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The Wedding Day Timeline – How Many Photographer Hours do you Really Need? [SPONSORED]

LaCoursiere Photography

If you have or are currently planning a wedding then you will know trying to figure out your wedding day timeline is nothing short of challenging. There is a million things to consider, hundreds of people to please, your own wants and dreams and only one day to do it all. Luckily we’ve seen the wedding day timeline plenty of times and can help lead you on your way to the perfect wedding day timeline.

When you first start looking for your wedding photographer you’ll quickly find that every photographer has a set list of packages that include a certain amount of hours. The range of hours a photographer will offer vary from a quick few hours to all day photographer coverage.  At first you might be confused at all the options out there, and out of frustration either a) drop the whole photographer decision thing until last minute [my professional opinion… DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS] or b) quickly decide that just the certain amount of photography coverage is plenty for you and hope it all works out. Either choice can have very frustrating results in the end. I have photographed weddings anywhere from 3-13 hours, so with confidence I can tell you the right amount of photography hours for every situation and help to prepare you on how to plan your wedding day timeline.

Every wedding is different, the most important factors to know is how many guests you estimate, how large your family is, and how large your bridal party is. The next factor to know is how extensive you plan to go with formal family portraits and bridal party portraits. The list can be as short or as long as you make it, so it is important to make a list of your absolute must haves. Keep this thought in mind; “Just because it’s tradition, doesn’t mean you have to do it. Do what’s right for you.”

LaCoursiere Photography

Here is a sample list:

Bridal Party:

  • Bride & Groom (at least 30 minutes together, usually twice during the day at afternoon and sunset)
  • Full Bridal Party
  • Bride & Groom with Ring Bearers & Flower Girls
  • Bride & Ring Bearers
  • Bride & Flower Girls
  • Groom with Groomsmen
  • Groom with Bridesmaids & Flower Girls
  • Bride with Bridesmaids
  • Bride with Groomsmen & Ring Bearer

Family:

  • Bride & Groom with Bride’s parents
  • Bride & her Parents
  • Bride with Mom
  • Bride with Dad
  • Bride with her Siblings
  • Bride & Groom with Bride’s Siblings & Spouses (children included)
  • Bride & Grandparents
  • Bride & Groom with Groom’s Parents
  • Groom & his Parents
  • Groom with Mom
  • Groom with Dad
  • Groom with his Siblings
  • Bride & Groom with groom’s siblings & spouses (children included)
  • Groom & Grandparents

I have seen lists long and detailed and so far into the family tree that I don’t know who belongs to who.  I have also seen lists short and sweet and only include what was most important to the bride and groom. Now that you’ve seen the sample list, it would seem like 3-4 hours of photography coverage should be plenty right?

With that mindset take a look at this sample wedding day schedule that includes the entire above list:

(sample from 7 hours of photographer coverage)

1:15 Getting Ready Candids of Bride & Groom

2:30 First Look alone between Bride & Groom (15 minute drive to location)

-bridal portraits of bride & groom

2:45 Bridal Photos at Park

  • Full Bridal Party
  • Bride & Groom with Ring Bearers & Flower Girls
  • Bride & Ring Bearers
  • Bride & Flower Girls
  • Groom with Groomsmen
  • Groom with Bridesmaids & Flower Girls
  • Bride with Bridesmaids

3:00 Bride’s Family

  • Bride & Groom with Bride’s parents
  • Bride with her Parents
  • Bride with Mom
  • Bride with Dad
  • Bride with her Siblings
  • Bride & Groom with Bride’s Siblings & Spouses (children included)
  • Bride & Grandparents

3:15 Groom’s Family

  • Bride & Groom with Groom’s Parents
  • Groom & his Parents
  • Groom with Mom
  • Groom with Dad
  • Groom with his Siblings
  • Bride & Groom with groom’s siblings & spouses (children included)
  • Groom & Grandparents

3:20 Done with portraits, bridal party drives back to ceremony location and freshens up

4:00-4:45 Ceremony

4:45-5:15 Receiving Line (maybe longer, 200 guests means 30+ minutes!)

5:30 Bridal Photos on Beach (10 minute drive there)

5:50 Leave Beach for Reception

6:15 Bridal Party Enters Reception

6:30 Reception Dinner/Speech/Toasts

7:15 Cake Cutting

7:30 First Dance

8:00 Sunset Photos

8:15 Photographer Exits

LaCoursiere Photography

Wow… right? And the above schedule is an on time schedule, in all reality, wedding days are never on time and are always behind. Did you ever think things could get so detailed? So, as you are planning your wedding keep the above lists and time frames in mind. Again, every wedding is different but in general my recommendation is to never go for less than seven hours of photography coverage.

LaCoursiere Photography

This helpful guide was sponsored by LaCoursiere Photography specializes in wedding, newborn, and birth story photography. They work to tell a story though photography in a natural and beautiful way that is personalized to each client differently. Currently, they are scheduling 2-4 months in advance for newborn sessions. Contact Stacey about your upcoming bundle of joy and schedule a newborn session with LaCoursiere Photography.

LaCoursiere Photography is a MIX 108 Local Expert, Click Here

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