What are the usual timings required at a wedding.?
Planning the running order of your big day can be quite a task, especially since it’s more than likely something you’ve never done before. When you’ve shot as many weddings as I have you tend to get a feeling for how long each portion of the day will take and how long it should take to capture it. If you don’t know what to include or how much time to allocate to each part of your day I have put together a wee guide that should help your day run smoothly.
Also be aware of travel times to and from each location!
IMPORTANT: If you have a videographer be aware that this will add some time on to each portion of the day whilst they capture their important memories for you, so may need add ten minutes to each section to allow for them to create their magic and get the stuff they need.
Groom and Groomsmen Getting Ready - 60-75 minutes
Starting our day off usually with the guys we’d like to get the important shots taken care of, usually this will be the guys relaxing before they get Kilted or Suited and Booted. During this time we will get all the shots of the boys, all the important detail items such as the rings, the suit or kilts hanging, the shoes, watch, cufflinks, basically anything that’s important and has been bought for the wedding, and any wee gifts and cards that the bride has sent over. It’s also great to get these moments of the boys just being themselves and getting ready for the ceremony, it’s a part of the day that the bride will never see so it always forms an important part for her. If the grooms parents and family members are also there this is when we’ll get some family portraits with them.
Bride and Bridesmaids Getting Ready - 90-120 minutes
Bridal coverage is usually longer than that of the guys, the girls have hair and make up on the day which can take a wee bit of time, usually we like to be there when the girls have had their make up and hair completed but are still in their robes, this lets us shoot the toast photographs with the bridesmaids, the girls relaxing but looking amazing and its a time we use to get some artistic shots of the make up artist applying the final touches to the bride, it also lets us shoot the dress, shoes, jewellery, flowers, rings, cards and all the details while they’re finishing up.
When the girls are about to get ready we step out the room and give them some privacy (unless we have a female second photographer), when they’ve finished we will come back in and get the bridesmaids buttoning up the final buttons on the dress just in time for us to set and capture the image. We then get the bride into position and await the father arriving to see his beautiful daughter for the first time in her dress.
We will then shoot portraits of the bride and her bridesmaids and her family before making our way to the ceremony.
Time Tip: try to ensure that my arrival coincides with hair and make up being close to completion, that way we don’t fall behind at the start.
Ceremony - 30-60 minutes depending on wedding.
It’s tradition that the bride will be late, by how long is entirely up to her but remember it can eat into your photography time if you’re really late
Ceremonies vary in time depending on a few things, some weddings in hotels can be over in 20 minutes while some weddings in a Catholic Church can last between 60 and 70 minutes depending on the length of the mass. It's something that we will discuss at the pre-wedding meeting as it lets us plan your day and work out how much time we have between the ceremony and when the wedding breakfast will be served.
For example, in Scotland you may find that the venue require the guests to be called in and seated for 4.20pm - 4.30pm, the couple are usually piped in 10 minutes later followed by the speeches which typically last around 20 - 30 minutes, then the wedding breakfast will be served about 5pm -5.15pm
So If your ceremony was 2pm - 2.30pm and we've got a 15 minute drive to the venue you'll typically have around 90 minutes to get the shots after the ceremony. The "must have shots" are the couple and their families, couple and their bridesmaids and groomsmen and the couple on their own, everything else can be filled out in the online questionnaire that is sent with the initial wedding contract which covers a variety of possible group shots we can do.
TIP: When the bridesmaids are walking down the aisle, have them space themselves on the aisle, have them take their time (its not a race) and also when the bride is coming down the aisle please take your time, chin up and keep smiling.
Time Tip: Have your ceremony start earlier in the day if you have a large guest and family list for formals, and if your wedding is going to be longer consider this too.
Group formals and portraits - 90 - 120 minutes.
After the ceremony if we have to travel to the venue we will be looking to start the formals and the group list just after we arrive, once we have these shots in the bag you can relax and spend the rest of the day with your families and guests, I dont want your wedding day to feel like a photo shoot or worse, but I am aware that you're paying me to capture your day and we want to make sure that we knock it out the park on the day while still letting you guys enjoy your big day.
During the wedding breakfast I go through all the shots on the list to make sure we've got them all and were not missing any. If any have been missed we can use the time between the wedding breakfast and the first dance to get those shots, and we'll also use that time to get some nice wow shots for you too.
Speeches 20 - 30 minutes.
Always a nice time to get some true emotion in peoples faces during the speeches.
Cake, Dance and Twilight Photos 30 -60 minutes
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Details, captured throughout the day during the quieter parts.
We all like to have the details captured at out weddings and we will use the quieter times on the day to make sure that we get the detail shots taken care of so that they dont interrupt with out shooting schedule.