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Every time we talk about weddings, much emphasis is placed on basic factors which include; religion, tradition, and culture. As a matter of fact, I won’t talk about these primary factors in this article due to time constraints. However, I made sure to highlight key moments that are very important for you to keep records of on your wedding day.

It is worthy to note that some persons do prefer capturing the moments leading to their exchange of marital vows at the altar. As a rule of thumb, I make it a point of duty to encourage my couple to allow me document every single moment, even to the tiniest details, given the fact that their preparations stretch unto the cocktail time.

RINGS, DRESS, SHOES, AND OTHER DETAILS

Proposed Documentation Time For This: 30 minutes

To ensure enough time is allocated for us to capture that amazing photo of the dress, shoes, bouquet, ring and every other detail needed for the day, I recommend at least 30 minutes.

In some cases, a hotel room might be too jampacked, or the atmosphere might not be conducive enough for us to work; we are left with no other option than to move over to the lobby or even outdoors. This is every inch worth the risk as the results are very obvious, though it could take some additional time.

GETTING READY

Proposed Documentation Time For This: 60 minutes

I usually take advantage of this time to familiarize myself with the makeup style, and hairdo being applied. As well as the special moments, while ensuring that preparations for both the groomsmen and bridesmaids are going smoothly.

Don’t forget that; these moments are some of the most emotional and special periods of the day, so it would be awkward for you to spoil the fun. It’s a proven fact that guys don’t require much time to get dressed compared to women. However, during this period the groom still shares a lot of special moments with his friends & family members.

PORTRAIT TIME

Proposed Documentation Time For This: 30-45 minutes

Wow !, the stage is set, and you’re ready to take that quantum leap by getting married to the love of your life, you’re looking ravishingly beautiful, hmmm I know that feeling.

From my experience as a renowned specialist,  I know you wouldn’t want to forget the way you looked, this is why I am proposing at least 30 minutes from your schedule to enable me to take care of your portrait before proceeding on to the main event of the day.

FIRST LOOK, A GOOD OR A BAD IDEA?

Proposed Documentation Time For This: 15 minutes

In most cultures, taking a first look before the ceremony signifies experiencing ill luck in your marriage.I want to share a few helpful tips to enable you to visualize the scenario and possibly guide you in making good decisions

PROS

This moment presents you with an opportunity to enjoy some privacy and intimacy. You won’t be standing in front of an audience, and you can as well get comfy with each other in a long embrace.

CONS

Having seen each other before walking down the aisle, the excitement level would have reduced considerably, although there would still be some sparks but it won’t be compared to the anticipation you both felt before the first look.

In most cultures, this is a breach of tradition and customs, it might not appear to be much of an issue to you and your fiance, but your respective families might frown at it.

VENUE AND DECORATION DETAILS

Proposed Documentation Time For This: 30 minutes

I highly recommend you allow at least 30 minutes for taking shots of the reception when there are no guests or vendors in sight.

WEDDING CEREMONY

Proposed Documentation Time For This: 45 minutes

The much-awaited moment! Irrespective of the type of ceremony you choose, be it religious or laic, it is TIME. The significance of this moment, before and after it has a special place in your life.

I recommend at least 15 minutes to take shots of the event area when there are no guests or vendors around.

It is very important for me to be there before the guests are all seated, this is to enable me to capture your ceremony setup, and also every other remarkable detail completely.

FIRST DANCE

Proposed Documentation Time For This: 10- 15 minutes

Ideally, the best time of the day to have the first dance should be at the end of the cocktail, hours before the doors are opened for guests.

MINI PHOTO SHOOT BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR NOW HUSBAND

Proposed Documentation Time For This: 25 minutes

The best time for this is usually 25-30 minutes before sunset. This timing is just perfect regarding lighting.

FAMILY PHOTOS AND CLOSE FRIENDS

Proposed Documentation Time For This: 40 minutes

With 12 years of experience shared between my assistant and me as a wedding photographer, you can count on us to take control of organizing the portraits. Beginning with your immediate family and preserving space for the combination of general portraits at the end of this section with your guests.

As a matter of fact, I acknowledge the fact that everyone is special for both of you, but if you’re going for a fairly small wedding (30 guests or slightly above that figure), the opportunity and time for you to portrait yourself with every guest one after the other won’t avail itself, except you would prefer spending the whole night taking pics.

To be on the safe side, allocate at least 3 minutes per group. For instance, if you have 15 groups, a 45-minute time frame should do the trick.

THE COCKTAIL AND PARTY

Proposed Documentation Time For This: 40 minutes

The is the right time to capture that special moment and celebrate with so much JOY and happiness in your face with your loved ones, and well-wishers.

WHEN WILL YOU LEAVE?

I have often been asked this particular question by my brides to be and my usual answer to it is ‘Until the party gets started.’ I know for a fact that most brides want me to hang around till the very last moments, but it won’t be a very nice idea because once the party is in full swing, your guests would be so into the celebrations, dancing, and sweating, wrong timing obviously.

Consider that the proposed timeline is meant for an intimate wedding since the guests won’t be much, the proposed time allocated to the portraits would decrease. It also helps put everything in place and gives you ample time to enjoy your party.

EXTRA CONSIDERATIONS

If you have plans of prolonging your wedding reception late into the night, and you’ve chosen an outdoor venue, make arrangements with your wedding planner for the provision of ambient lighting to illuminate the place. It’s going to have a major impact on the quality of your final photos!

Except you want your guests to be well lighted with a black night background placed behind them.

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What a wedding timeline looks like (based on my experience)

January 20, 2020