Let's talk timeline!
First -- to clarify...a timeline is NOT a shot list. We steer clear of shot lists...mostly because the stock versions you find on the internet are self-evident & we get the majority of those shots anyways. We also avoid shot lists because they are EXTREMELY limiting. If we are focused on capturing shots you've requested, it can really cut into the creative freedom required to be in the moment on your wedding day. You hired us to do what you see in our portfolio, and that's the way we work!
Now -- timelines. Different story! Part of having your wedding go off without a hitch is creating a photography timeline that guides us through the day. It helps us ensure that we don't miss anything big, and it lets you, your family, and your bridal party know what to expect. We start off with some pretty standard questions, and then we fill in the details from there. Here's what we usually discuss:
1) What is the ceremony location + address?
2) What is the reception location + address?
3) What is your cell phone number?
4) What is your fiance's cell phone number?
5) Do you have an address for where the girls will be getting ready?
6) Do you have an address for where the guys will be getting ready?
7) What time is the ceremony scheduled for? How long is it scheduled to last?
8) What is your preference on seeing your fiance before the ceremony?
9) Are you planning an exit that you would like Meg & I to photograph? If so, what time is that scheduled for?
This is the first round of questions. The main objective here is to establish the major milestones for the day:
a) start time
b) first sight or no?
c) ceremony time
d) end time
The most popular format is to work our way through the "individual shots" before the ceremony. This would include shots like the bride with each bridesmaids, a group shot of the bride with all of her bridesmaids, and the bride with her immediate family (both separately & as a group). Of course, since there are two photographers for your wedding day, we're able to complete this on both sides (with the bride & the groom). Meg works with the bride & bridesmaids, while Charles works with the groom & groomsmen.
In a few situations, our couples have asked us to coordinate a "first sight" -- this is an opportunity for the bride & groom to see each other BEFORE the ceremony. The advantage: this allows you to complete ALL of your formals prior to the ceremony.
The first sight is not for everyone, but it does offer some advantages in terms of using less time following the ceremony for formals, keeping your guests waiting for almost no time, and it allows you to enjoy more of your reception. We've also had circumstances where the ceremony ends after sunset, and this eliminates the opportunity for us to do the "pretty pretty" couples portraits outside using natural light!
Grand conclusion: we're happy to help with all aspects of planning your wedding day timeline. In many cases, you'll have a wedding coordinator assisting you with this, but it's always good to run everything by us to make sure you're allotting the correct amount of time for each component of the day! It's truly unfortunate, but we have had situations where daylight savings time was not correctly considered, and ceremonies have ended up in pitch black while the couple was hoping for sunset. Feel free to ask if we can answer any questions about your wedding day timeline!