Pros Know: Photography Timeline

During the many years Stoneleigh Golf & Country Club has hosted weddings, we've seen hundreds of photographers snapping away helping brides relive the special moments years later. There are a few photographers who have made a lasting impression on us. Some of these photographers stand alone in their perception of the uniqueness of the club's essence: the rolling hills, the historic stone and weathered outbuildings of what remains of a once-thriving fruit orchard, the beautiful landscape showcasing what makes each season at Stoneleigh special and the smiling family and friends who pass through the ivy-laden gates to celebrate the newlyweds. It's the twinkling in the eyes of the crowd that the highly trained professional photographer captures in a brief second. It is this professionalism and keen eye through the lens that leads us to highlight a few of our favorites at the club. This month we introduce Shauna Ploeger of Photography Du Jour.
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Having a realistic photography timeline ensures a smooth, enjoyable wedding day and fantastic photos to capture those moments. Couples wanting to cut expenses choose smaller photography packages with less coverage time. While this works for smaller weddings, most weddings need at least 8 to 10 hours of wedding photography. Iíd like to illustrate a timeline couples can adopt to ensure everything they want to remember is captured, from getting ready for the ceremony to the send off at reception.


Getting Ready. Assuming the couple is getting ready at the same location, photos will take about 1 hour. These include photos of the dress, jewelry, mom placing the veil on the bride, the groom putting on his cufflinks and enjoying a drink with his groomsmen. Getting Ready capture the anticipation leading up to the ceremony. Couples traveling to a different location for the ceremony should include travel time.

imgFirst Look. More and more couples are opting for photographs together prior to the ceremony. The bride gets to hear from the groom how lovely she looks and itís a very intimate moment. Initially, photos are candid to capture the raw emotion at first sight then formal poses in different locations. First look photos also provide an opportunity for bridal party photos before the ceremony. Allowing 45 minutes to 1 hour for couple portraits is plenty of time to produce heartfelt images. Add an additional 20 to 30 minutes for bridal party photos.

Ceremony. Brides wanting details captured like flowers and little ideas incorporated from Pinterest, should give the photographer 20 to 30 minutes. While the photographer is focusing on details, brides can take a breath or touch up any makeup before the ceremony.

Wedding ceremonies last 30 to 40 minutes, and upimg to 1 hour for a Catholic mass. Transitioning after the ceremony to family portrait time is a good 10 minutes or more depending on the size of the families.

Traditionally, family portraits are taken following the ceremony and the start of the cocktail hour. There is good news for couples that opt for first look photos. After family photos they get to enjoy cocktail hour! If not, couples spend the entire cocktail hour taking family portraits for 20 minutes, bridal party photos for 15 to 20 minutes, leaving 20 minutes for couple portraits. They must decide what is more important, the moment the groom sees the bride coming down the aisle or having plenty of couple images to choose from.

imgReception. Receptions run 3 hours plus. If thereís a special send off, couples will want the photographer to capture that as a nice way to complete the wedding day story. Otherwise, couples may excuse their photographer for the last hour of reception. Schedule special dances, cake cutting, bouquet toss, garter toss and toasts towards the beginning of reception so that the photographer can capture those events.

Weddings are live events, so anything can happen. Allowing extra time in the photography schedule ensures the couple will be relaxed knowing they have ample time no matter surprises occur. Giving yourself more time on the big day is the best gift to yourself and I promise you wonít regret it.


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Stoneleigh Event Consultant Meredith Thomas has many years of experience planning special events. Click here for more Aisle Dish posts.