights and Furniture: TLL Events, Marquee: Dobsons, and Celebrant, Sam Bennett who amped the guests for their walk back down the isle as Mr and Mrs!
I first meet Paige in my studio a year and a half before their wedding date, so to see it all come together over that time was magic! As a couple they have accomplished a lot together; from travelling the world, to buying their first house and then recently building their new home. Paige has also starting her own business – Mi Beauty Space. On the wedding morning she did her own makeup plus the girls too and I think you’ll agree each and everyone of them looked stunning. One of her Bridesmaids described them perfectly in her speech, “stop winning at life, you’re making the rest of us look bad!” Oak Valley combined with stylist Victoria Jayne made the most perfect setting for friends and family to watch them say their I do’s. Paige wowed the guests with her Pallas Couture dress and Nick got the party started once the Rum Bar opened later that night!
Thanks for welcoming me with open arms your day was the best!