CONGRATS! YOU'RE BOOKED, BABES.

We're officially wedding day cohorts so can just go ahead and check photography off your to-do list! I am legitimately SO excited to be there with you and capture all of the little pieces that will come together over the next few months.

If at any point during the planning process, you need a third opinion or an industry resource, I'm your gal. I don't know everything there is to know about weddings, and I'm incredibly adamant that you celebrate in the way that suits you best, but I'm here to offer my expertise if needed.

With that in mind, let me introduce you to a whole buttload of information that you can use, abuse, and refuse as needed. On this page, you'll find some guidance for putting together a timeline, tips for how to get the most out of your photos, and a handful of highly recommended vendors, among other nuggets of wedding-related advice.

LET'S TALK TIMELINES

Mock Timeline 1

4 hours of coverage

3:30 Ceremony
4:00 Congrats
4:20 Family and group photos
4:45 Portraits
6:00 Enter reception
6:45 Speeches x 3
7:30 Photo end time

Mock Timeline 2

8 hours of coverage

1:00 Prep 1
2:00 Prep 2
3:30 Ceremony
4:00 Congrats
4:20 Family and group photos
4:45 Portraits
6:00 Enter reception
6:15 Dinner
7:30 Speeches
8:30 First Dance
9:00 Photo end time

Mock Timeline 3

10 hours of coverage

12:00 Prep 1
1:00 Travel
1:15 Prep 2
2:30 First look
2:45 Portraits
4:00 Ceremony
4:30 Family photos
5:00 Sunset portraits
5:20 Cocktail hour
6:00 Dinner
7:00 Speeches
9:00 First Dance
10:00 Photo end time

Above you’ll see three separate examples of timelines, ranging from four to ten hours of coverage. While you have every freedom in the world to create something totally different and unique, the day usually starts with prep followed by an afternoon ceremony, congrats, family photos, wedding party photos, then into reception. 

 

WHERE ON EARTH DO I START.

 

Figure out your ceremony start time. Typically, count on there being 3 to 3.5 hours between the ceremony start time and when you want to enter your reception, which will include congratulations, group photos, wedding party photos, and portraits (don’t forget to include travel time).

Things that might affect this 3-3.5 hr window:

  • Doing a first look & some/all portraits pre-ceremony
  • Doing congrats or not
  • The size of your wedding party (the smaller it is, the less time you need for wedding party photos)
  • Travel time between locations

 

 

GETTING READY

01

Your prep coverage typically starts with me grabbing your details (shoes, love notes, jewellery, watch, tie, etc.) for about 10 minutes of photos. Basically, If you've put any thought, time, and money into it, I want to make sure it exists in photos. Bonus points for having everything in one accessible place when I arrive.

Open up all the blinds (bathe in that sexy natural light), make sure there's plenty of food and drink for everyone, and chuck on some tunes for the rest of prep! You don't want to be hungry or dehydrated midway through the day, and some music just helps you work through any jitters you might have.

02

Home or away? There are benefits and disadvantages to both, but I'll give you my input. Do you like your home/have you and your partner put a lot of work into it? Is it relatively close to your ceremony venue (30min or less)? Do you have a pet at home that won't make it to the wedding? Do your prep at home. Alternatively, if you can't be bothered de-cluttering your house, or your home is dark, or it's just too far away from the venue, try hunting for an AirBnB or hotel nearby.

Either way, the place doesn't need to be spotless, but get any clutter and trash out of the way! Anything out and near where you get ready has the potential to be in the background of your shots, so if it's grody, get rid of it.

CEREMONY

01

Unplugged weddings are one thousand percent a good idea. Trust me. You've chosen to have these people at your wedding for a reason. Get them to put their screens away and share the moment with you.

Along the same lines, give all your beautiful guests something to throw/do when you exit! Doing so is a great way to get them involved in the ceremony and it makes your first moments as a married couple extra special. Options for this can include but aren't limited to:

- Tossing confetti
- Throwing leaves, rosemary, or flower petals
- Blowing bubbles
- Providing guests with drinks and sharing a cheers as you walk up the aisle

02

CONGRATS: THE PROS AND CONS

I'll start this by saying the pros of setting aside time for congrats by FAR outweigh the cons, but lots of my couples choose to forego congrats anyways, usually for one of the following reasons:

- Time constraints (not wanting to be rushed for the portraits part of the day)
- Weather - if it's particularly hot or cold, it's sometimes better to encourage your guests to head to the reception
- To avoid feeling overwhelmed! This can sometimes be the case if you have 100+ guests and just don't have the energy to line them all up and hug each one of them! That's okay too... oftentimes if this is the case, you can choose to touch base with each of your guests at the reception instead.

When none of these things are a consideration, I'll ALWAYS recommend congrats. Why? It's usually jam-packed with beautiful moments that make great photos and become treasure memories. It's when everyone is overflowing with love and happiness for you, and feels pretty bloody good to revel in. Lastly, it's a chance for you to make contact with each one of your guests at least once during the day, and thank them for being there to celebrate with you.

03

FAMILY & GROUP PHOTOS

To Big Group Photo or not to Big Group Photo?

For a successful photo of all your guests, we need a few ingredients: a big enough space for everyone to fit, a vantage point for myself (whether it's a hill, balcony, or chair to stand on), even lighting (everyone should either all be in the sun or in the shade), and preferably less than 100 people.

Also, be aware that you definitely won't be able to see everyone's faces in the final outcome - there are always guests that hide regardless of my encouragement, and there is always someone that will blink.

For family photos, I recommend this as a sample group shot list:

P1, P2 (persons 1 and 2), P1 parents, P2 parents

P1, P2, P1 parents, siblings (add partners), grandparents
P1, P2, parents
P1, P2, siblings (add partners)
P1, P2, grandparents

P2, P1, P2 parents, siblings, (add partners), grandparents
P2, P1 parents
P2, P1 siblings (add partners)
P2, P1 grandparents

Start there, and add anything you think suits your family best. Other common additions are the couple with all the kiddos (usually nieces and nephews), the bride or groom with each of their parents separately, or large extended family groups on each side.

LOCATION PHOTOS

01

To me, your portraits and wedding party photos are the BEST part of the day, but I know the idea of being in front of the camera for a long period of time can be quite intimidating. If it helps, you're going to be looking your absolute fly-est, and there are so many things happening on a wedding day, it's much easier to forget about the camera than you think.

Either way, we'll kick things off with photos of the whole crew, then with each of you and your respective sides of the party. This is an easy intro to being in front of the camera - wedding crew members are great at getting you two laughing and relaxing!

02

Once it's just the two of you (and me), you REALLY have a chance to take a breath, check in with each other, and create a moment of quiet. I'm here to help you take full advantage of that. I'll set you up in some good light and then back away to be an observer and capture the way you two interact. If you're feeling good after that (it's hard not to be when you're looking hot and hanging with your best friend), we'll slow things down a bit and get the romance pumping. Don't worry about the camera - trust me and let me into your love bubble to capture what's happening there. Feel stuck? Touch each other. Synchronise your breathing. Take deep breaths and commit the moment to memory.

03

I usually recommend dedicating 45-90 minutes of shooting time for this part of the day (not including travel). Any less than that can feel rushed and any longer than that is exhausting. I also (personally) don't want to keep you away from your family/friends for any longer than we need to.

So, just the two of you and no wedding crew? 45-60 minutes is fine. A handful of maids and men? Lean towards 90 minutes to keep everything fun and relaxed.

Don't worry too much about locations, unless there's a place you love or that means a lot to you. I'm all about the chasing the good light, and am pretty good at finding hidden locations that aren't too far from the party. Always feel free to check in with me if you're worried about photo spots, though!

Don't be afraid to get that dress/suit dirty if we go on a little adventure! Think about that extra dirt on your hem or the rain on your shoulders as little pieces of your wedding day scrapbook. Whatever happens, it will become part of your forever memories and drycleaning will fix most of your problems.

Lastly (and certainly not least), it's always a good idea to organise some nibbles and drinks for this part of the day. All of your adrenaline from the hitching will be coming down and nine times out of ten, my brides and grooms forget to nourish and hydrate pre-ceremony.

RECEPTION / PARTY TIME

01

Let's talk quickly about reception planning and structure and then we'll dive a bit into reception timelines, hey?

I've got all the different kinds of lighting equipment I need to shoot in dark spaces, but adding just a little bit of extra light to your reception will help me capture the ambiance and good vibes of the evening. A good rule of thumb is that if you can read your speech without a light, I'll be able to get good mood shots without a flash.

SPEECHES. First rule of thumb: ditch the podium! If there's a plinth or a table nearby where you can set your drink, GREAT, but photos are so much better when the speaker isn't lost behind an old-school eyesore of a podium.

Also...please don't google your speeches (and feel free to gently remind your parents/best man/maid of honour as well). ESPECIALLY if you've hired a videographer. All it takes to make a good speech is to speak from the heart - tell your guests what you love about the subject of your speech, tell them your version of your love story, and don't be afraid to sprinkle in a good-natured roast.

Lastly, whenever you can, make sure you're sitting or standing near your new hubby! Scooch your chair close or grab your spouses hand and get rid of that person-sized gap between you. Revel in the moment together!

02

Let's quickly run through some reception timelines, so you can start planning the formalities of the evening. Before we get into it, also please remember that your wedding is yours and there really aren't any hard and fast rules for the layout of the day. Figure out what suits you and your day best and run with that!

There are a few things that will impact your reception timeline and how much of it will be covered:

- The number of guests you have
- The structure of your food service (sit-down plated, buffet, cocktail-style, share platters, etc.)
- How many formalities you're planning on (think cake cutting, speeches, dances, bouquet tosses, and games)
- How many people will be speaking

RECEPTION TIMELINES

Mock Timeline 1

Cocktail Style Reception

6:30 Couple enters reception
6:35 MC introduction
6:40 Mingling, cocktail hour
7:15 Speeches x2
7:40 Mingling
8:00 Speeches x2 + couple's thank-yous
8:30 Cake cutting & first dance
9:00 Photo end time

Mock Timeline 2

Plated Dinner Reception

6:00 Couple enters reception
6:10 MC introduction
6:20 Entrees out
6:50 Sunset photos with couple (5-10 minutes)
7:00 Speeches x2 (parents)
7:20 Mains out
8:00 Speeches x2 (Best Maid and Man of Honour)
8:30 Cake cut & first dance
9:00 Bouquet toss/photo end time

Mock Timeline 3

Short Reception Coverage

6:30 Couple enters reception
6:35 First dance
6:45 Cake cut
7:00 Mingling, cocktail hour
7:40 Speeches
8:00 Photo end time