As a wedding photographer, I have seen many wedding day timelines. I have had time cut short (photo time typically gets cut before hair and makeup, or the ceremony, or the reception), and had extra time, and I’m here to tell you that ahead of schedule with room to breathe is the way to go! If photo time gets cut short, we roll with it and get as many shots in a short amount of time as we can. That being said, having a bride calm and completely enjoying her day, without worrying about being late or cutting anything short is definitely the ideal. Today I’m sharing a few tips I have learned over the years, to help you with your timeline!

 

1. Pad your timeline

Padding your timeline means adding in a few extra minutes to each part of your timeline. On a wedding day, it is common for things to take just a little more time than usual. For example, hair and makeup – you may have (and should have!) done a trial ahead of time, which will give you a rough idea. However, on the big day, being careful to make it perfect may take just a bit longer. On your wedding day, one of your bridesmaids may show up late and throw off the schedule, or your hair might be harder to work with, or it might just take longer than planned. Add some time in just in case. Plan to be ready 15-20 minutes before you need to be.

 

Blush pink rustic elegant Tilley wedding by Southern Alberta wedding photographer Kinsey Holt Photography

 

2. Count in Your Travel Time

If you can’t get ready at your ceremony site (someday I will build the most amazing reception centre for Southern Alberta weddings with a bridal suite…big dreams! ;)) then you will be doing some travelling to get there. Make sure you know where the extra sets of keys are ahead of time, and add in extra time to whatever you think it will take to get to your destination. You may hit every red light, you might get pulled over, you might get a flat tire, there might be road construction you didn’t anticipate, there might be a traffic accident. Add in extra time and plan to be at your destination early to save you the stress on the day of. Add in extra time to any other travel such as to photo destinations, back to your reception, etc. If it’s a short drive, add 5-10 minutes. If it’s an hour or more, I would add in at least 15-20 minutes, possibly more.

 

 

3. Prepare for Family photos

Make sure to tell your family ahead of time, where and when to be present for family photos. Make a list of family groups that you would like, ahead of time. My brides get a questionnaire prior to their wedding day that covers this. I suggest asking both the bride and groom’s parents for their input in case there is a special group shot or a few special people that they would love a photo of and will ask for on the wedding day. Then you’ll know how much time to allot or conversations to have if you don’t feel you have the time. Gathering people together takes time! And the better you communicate with family members, the more smoothly it will go.

 

 

4. Getting Ready Photos

The Bride: If you’re having your photographer come get photos of you and your bridesmaids getting ready, I suggest having them cover the last hour. By this time, the bridesmaids should be done their hair and makeup and won’t be shy about photos like they would with bare faces, the bride will have her hair done or mostly done, and be starting on makeup. This will make for the most flattering photos. That being said, if you don’t care and you want your photographer there for every bare-faced minute, then do it! It’s your wedding day. This amount will also give your photographer time to photographer details such as your invitations, rings, shoes, veil, other jewelry, etc.

The Groom: I suggest doing the groom’s getting ready photos first – it takes them much less time and they typically need to be at the ceremony site first. It only takes 15-20 minutes, and then if they have extra time before leaving for the ceremony, they can take off their jackets and shoes and hang out for a bit.

 

 

5. Time for Posed Photos

Finally, here are the amounts of time I suggest for each segment of photos on your wedding day:

Family Photos: About 30 minutes, depending on how many groupings you would like. A rule of thumb is about 2-3 minutes per grouping, more for extended family groupings. It’s always helpful to plan in a few extra minutes in case someone forgets to stay and has to be tracked down, or someone gets delayed.

Bridal Party: 30 minutes

Bride and Groom: 90 minutes (And then sneak in another 15 closer to sunset during a break in your reception ;))

For bride and groom and bridal party photos, don’t forget to add in travel time if you’re going to a different location, or multiple locations! 🙂

 

 

I hope this was helpful! Let me know if I can answer any questions or if you have some other great tips for timelines.

 

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Wedding Albums I Offer

I decided to experiment with video to see if I could show you a wedding album – it’s hard to visualize when you just see wedding albums listed as part of a package. So here is me showing you a 10″ x 10″ wedding album. It’s my first ever video, be kind! 😉

 

Features

Lay-flat pages: Every album comes with lay-flat pages – when you open the book, the pages lay completely flat and stay down.

Leather or linen cover: Each album comes with either a leather or linen cover. When purchasing an album, you will receive my album guide which lists available colors. The guide also shows you the design process!

Thick pages: these pages don’t bend! They are very heavy and stiff so they won’t bend or get creased easily.

Size: I offer 8″ x 8″ and 10″ x 10″ – the album in this video is 10″ x 10″.

 

 

 

 

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Taylor + Dan. Taylor is the sweetest girl and absolutely gorgeous. I have always had hair envy, honestly. I first met Taylor a few years ago when we worked together at the pool in Raymond. She was awesome and when she moved away for school I saw her only occasionally. It was so fun to see her at Braden and Hillary’s wedding as a bridesmaid and I loved seeing her this time as the bride!

These two have been doing the long distance thing with Dan’s schooling and have been apart for most of their engagement – they were so happy to finally be together! They seem like such good friends and I loved hanging out with them.

Taylor found her blush pink lace dress at Margene’s Bridal and it just suited her so well! I loved the hint of pink and all of the texture.

 

Blush pink lace wedding dress. Spring Cardston Temple wedding by Kinsey Holt Photography. Southern Alberta wedding photographer.

Dan and Taylor’s beautiful spring wedding day started out with their ceremony at the Cardston Alberta temple. Following the ceremony, their family and friends gathered in the courtyard to welcome them as they made their grand exit as husband and wife!

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Family photos at a Cardston temple wedding. Kinsey Holt Photography

Taylor has such a fun group of girl cousins! They were missing a few in this photo.

Family photos at a Cardston temple wedding. Kinsey Holt Photography

After all of the family photos, we spent some time taking photos of just the two of them.

Blush pink lace wedding dress. Spring Cardston Temple wedding by Kinsey Holt Photography. Southern Alberta wedding photographer.

My Secret Garden in Cardston did such an amazing job on her bouquet!

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Blush pink lace wedding dress. Spring Cardston Temple wedding by Kinsey Holt Photography. Southern Alberta wedding photographer.

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We went to one other location for just a few more photos at the end – these two were so fun and so happy!

Blush pink lace wedding dress. Spring Cardston Temple wedding by Kinsey Holt Photography. Southern Alberta wedding photographer.

This one is for Dan – just a few cows for one photo! 😉

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Bride’s Dress: Margene’s Bridal

Hair: Nevada Bartsoff and Mataya Bartsoff

Makeup: Abby Hall

Groom’s Suit: Derk’s Formals

Florals: My Secret Garden, Cardston.

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Presley and Rhys! I’m not sure if two people were ever as excited to get married as these two. 😉 They are both some of the sweetest, nicest people I have met. I already talked all about them in their engagement photo blog post  and I was so happy to be there on their wedding day!

This happy couple was married in the Cardston Temple, and made a traditional exit to all of their family and friends in the courtyard afterwards. It was a beautiful day and everyone was so happy to be there supporting them!

 

 

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Bride’s Dress: Celestial Gowns

Groom’s Attire: Moore’s

Ceremony: Cardston Alberta Temple

Reception: Raymond Alberta LDS Stake Centre

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Here in Southern Alberta, “wedding season,” when it’s warm out, is a small window of time! Many couples opt for a winter wedding, whether its for school timelines or just loving the look of the snow. With the weather being so unpredictable, many brides are understandably nervous. I compiled my most-used/given tips for your winter wedding in Southern Alberta:

 

Remember the days are shorter.

  • In December, for example, the sun rises between 8:00 or 8:30 am and sets by 4:30 pm. This might sound like a total no-brainer, but keep it in mind when planning your timeline so you don’t run out of light for your photos! Check with your photographer to see how much time he or she recommends for photo-taking.
  • My favourite tool to check sunset times is timeanddate.com

Be brave.

  • It might be freezing outside, but brave the cold for outdoor photos! It’s only for an hour or so, and then you’ll have the rest of the night to be warm.

Jonny and Jordan

Beautiful Cardston Temple wedding by Kinsey Holt Photography

Stay warm.

Easier said than done when it’s -40, but here are my suggestions:

  • For your outdoor photos, wear warm leggings under your dress – no is going to see.
  • Along the same lines, wear warm socks and boots.
  • Purchase those small packets that warm up when exposed to air, and put them in your boots.
  • Take a look at wedding dresses with pockets – you can put hand warmers in them. I’m not suggesting that pockets are the most important factor in choosing a dress (far from it!) but if the one you love has pockets, your hands will thank you.
  • Plan to keep a vehicle running nearby – arrange to have someone in your bridal party drive! You can hop into a warm vehicle for warm-up breaks, which will keep you from freezing and keep your nose and ears from getting too red.
  • Try a few photos with a cape/muff – think Belle in Beauty and the Beast. 🙂

 

Bring Kleenex.

  • Inevitably, cold makes noses drip.

Incorporate some texture or color.

  • With the trees leafless and brown, the landscape is definitely lacking in color during the winter months. Add some color in your florals to help you stand out from the snow (or brown landscape if you get married after a Chinook). Play with color with your bridal party dresses and ties. Or, add texture in your dress with lace, other fabrics, overlays, gathers, appliqués or other details.

Jonny and Jordan

Have a Plan B for photos

  • If a blizzard is raging on your wedding day, doing your photos before your wedding day or having a back-up session planned after your wedding day will save you stress! Doing your photos on another day can be really relaxing and fun! No feeling like you’re keeping anyone waiting, just you and your new spouse and your photographer. Photos on another day also give you a little more flexibility in choosing locations. For example, if you want mountain wedding photos but you are getting married a couple of hours away, it will make for a pretty tight timeline to do them on the day of. And you get to dress up and wear your dress again!

 

Jonny and Jordan

 

What do you think? I’d love to hear any other tips or thoughts in the comments below!

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