Your Wedding Timeline | JayLee M.O.

So, let me preface this by saying that talking about wedding-day timelines tends to freak couples out a little bit when we even mention them in a meeting. Most couples book us up to a year before their wedding, so it only makes sense that the details are not ironed out yet! After you have booked with us, you will get a friendly little e-mail about a month before the big day, asking for your timeline. Pretty much, as long as you send it to us before the day of the wedding, you’re golden. So, breathe easy!

This summer, we are shooting some super-untraditional weddings. We personally love this fact. It makes our jobs fun, and more importantly, customized wedding timelines make a lot of sense because they should suit you specifically as a couple rather than some pre-determined way of of doing things.

However relaxed your day may be, please do still write out a timeline. If you are lucky enough to have a wedding planner or day-of coordinator, utilize them as a resource in helping you develop a timeline that works for you. When it comes to photography, we pretty much just follow the couple around all day, but a timeline helps us to know if we need to split up at any time and where you need extra coverage. Here are a few things we like to know before your wedding day: {Skip to the end for a sample timeline.}

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1. First Look/Couple’s Portraits/Family Portraits. It is important to us that you get the photos you want. When it comes to your timeline, this is the only real area where we get a tiny bit of say in the matter. We highly suggest you consider a first look. We also highly suggest that you allow about 2 hours in your schedule for us. This allows us time to take photos of your first look if you have one and portraits of you as a couple (30 mins), the wedding party (1 hr), and family portraits (30 mins). Of course, these times are only approximate, but it’s always nice to air on the side of caution! If you choose to see each other for the first time during the walk-down-the-eisle moment, the wedding party photos can happen before the ceremony and the couple and family portraits can go after your ceremony. We suggest a cocktail hour to keep your guests occupied! Warning: Josh will totally try to sell you on the first look.

2. Phone Numbers and Contact Info. We state in our contract that we require there be an “event guide” to identify family members for photos. This is mostly applicable for larger families who will be swapping aunts/cousins/grandparents/etc. in and out of family portraits. It is helpful for us to know who this person is ahead of time so we can reach them on the day-of. Other important contact info. that may be helpful, depending on the style of your wedding: Event Planners, Day-Of-Coordinators, Friend/Family Member Coordinating the Event, Best Man/Maid of Honor (so we never have to bother the bride(s) or groom(s) directly), etc.

3. Locations /Times/Style. We will request an overall timeline of events, starting with the moment you want us to begin taking photos to the very end of the event. We have attached a basic list of events and an example from our wedding of the timeline we sent our photographers. If there are separate locations for hair/makeup or the place you are getting ready, your ceremony location, and your reception location, please be sure to include them. We are super-duper flexible and never expect a ceremony or reception to be traditional in fashion, but we do like to know the order of your event as you have planned it so that we are there to capture those memories. It is also good to know the style of your wedding timeline. Is it traditional? Relaxed? Religious? Based on any particular religious or family traditions? We usually discuss these details briefly in your initial meeting, but if there is anything unique to your day please let us know in your timeline.

4. Important Photo-Moments + Details.  Each couple values different parts of their wedding day over others. We are photojournalistic in nature when it comes to events, and we also provide direction for formals so you have those frame-worthy photos after the wedding; however, letting us know things of particular importance to you ensures that we capture everything important you’ve envisioned on your wedding day. We are pretty darned thorough, so there is no real need for the old school shot-list (we won’t miss the kiss, the rings, or the obvious wedding shots). We do, however, like to know how you want to remember your wedding day. For example: Did you spend a lot of time on unique details like hand-making favors? Did your grandfather travel far and wide to come to your wedding? Are your vows a very special part of the day? Do you want an exceptional amount of your photos to be of your guests/family members? It may feel silly to write it down, but please do. Being over-prepared and having too much information never hurts. When you get your images, you will be glad that you put a bug in our ear about the things that matter to you. 

Here is a sample timeline to give you an idea of what we are looking for (it is actually created from our wedding!). If you have any questions when putting together a timeline for yourselves, or for us, please let us know! We hope you found this post to be helpful. //Josh + Ali

Posted in: JayLee M.O.

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