Example timeline- summer wedding
Ok so this isn't a set in stone, hard and fast, this is how it's got to be... it's just an example, from one photographer's point of view as to how to fit in your photos around your wedding day maximising light available, monitoring levels of alcohol consumption (both yourselves and your guests), meal/ rest times, and how to really get the most out of your time with your friends/ family/ loved ones, rather than feeling the photographs become a chore!
So handy tips-
Have your important details out/ hung up ready so that the photographer can arrange and take a few shots of 'some' of the details. Personally I think a dress looks better on than hung up but if its important to you... buy a nice hanger and ask someone to hang it somewhere ready.
Ask your bridesmaid/ maid of honour/ Mum, or Groomsmen/ Dad to help you with the final details (buttons, ties, button holes, jewellery) near to a window... with your photographer present.
Be in your dress/ suit/ wedding attire at least half an hour before you think you will need to leave in order to capture stunning portraits all ready to go before the day takes it's toll.
Leave a gap between wedding party entrances to enable your photographer to get a good shot of each person/ people walking down the aisle.
Don't rush either.
I'm all about the biodegradable confetti and I'm not too fussed what kind you buy... but I will let your guests know to throw it all UP rather than AT you and I'll give you the nod when we are ready!
Very soon after the ceremony or the guests will mill about/ lose somebody/ drink too much/ be in the loo/ at the bar.
Name a responsible wedding helper (bridesmaid/ groomsmen) to help who know your families.
2- 3 mins each
Nearest and Dearest - try and keep it to ten shots or below if it's possible to as it will soon feel uncomfortable looking at the camera and smiling (these tend to be a little more formal) although I will always try for some relaxed shots too (I will NOT ask anyone to pick up the bride/ groom/ person getting married or jump)!
Couples shots 1...
Super wonderful to have a moment or two to yourselves just after the ceremony to really take it all in, you don't have to look at the camera and smile anymore, you can look at each other, laugh, walk, hug, move, chat to each other and be as yourselves as you want to. I'm super relaxed and won't make you pose! If you are usually a very intimate couple than hopefully a kiss and a hug will feel quite normal to you, if you're not, than walk along holding hands and we'll look for a cool backdrop! These shots are your absolute must haves- they'll be the ones you print and frame. You also don't want to be away from your guests/ celebrations or your drinks for long so as much as I love them we won't make these last forever I promise!
During the drinks reception I will get a tonne of relaxed candid shots of you and your guests interacting organically. These are some of my favourites to capture as everything feels so natural. It's also a chance for me to really capture the wedding day as it unfolds... some of the parts that you might not see to add to your story so that you can relive it afterwards. I will also go to your reception area to capture as much of the details you've carefully chosen as I can, especially if you've told me that's important to you. Like your table settings and centrepieces.
As for the speeches...
Before the starter or after the desert is the best time in my honest opinion... rather than during the meal as you'll likely have guests who are still eating or plates being cleared in your photographs if you happen to decide to have your speeches in the middle of your meal time.
Be sure to let your caterer, and photographer of course, know when the speeches will happen and how many there'll be. I love to capture the guests reactions here!
I will take a short break whilst you are all eating and hopefully will be able to eat a meal somewhere nearby so that I can be around if any impromptu moments should occur.
I always suggest sneaking away for a short while before or after your first dance, golden hour is the hour leading up to sunset and the light is often (when not too overcast) at it's most beautiful. I know with summer weddings it can be very late and you may have had a few drinks by then but that also means you will be relaxed enough to really let go, enjoy the moment with your new husband/ wife/ significant person, these photos are always worth aiming for (even if the magic light doesn't manifest) a second ten/ fifteen minute session with me later in the day is well worth the effort and I guarantee you'll end up having a giggle!
photographer/s arrive/s for bridal/ groom prep
photographer arrives at ceremony venue
photographer captures partner 1 arrival & guests arrival
partner 2 arrival & ceremony
ceremony finish, exit & confetti shot
first couple shots
couple join drinks reception
guests to be seated
speeches or starter served(if speeches are first- starter served at 4.30pm)
speeches if after meal.
evening guests arrive
first dance (INTERCHANGEABLE dependent on sunset time)
golden hour couples shots 2
9.15pm onwards- dancefloor action