Hi, we're Hunter and Sarah, a husband-and-wife, luxury wedding photography team. We’re also educators, helping other photographers build profitable and sustainable photography businesses.
If you’re engaged and planning your wedding, it’s most likely the first wedding you’ve ever planned, but it certainly isn’t ours! Over the years we’ve worked on dozens of weddings, and have learned exactly how long each aspect of a wedding day takes – from getting ready photos to your husband and wife sunset portraits. We’ve also learned a lot about when things should happen, and in what order, and ways to make them go as efficiently as possible.
This week we’re continuing to share all our best-practices when it comes to putting together the perfect wedding photography timeline for you and your desires! Today, we’re discussing one of our favorite parts of the wedding day: wedding party portraits!
Over the years we’ve found that when it comes to planning your wedding day schedule, the first and most important decision to make is whether or not you’ll do a First Look, like we discussed in Part 1. That’s because doing a First Look can allow for some really wonderful changes to your timeline, like doing wedding party portraits before your ceremony!
When we’re shooting a wedding day without a First Look, we often take time before the ceremony to capture our bride with all her bridesmaids and our groom with all his groomsmen. This saves us time after the ceremony, allowing our bride and groom to get to their cocktail hour as soon as possible!
As you may have guessed, a First Look timeline allows us to capture your bride-and-bridesmaid, groom-and-groomsmen, and full-wedding-party photos all together before the ceremony even starts! We know our ladies love this because it means all of their portraits are captured first thing in the morning, just moments after they’ve finished their hair and makeup. They look fresh, and haven’t stood, sweat or cried through the ceremony yet. And our guys love this timeline because if means they can leave the ceremony along with the rest of the guests and head straight to the cocktail hour to enjoy themselves!
No matter when we’re capturing portraits with your wedding party, we always prioritize taking just a few moments to take a portrait of our bride with each of her bridesmaids, and our groom with each of his groomsmen. It has meant so much to our couples to have their photo professionally captured with each and every one of their dearest friends. It also gives our brides a beautiful, professional photo to post on birthdays, graduations or even on their bridesmaid’s wedding day!
Plus, we know that many of your wedding party will be posting photos with the bride or groom on Insta or as their new profile pictures, so why not have a professional one where you both look your absolute best, instead of an iPhone pic hastily snapped at the reception in poor light?
Like we talked about last week in Part 2, we take this same approach with family photos on a wedding day, guaranteeing you’ll have Christmas present material for years to come! Since Hunter and I are both lead shooters on your wedding day, we can knock these out in double-time: me with the girls and Hunter with the guys!
The reason we have so much fun during the wedding party portraits is because we’ve often been hanging out with your wedding parties for several hours at this point throughout the getting ready portion of the day. We obviously have a good feel for our bride and groom by now, but we’ve even gotten to know some of their party throughout the morning.
Because of this, it’s easy to get a feel for whether our couples want a more formal set of photos, something fun and crazy and wacky, something a bit more editorial, or something in-between.
Either way, never be afraid to ask your photographers for exactly what you want. We’ve even had bridesmaids or groomsmen make suggestions during this part of the day and it’s yielded photos that everyone has loved!
We hope this has been helpful as you plan your own wedding photography timeline! If you need help, contact us – we build a custom Recommended Wedding Photography Timeline for each and every one of our wedding couples!
If you’d like to chat with us about your own wedding day, or learn more about our Wedding Photography services, click here!
Wedding Photography & Photography Education
Charlottesville, Virginia and Beyond