The Wedding Day Photography Schedule

There are five very successful schedules that are used by most photographers. You should consider all of them and then pick the one that best meets your personal needs.


Pre-ceremony Photographs

Meshing traditional and contemporary styles can sometimes be tricky for the photographer and the couple working within a limited time span. “Pre-ceremony photographs” can eliminate this hindrance. “Pre-ceremony photographs” are normally conducted three hours before the ceremony and can be done with the family, bridal party and the bride and groom. During this time away from the crowds of guests, the photographer can take unobtrusive photographs of the couple, family, and wedding party.

The most common objection is from the bride, who wants the groom to see her for the first time as she comes down the aisle. I understand wanting to have him see you, and you him. However, I have found that most couples don’t even remember that experience. As you are walking down the aisle, the bride often can’t even see the groom right away because everyone stands up when the bride enters. Even more importantly, you are usually worried about tripping on your dress or your father stepping on you. The groom typically can’t express his emotions, because all he can think about is the hundred people in the church and keeping his cool. With “Pre-ceremony photographs” you’ll be able to see each other for the first time without all the other stresses, and then spend some very special private time together.  You will do much more than just gasp as you walk down the aisle.

When private time is scheduled, we select a special location. When the bride is ready, we stage her holding her bouquet. The groom waits in another area until she is ready. Then we ask everyone to leave. The photographer has the bride staged and is positioned discretely in a spot where they can capture both expressions. Then the groom is sent in.  The photographer captures the moment. The bride and groom are then left alone to spend a few moments together. When they are ready, the bride and groom come out of the room and the photography begins. Couples have written letters stating that their “Special Moment” was the most wonderful part of their wedding day.

Listed below are the disadvantages and advantages to “Pre-ceremony photographs”. It is completely your decision if you want to experience this once in a lifetime moment. You will never be pressured in either direction, it is only another option to help make your wedding day a dream come true.



1.     You start your day earlier but you get to enjoy it longer

2.     According to the old adage, it is bad luck to see each other beforehand (however, most churches believe it is good to pray together beforehand)



1.     Pray together

2.     Discuss what your about to do, enjoy each other’s company in solitude.

3.     Spend some time alone away from the confusion and stress(It may be the only time you get alone your whole wedding day)

4.     Take time to freely express emotions.

5.     Spend less time photographing after the ceremony.

6.     Reduce stress.

7.     Enjoy this special experience together.

8.     Do all your posed photographs before the ceremony while everyone is still fresh and flowers and makeup are still looking great.


After the Wedding Schedule

Some couples choose to do their images on a day after the wedding. You can do it the day right after your wedding while you still have the tux and the flowers or you can schedule it sometime after your honeymoon. It’s a great way to get some beautiful portraits of the two of you without having to worry about getting your dress dirty, keeping your guests waiting, or anything else you may be thinking of the day of your wedding. You can just relax and have some fun! You can go to some really cool places to get those great shots that you may not have time for the day of your wedding. Your photographer can take their time with you and create beautiful photographs that are artistic and different than the traditional wedding poses in a relaxed care free environment.



After the Ceremony Photographs

For the couple who have a very early morning ceremony or just not enough time before the ceremony, scheduling the posed photography after the ceremony may be the option for you. The photography will last about an hour ½ to 2 hours. You will need to schedule time for everyone to freshen up beforehand. This schedule is not the most popular because everyone is tired and the guests are waiting at the reception, but in some cases this schedule may be necessary. Some options are to schedule a cocktail hour for your guests while they wait or let them start dinner before your arrival or both. Also you can have a slideshow or live band play to entertain them.


The Traditional Schedule

This is probably the most popular schedule. It allows for the tradition of the groom not seeing the bride before the ceremony, and most of the photos are taken while flowers and make-up are still fresh before the wedding. This schedule normally starts two hours before the ceremony with the bride, bridesmaids, and bride’s family. After about forty-five minutes the photographer switches to the groom, groomsmen, and groom’s family. Photos of the couple and group shots of family are done after the ceremony. The only big disadvantage to this schedule is that the guests have to wait up to an hour for the couple’s arrival. Again you can do the suggestions above to keep your guests entertained until your arrival.



Photojournalistic Schedule

If you don’t like posing then this is the option for you. Your wedding day will be covered by your photographer without any interruption. The moments will be real and you won’t spend hours standing and posing. You may also be able to save money on photography time because you won’t need to schedule the 2 to three hours for your posed images.  The only disadvantage is you won’t have those traditional shots of family to hang as portraits on your wall.



There are, of course, variations on these schedules that also might fit your needs. The variations are normally discussed at the planning session. If you have your own ideas make sure your photographer is aware of them.  

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