Planning Your Timeline
Whether you're dreaming of a traditional wedding, a destination wedding, an intimate wedding, an elopement, or any combination of those, you deserve to have a day that feels authentic to your love story and truly be the best day of your life.
But sometimes we have a picture in our heads of what we want that day to look and feel like, but don't actually know the steps to take to get there.
I'll get to the logistics in a minute, but I wouldn't be true to my storyteller self without saying this: no matter your guest count, as a photographer with years of experience documenting weddings and elopements, I'd truly urge you to consider how best to tell a complete story of your day, especially when it comes to structuring your photography and/or video coverage. This incredible day is just that--one day, and it deserves to be preserved forever through your photos. One day, you might truly cherish the photos of your mom helping you get into your wedding dress; the detail shots of your grandmother's jewelry that you pinned to your bouquet to have a part of her walk down the aisle with you; the way your future husband smiled at you when he saw you in your dress for the first time; how much fun you had with your dad during your dance--sweet, irreplaceable memories that will truly live on forever. I take my job as storyteller so seriously, and I feel that it does a disadvantage to everyone when a day isn't fully captured--you miss out on those memories, and I miss out on the chance to preserve them.
Ok, now onto the actual planning part!
I give the same advice to everyone who inquires of me, no matter the guest count. Think about what you want your day to FEEL like. Think about the moments that are important to you. Think about the way you'll look back on these memories 5, 10, 20 years from now and be transported back to a day that was TRULY the best day ever.
Sometimes, it's incredibly helpful to just stop and consider what kind of moments and experiences mean the most to you and your future spouse, and how that might translate to your wedding day. Close your eyes, and imagine the scenery surrounding you as you pour out your heart during your vows; the way you'll be spending time with your friends and family (or maybe not at all, if you're eloping!); how you'll feel the best when you celebrate the commitment you just made.
I love putting together photography-friendly timelines for my couples, but here are some great things to keep in mind when you're considering your own (or how much photography coverage you might need!
Step 1: Plan An Experience
Think back to the best day ever you just envisioned, and let's use that to think about how you want to spend the day of your wedding. Do you start the morning with a relaxed breakfast at your Airbnb in Jackson Hole? Are you saying your vows in a spot that makes you feel incredibly small in such a big place? Are you toasting your new marriage in an elegant place with tons of florals? There are absolutely no wrong answers, and this is one of my favorite parts of working with each couple--I thrive in pulling these details out of your dream!
Ultimately, this is about the connection you share with your soulmate. Incorporate moments that celebrate that connection into your timeline.
Step 2: List Events & Moments
Make a list of things you want to experience on your wedding day. These can be things like:
- Getting ready photos
- Flay lay detail shots
- A first look
- Family portraits
- Those intimate, romantic couples portraits we all crave!
- Celebratory dinner/dessert
- Speeches, dancing, champagne!
- The sky's the limit!
Again, there are no right or wrong answers--it's truly about capturing the moments that feel right to you two as a couple!
Step 3: Craft a Timeline
Once you have an understanding of the things you'd like to incorporate into your day, put it all together. For my couples, I take this vision and put it into a photography-friendly timeline that builds in travel and the perfect amount of time to get as many photos as we can in the most efficient way possible. I can help budget time to travel between locations; to schedule your events for the perfect golden glow lighting; how we can best avoid tourists and crowds at popular locations (so you can find the private and intimate moments you crave!), and more. We'll work together to create a timeline that allows you to remain in the moment, have enough time to do everything you need and want to do, as well as find time to share moments just the two of you.
Here's a sample of what your schedule could look like (all adjustable, factoring in that Wyoming sunset time, or wherever we are!):
1:30 I arrive and get set up!
1:45 PM Getting ready shots, hanging out and having fun with friends, and detail/flay lay shots 1 Hour
2:45 PM Bride gets into the dress! A Few Bridal Portraits 30 Minutes
3:15 PM Travel to ceremony location Around 30 Minutes
3:45 PM First look with bride and groom 15 Minutes
[Assemble everyone for ceremony]
4:15 PM Ceremony 30 Minutes
4:45 PM Bridal Party & Family Photos: Around 30 minutes
5:30 PM [Guests leave, travel to cocktail hour] Around 15 minutes
[5:45-7 PM: Cocktail Hour]
5:30-6:45: Couples Portraits 1 Hour 15 Minutes
6:45 PM Travel to reception venue Around 15 Minutes
7 PM: Dinner, dancing, speeches, etc!
8:30 Sneak out for a few golden hour pictures!
9:30 Photography coverage ends!
This day can be whatever you want it to be, and can look however you want it to look. I totally get that sometimes, it's the lack of rules that can make it seem overwhelming--but that's where I come in. I've spent years photographing weddings in the Jackson Hole area and combing every inch of Grand Teton National Park, and I'm so proud of my tried and true system to give you the experience of your dreams. I'll send you a questionnaire that covers every last detail, send you a list of possible locations with everything you need to know to make an informed choice (even from across the country), and help put it all together in a fluid timeline that will give you space to do everything you want to do!
I'd love to chat with you about your vision, hear your story, and share how we can make your dream day a reality!