Creating Your Wedding Timeline | Cleveland Wedding Photographer | Charleston Wedding Photographer

Creating Your Wedding Timeline | Cleveland Wedding Photographer | Charleston Wedding Photographer

So, you just got engaged and you're starting wedding planning. It's a crazy exciting time in your life, and we're excited you're making us part of your big day. One thing my couples have told me they have questions about is creating a loose timeline when they're hiring their vendors 12 - 24 months before their wedding. We're always here to help you figure out your timeline and how long you need a photographer, but here's some information so you can start making a loose timeline and firm it up closer to your wedding!

Let's start with the getting ready portion of your day! Many of our brides underestimate the time hair and makeup will take, and they end up feeling rushed into their dress. Whether you're going to a salon or having your hair and makeup artist come to you, plan about 1:30 for each person getting hair and makeup. Less intricate up-dos and basic makeup certainly take less time, but that gives a little bit of time cushion.

It's best for photography purposes that your bridesmaids and whoever will be helping you in your dress have their hair and makeup finished and are in their dresses.

Let's talk about first looks! If you're having one, great! It makes my job easier, gives us more time for photos, and lets you spend cocktail hour enjoying your guests. If you're sticking to tradition and skipping the first look, great too!

Most of our first looks take about 30 minutes - the big timeline difference is immediately after the first look we can knock out bridal party and family formals so you can enjoy the cocktail hour. If you're having a sunset ceremony or getting married in the winter where it gets dark early, a first look is sometimes the only option for having outdoor photos with the bridal party.

Next, let's tackle time for bridal party and family formal portraits! We've found that bridal party portraits take about five minutes for each attendant and three to five minutes for each family grouping. We can help you craft a list of bridal party groupings and family groupings to figure out an better estimate if you'd like!

Planning the ceremony timeline is tricky. Are you having a super simple ceremony in a field with no readings? Church ceremony with readings? Full mass with communion? A lot at least 15 minutes for a simple ceremony and up to 2 hours for a full mass with communion and 200+ guests.

When thinking about the ceremony also consider your exit from the ceremony. Are you having a receiving line? If so, tack on another half hour for each 100 guests. Are you having a grand exit like bubbles or bird seed from the church? If so, tack on twenty minutes to wrangle people and get that set up!

And, my favorite part of the day. Bride and Groom creative portraits! We strive to have 45 minutes throughout the day for your portraits. We split that up - 15 minutes when your bridal party portraits are done, 15 minutes in golden hour, and 15 minutes after dark.

The longer time we have, the more creative we can be with your portraits!

And last (but certainly NOT least) is the reception! Sometimes we get to stay and party the night away with our couples and sometimes we only get to stay until the events are done. A few things to think about with your reception - if it's important that everyone see your cake cutting and first dances, think about doing those as soon as you're announced in. Go ahead and knock all the events out at the beginning of the night. If you're having a grand exit, you can stage the exit for pictures and that let's the older folks head home at an earlier hour, then you can turn the party up without grandma.

Whatever you decide, we'll stay as long as you want. We try to capture a minimum of half an hour of open dancing after the events and stay until the grand exit is done!

Here's some sample timelines for each of our packages! We're happy to help you put together a timeline that works for you and your wedding!

Aburas Family Photos | Cleveland Wedding Photographer

Aburas Family Photos | Cleveland Wedding Photographer

I had a great time with the Aburas family Sunday morning at Squire's Castle in Willoughby, Ohio. Squires is always one of my favorite locations, and this family was so cute in their matching Tshirts!

Clementi Family Portraits | Charlotte Family Photographer

Clementi Family Portraits | Charlotte Family Photographer

We had a great time with the Clementi Family while they were vacationing in Weaverville and celebrating Grandma's 90th birthday! I love capturing vacation sessions in the mountains, families are so happy and fun on vacation!

Kaydee + Joe's Engagement Session | Cleveland Wedding Photographer

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Kaydee + Joe's Engagement Session | Cleveland Wedding Photographer

Part of me loves sunrise sessions - the light is amazing, the city so peaceful. The other part really likes my bed.

Kaydee, Joe, and I met downtown Sunday morning at 6am for their session. We hit some Cleveland favorites - The Cleveland sign, the skyline views, Rock N Roll Hall, First Energy Stadium, Progressive Field, and E 4th St. I never get tired of wandering around my favorite city with my couples!

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Luba + Vladimir's Ukranian Wedding | Cleveland Wedding Photographer

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Luba + Vladimir's Ukranian Wedding | Cleveland Wedding Photographer

Luba + Vladimir's wedding was my first Ukranian wedding - and it was so much fun! Their ceremony was intimate at their Parma, OH church and the reception was at Landerhaven in Cleveland.

Luba's dress was gorgeous and had a removable train for the reception! That's so much easier than a bustle! Their decor was rose gold and cream with lots of bling - from the trained bridesmaids dresses to the gorgeous centerpieces this wedding was elegant.

Congrats guys!

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Jordan + Dev's Asheville Wedding | Charlotte Wedding Photographer

Jordan + Dev's Asheville Wedding | Charlotte Wedding Photographer

I loved Jordan + Dev's Wedding at The Venue in Asheville! From Jordan's BHLDN gown, to the stunning florals, to the amazing band it was a perfect night!

We started the day at The Sheraton in downtown Asheville for the Baraat, then on to The Venue for the couples multi-cultural ceremony, and then the fun party in the second floor of the Venue with a live band!

Planner - The Planning, Asheville

Venue - The Venue, Asheville

Gown - BHLDN

Neisha + Brandon's Winter Wonderland | Cleveland Wedding Photographer

Neisha + Brandon's Winter Wonderland | Cleveland Wedding Photographer

I loved Neisha + Brandon's winter wonderland wedding! What made this even more incredible, Neisha's mom and dad made all the decor for this wedding! Neisha's mom made some of the dresses and blinged out the bridesmaid's and bridal gown, too! They are one crafty family!