It might be biased of me to say as a wedding photographer, but really, your photographer can be your best asset! If you do not have a wedding planner, communicating with your photographer about your wedding timeline is critical. Your photographer will know how long it takes to photograph each section of your wedding day since they have the experience. Here are a few examples, if you’re curious…
Consider Doing a First Look
I’ve written an entire post on this- see here, but I would love to reiterate to all brides to consider doing a first look! It can be one of the most intimate parts of the day. From a photographer’s standpoint, I would give a first look at least 30 minutes allotted on the wedding timeline.
Keep in mind that a father/daughter first look should also be considered as well! I would recommend 15 minutes to capture this.
Ceremony Should be 2-3 Hours Before Sunset
Sometimes, when building a wedding timeline, ceremony is a great place to begin.
A lot of people think that their wedding ceremony should be at sunset so that they can get that golden glow, but I would strongly advise for ceremonies to be 2-3 hours prior to sunset, and then for sunset portraits to be taken separately!
In the summer, the sun sets around 7 PM, and in winter, the sun sets around 5. This would mean that the best time for ceremonies in the summer would be around 4-5 PM, and in the winter, 2-3 PM. Winter ceremonies are tricky since the sun is harshest between 12-2. For outdoor ceremonies, pictures taken 2-3 hours before sunset will typically have the best lighting!
Sunset Portraits Should be One Hour Before Sunset
Golden hour is 1-2 hours before sunset and is the softest light. Something some people do not know is that there is something called “Blue Hour,” and that occurs after sunset. That’s your local wedding photographer’s inside scoop! Skin tones change during Blue Hour, and although some photographers like to photograph during it, I would highly recommend golden hour for my couples.
For the wedding timeline, I recommend 30-45 minutes for sunset portraits, and to time it 1-2 hours prior to sunset. This will give the couple the softest light, which will create more flattering photos!