Wedding Timelines – Helping my clients understand what they want

So much of my job is about helping my clients understand what they want and need from their Photographer.  How many hours of coverage will they want?  Do they want an engagement session?  What’s their budget and how can we fit what they want into that budget?

When I meet with clients for the first time I always show them my work and we discuss my style of photography, which I describe as a photojournalistic but also timeless and beautiful.  I also use a special technique that enables my style to stay consistent and true to me as a Photographer.  I want the images that I shoot to truly capture the love and connection between my couples – their chemistry, silliness, deep love.  Every couple is unique and the way they show emotion and their love is different, so identifying it and then capturing it authentically is important for me to do as their Photographer.
The other huge part of the client meeting is dedicated to understanding what my clients are looking for and even sometimes helping them understand what they want.  It must be so confusing to get engagement and then all of a sudden be be thrust into a whirlwind of decisions about venues and photographers, cakes and caterers, dresses, colors schemes and flowers, etc.  and then on top of that having to figure out a budget and try to stick to it.

1) TIMELINE – The super comfortable / relaxing 8 Hour Timeline with First Look
2:00pm – Getting Ready Photos
3:00pm – 1st look into Bride and Groom Photos
3:45pm – Wedding Party Photos
4:30pm – Ceremony Site Photos (Bride relaxes)
5:00pm – Ceremony
5:30pm – Family Portraits / Cocktail Hour
5:55pm – Bride and Groom Join Cocktail Hour
6:30pm – Grand Entrance into First Dance (1st Dance can happen here or happen after dinner before the other special dances)
(Sometimes people do a 20 minute dance set after the grand entrance for all guests to enjoy)
6:40pm – Welcome Toast or Blessing
6:45pm – Dinner Served
7:30pm – Toasts
8:00pm – Father/Daughter, Mother/Son Dances into Open Dancing
9:00pm – Cake Cutting/ Thank You Toast by Bride and Groom
9:15pm – Bouquet Toss (Optional – think about who/how many is/are single – you don’t want to make anyone feel awkward) into Open Dancing
10:00pm – Photography Ends

2) Same as above TIMELINE with 6 hours of Coverage (saves you about $1400)
2:30pm – Getting Ready Photos
3:00pm – 1st look into Bride and Groom Photos
3:45pm – Wedding Party Photos
4:30pm – Ceremony Site Photos (Bride relaxes)
5:00pm – Ceremony
5:30pm – Family Portraits / Cocktail Hour
5:55pm – Bride and Groom Join Cocktail Hour
6:30pm – Grand Entrance into First Dance
6:40pm – Welcome Toast or Blessing
6:45pm – Dinner Served
7:30pm – Toasts
7:50pm – Cake Cutting/ Thank You Toast
8:00pm – Father/Daughter, Mother/Son Dances into Open Dancing
8:30pm – Photography Ends

3) TIMELINE – 8 Hour Timeline (without the 1st Look)
2:00pm – Getting Ready Photos
3:00pm – Groomsmen Photos
3:45pm – Bridesmaids Photos
4:30pm – Ceremony Site Photos (Bride relaxes)
5:00pm – Ceremony
5:30pm – Family Portraits, Entire Wedding Party Photos, Bride and Groom Photos / Cocktail Hour
6:30pm – Grand Entrance into First Dance (1st Dance can happen here or happen after dinner before the other special dances)
(Sometimes people do a 20 minute dance set after the grand entrance for all guests to enjoy)
6:40pm – Welcome Toast or Blessing
6:45pm – Dinner Served
7:30pm – Toasts
8:00pm – Father/Daughter, Mother/Son Dances into Open Dancing
9:00pm – Cake Cutting/ Thank You Toast by Bride and Groom
9:15pm – Bouquet Toss (Optional – think about who/how many is/are single – you don’t want to make anyone feel awkward) into Open Dancing
10:00pm – Photography Ends
*Every wedding is unique and so there are endless options for Timelines.  Hopefully this just gives you that extra help you needed to get started on yours.

Optional Ideas: 
Married Couple’s Dance – 
All couples dance and the DJ slowly eliminates couples who have been married 1 year or less, 5 years or less, 10, 15, 20 25, 30, etc until only one couple is left standing.
Sometimes they are given a special bouquet or a single rose as a token

Money Dance –
Fun and lucrative – makes great photos
Wedding_Timelines_Helping_my_clients_understand_what_they_want

Here’s a great checklist to help you get started with everything else: http://www.weddingwire.com/wedding-timeline

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