Today’s blog post gives five tips for having more wedding day portraits! I’ve been a photographer since 2012 and doing weddings since 2013. With every wedding, I work with my couples to make a photo timeline specific to their wedding day. I’ve done this long enough to know how much time we need for different parts of the day! Even if you aren’t able to do all five of these, even doing just a few will help increase your portrait time.
1. Have a First Look
If you are completely against a first look, you can go ahead and skip to number two. BUT if you are open to having a first look, I’ve written an entire blog post dedicated to how they work, how they are beneficial, and how they can guarantee more wedding day portraits! You can read more about that here. The short and sweet of it is this – if you have a first look, you can do up to ALL of your portraits before the ceremony if you want, minus the sunset photos! We did all of our individual photos, wedding party portraits, couples portraits, and family photos (including extended family) before our ceremony, leaving only sunset photos of the two of us for after. It was the BEST decision we made for our wedding day timeline.
2. Have a Longer Timeline
Most photographers offer various packages based on the length of time you want to book. I offer a six, eight, ten, and all-day package to serve couples with various wedding needs! While a six hour package may work for smaller weddings, it does mean that there will be less time for portraits throughout your day. If portraits are extremely important to you, make sure to book enough time to have the portraits you need as well as some wiggle room for additional photos! Your photographer can steer you in the direction of how much time you truly need on your wedding day.
3. Cocktail Hour
I often have clients tell me that they aren’t having a cocktail hour because they aren’t serving alcohol at their wedding. However, a cocktail hour doesn’t have to involve alcohol – it can just have appetizers and other refreshments and time for your guests to mingle before dinner is served! If you aren’t having a first look, your post-ceremony portraits will take at least 45-60 minutes to account for family formals, the wedding party as a whole, and the photos of just the two of you. If you have a cocktail hour between the ceremony and reception, we can use that to check all of those portraits off of our list before getting you to the reception!
4. Sunset Photos
Whether you have a first look or not, sunset portraits of just you and your spouse are SO important. It gives you a variety of lighting scenarios for your wedding gallery, more time with just your spouse during the chaos of a wedding reception, and often turns out to be some of your favorite photos from the day. If you don’t have a first look, the portraits you take after the ceremony during cocktail hour are the only photos you’ll have of you and your spouse unless you do some sunset portraits as well. Adding some extra time in at sunset will give your photographer the chance to give you more photos in a short amount of time! When I take couples out for sunset, we typically only shoot for 10-20 minutes. You won’t be away from your reception for too long!
5. Trust Your Photographer’s Timeline
Finally, number five. I could write an entire blog post on this subject alone, but here is the gist of it – if you hire a professional photographer that has a lot of experience in the wedding industry, they know their stuff when it comes to timelines and planning out your portrait time. If your photographer says you’ll need XX number of minutes for wedding party photos, they aren’t saying that as a suggestion – they mean it. Trust your photographer’s timeline and listen to them if they express to you that they need more time. You can get photos in a rush, but that does not mean that they will truly capture your day or be the quality that you deserve.
If you’re working on your wedding photography timeline, here are a few more blog posts with helpful information for you!
Five Ways to Make Sure Your Wedding Doesn’t Run Late
Five Tips for a Perfect Wedding Photography Timeline
Want to see more wedding planning tips? Click here!
I’m a wedding and lifestyle photographer based in Knoxville, Tennessee but available anywhere. If you have questions about booking me for a session or wedding, click here! To follow me on social media, check out my Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
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