When you've been photographing weddings for a while, it's easy to forget that few people know what a typical wedding day looks like.
I've found that when I explain it to couples, the whole notion of photographs become so much easier to digest; suddenly, it's possible to visualise all those special moments.
Finally, I've decided it's time to share it in my blog too!
A typical wedding day is arranged into neat sections and even those who deviate from traditional weddings usually have some of these parts in their wedding day.
Bride/ Groom Prep
Not everyone wants this and not all photographs offer it; but if you do, check it can be included with your favourite photographer.
The photographs to expect from this part of your day are: hair and make-up being done; last minute ironing; putting on dresses, kilts, shoes, jewellery; detail shots of rings, flowers, jewellery, coat hangers; champagne toasts; bridesmaids, groomsmen, close family and friends interacting.
Your photographer may do both parties, particularly if you’re getting ready in the same venue or are close to one another on the day.
Before the Ceremony
This is where your photographer will capture your guests arriving and interacting with one another. They may also capture images of your minister/ celebrant/ registrar setting up. It is also a great opportunity for your wedding photographer to take photographs of the ceremony room set up, the bride or groom waiting at the end of the aisle and guests entering and taking their seats.
During your ceremony, your photographer will capture members of the wedding party, followed by bride or groom walking down the aisle; shots of you individually and together; the exchange of rings; first kiss; any celebrations (hand fasting, sand ceremony, readings etc.); signing of register (usually afterwards); and pictures of you leaving the ceremony room.
Just after the Ceremony
This can vary. Some people have a receiving line, some have a drinks toast, some go straight into a group photograph or more formal photographs, while others just mingle with their guests.
Your photographer might recommend you go outside as quickly as possible, but this will depend on what you’ve decided you want – formal photographs take time and it can be tricky squeezing lots in before dinner!
Your venue will probably assign you time for photographs and this is usually around 2 hours. It’s important to give your photographer a list of any group shots you want – try to do this in advance so that your wedding photographer can plan ahead.
If you don’t want group shots, your photographer will use this time to capture the day or use it as an opportunity to take some pictures of you and your newlywed alone!
Your photographer will normally be with your guests when you and the main wedding party arrive for your speeches and meal. This is so they can photograph your arrival and the reaction of your guests. Your photographer will probably take pictures of each person talking and the guests in the room. Expect tears, smiles and laugher in these images!
Remember to double check what is included in your wedding photography package – few photographers have this as standard. These photographs usually include evening guests arriving, your cake being cut and your first dance, as well as capturing your guests dancing and having fun.