How To Plan For Great Bride & Groom Photographs on Your Wedding Day

Capturing fantastic bride and groom photographs is my absolute favourite part of any wedding day.  I love getting to spend some quiet time with just the two of you, letting you talk about the day, soak it all in, and enjoy some quiet time to have a bit of fun together.  I’m pretty sure that these will be some of your favourite photographs too, so it’s important to plan your wedding day to leave enough time and space for us to create some magic together.  Take a look through the tips and tricks below, and let’s capture some great photographs!



Schedule enough time

This may seem obvious to some, but it’s truly the most important aspect to capture beautiful, fun, and timeless wedding photographs of you and your partner together.  It’s not uncommon that I receive a timeline without any time schedule in for bride and groom portraits.  People get so caught up in making sure that there’s time for everything and everybody else that they simply forget!  Ideally, I recommend scheduling in around 90 minutes, split throughout the day, to capture these images.



Split up your photography time

Pulling from the previous point, while I recommend planning about 90 minutes total to capture bride and groom photographs, I absolutely do not recommend shooting that whole 90 minutes at once!  Split this time up into three or four different parts of the day.  This accomplishes four main goals, keeping it interesting, creating variety, capturing different emotions, and building buffer time into your schedule.  First, we want to make sure that your photographs are about the day, rather than having your day be about the photographs.  Long portrait sessions together are suuuuuper boring on your wedding day; don’t make yourselves do this!  Second, splitting up the portrait time allows us to capture different lighting conditions and locations, adding variety to your final gallery.  Third, you’ll be experiencing a range of different emotions and energy levels all day, shooting at three or four different times allows us to capture all of this!  Finally, scheduling in different times for photographs helps build automatic buffer time into the rest of the schedule.  If your ceremony runs an hour late because something happens with the busses, you won’t have to worry about running out of our one and only time to take photographs.



Plan sunset photographs

Along the same thread as splitting up your photography time, if possible try to make sure that one of these mini photography sessions is at sunset!  This time of day is so beautiful, quiet, and romantic to spend a few quiet minutes along together, creates beautiful light for portraits, and often ends up being everyone’s favourite photographs together because at this point in time you’re feeling relaxed, happy, and ready to enjoy the fun part of the evening.  In my opinion sunset portraits are a must to truly do a great job of capturing portraits of you and your partner together on your wedding day!



Delegate tasks to other people

All too often it happens that our portrait time coincides with the ‘last minute set up’ time, and you will be constantly berated with questions or pulled away to figure out who has the card box.  Do your absolute best to delegate these tasks out to other people and trust that they’ve got it under control.  It’s more important to capture memories of the two of you popping your first bottle of champagne together than it is to make sure the menus are centered on their chargers.  If I have permission, I’m happy to run interception on the next person to ask for the third time if you’re sure you have enough white wine. 



Create distance from the crowd

Along the same lines as delegating your final preparation tasks, try to make sure we’re not planning on taking photographs right in the garden where your cocktail hour is taking place, or in the dining room when the caterers are making sure the chairs are set up.  People will constantly be approaching you to talk, hug, and ask if they can spend 5 minutes trying to capture the ‘right’ iphone photo.  Trust me, I know you won’t want to be rude, and I can only fend off so many well meaning relatives, so let’s make this easy and plan to take photographs far away from the crowd.   Also, the fewer people staring at you, waving, and making ‘awwww’ noises while we’re taking the photos the better!



Trust your photographer

Trust me, the last thing I want is to be the photographer who makes things run behind!  We structure your photo timeline carefully so that if anything, this can help us get back on track.  I have an eye on the time, the weather, your hair, your tie, and that groomsman who keeps coming back to ask which of your college roommates are single.  I promise that I will keep the photographs light and fun, will make sure you look and feel absolutely beautiful, and will be back in time to have a glass of champagne or take a breath before launching into the next exciting part of your wedding day.