Planning your wedding day

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I hope that this information is helpful to you in planning your wedding day. The timing information that I include here is just a recommendation. Please do what works for you on your wedding day. I’m always happy to help you with planning. If you have any questions, shoot me an email at tiffany(at)tiffanybrubaker(dot)com anytime.

Wedding day timeline

When you don’t see each other

  • Start posed pictures 90 minutes before ceremony starts. I will take the bride/bridesmaids/bride’s family for 30 minutes and then switch and take the groom/groomsmen/groom’s family for 30 minutes.
  • End pictures 30 minutes before ceremony starts.
  • After ceremony, allow 20-30 minutes for the receiving line (depending on the size of your guest list and if you’re doing a receiving line).
  • After receiving line, 30 -45 minutes for full family portraits, full wedding party shot, formal pictures of bride and groom.
  • Add additional time for travel and pictures if you want to go someplace for fun wedding party pics (usually this time is anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours). If we are close to your reception, at the end of this time, I will ask your wedding party to head to the reception so I can get some pictures of the bride and groom alone.
  • 10-20 minutes between dinner and the dance or after the dance starts (depending on time of year and your desire) — This is usually a great time for pictures. You’re married and you’ve had dinner. The pressure is off and you can spend a few minutes alone together. This time generally produces some of my favorite pictures from the whole day because you are relaxed and usually the sun is setting creating some beautiful light. If your wedding is during a time when the sun sets early, we still have options and I’d be happy to work with you more on timing.

When you do see each other
To make the moment that you first see each other a bit more special, I love to do a “first look” moment. This moment can be wherever you want, but I just ask that it be us three (and a potential second shooter). I will direct the moment to a point, but your reactions will be real and will be captured forever. I will snap a few pictures, and then let you have a few minutes alone to talk. For many couples that I have talked with, they couldn’t imagine if they didn’t have this time alone together. Spending a few minutes together before the ceremony seemed to calm many couples.

  • Allow 10-15 minutes for your first look.
  • Start posed pictures 90 minutes before ceremony starts. We will finish all posed family portraits before the ceremony starts as long as all family members are present.
  • End pictures 30 minutes before ceremony starts.
  • After ceremony, allow 20-30 minutes for the receiving line (depending on the size of your guest list and if you’re doing a receiving line).
  • Add additional time for any remaining posed portraits that we couldn’t get before (sometimes godparents or grandparents are not around before the ceremony)
  • Add additional time for travel and pictures if you want to go someplace for fun wedding party pics (usually this time is anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours). If we are close to your reception, at the end of this time, I will ask your wedding party to head to the reception so I can get some pictures of the bride and groom alone.
  • 10-20 minutes between dinner and the dance or after the dance starts (depending on time of year and your desire) — This is usually a great time for pictures. You’re married and you’ve had dinner. The pressure is off and you can spend a few minutes alone together. This time generally produces some of my favorite pictures from the whole day because you are relaxed and usually the sun is setting creating some beautiful light. If your wedding is during a time when the sun sets early, we still have options and I’d be happy to work with you more on timing.

Where should we go for “fun” pictures with our wedding party?

Check out my list on Planning your Engagement Session, but I am open to your ideas too.

What family arrangements do you take?

About a month before your wedding, I will send you a questionnaire asking about the details of the day. I will ask you to list which posed family arrangements you would like. I recommend that you discuss this list not only with each other, but with your families. Make sure you know what pictures your families are expecting to get, as well. Try not to let the amount of pictures during this time get out of hand. If we don’t have this list nailed down ahead of time, this time can become a stressful part of the day.

Here is the starting list of family arrangements that I will send, and if you would like less/more, I’m happy to work with you on your list:

  • Bride with immediate family
  • Bride with parents
  • Bride with siblings
  • Groom with immediate family
  • Groom with parents
  • Groom with siblings
  • Bride/Groom with bride’s immediate family
  • Bride/Groom with groom’s immediate family
  • Bride/Groom with both immediate families combined
  • Bride/Groom with bride’s extended family
  • Bride/Groom with groom’s extended family
  • Bride/Groom with bride’s grandparents
  • Bride/Groom with groom’s grandparents
  • Bride with godparents
  • Groom with godparents

Here is a starting list of the formal wedding party pictures and if you would like less/more, I’m happy to work with you on your list:

  • Bride with bridesmaids
  • Bride with maid of honor
  • Groom with groomsmen
  • Groom with best man
  • Bride/Groom with entire wedding party
  • Bride/Groom with flower girl/ring bearer
  • Bride with flower girl(s)
  • Groom with ring bearer(s)

How to make your wedding pictures (and day) unique

  • Take your family pictures outside. Sometimes it is just nicer and easier for everyone involved to take pictures inside (for your grandparents or if you have a big family), but if you have a small family, mobile grandparents, or not too many requirements, then an outside location can provide much better lighting. If you have a church wedding, the front of the church (if it is shady) often provides a beautiful backdrop and is easily accessible for grandparents and older family members.
  • Get creative with your shoes (both the bride and groom). Wear colorful heals or chuck taylor sneakers or argyle socks.
  • Incorporate family mementos, such as an old hankerchief, a brooch, a special necklace, or a pocket watch.
  • Think it might rain on your wedding day? Bring along colorful rain boots to wear under your dress, and a colorful umbrella. Don’t worry – we will get some great pictures!
  • Be open!
  • Be relaxed!
  • Be yourself!