By Stefanie Ray


Ideal time allotment:  One hour minutes while bride is getting ready

Ideal time of day:  Morning

Ideal location:  where the bride is getting ready

Advice:  During this time, the photographer will photograph all the details of the wedding:  the rings, flowers, dress, shoes, and other important details.

Having an hour of preparation is ideal for our style.  We will get close ups of the bride getting ready with her mother and bride’s maids.  Also we will photograph the groom and his groom’s men and family together.

Bride preparing for her wedding
Bride and Bride’s Maids

Individual Portraits.

Ideal time allotment:  30-45 minutes

Ideal time of day:  morning or afternoon

Ideal location:  bridal suite, venue lobby, or garden

Advice:  Right after preparations have been made, and everyone is dressed, we take time to get beautiful portraits of the bride alone before the wedding.  Her make up is fresh, the flowers are unfaded.  Window lighting is optimal for soft light.  This light may not be duplicated any other time of the day.

Individual Wedding Portraits of the Bride
Individual Wedding Portrait of the Groom

First Look.

Ideal time allotment:  45-60 minutes

Ideal time of day:  Morning or early afternoon

Ideal location:  Venue garden, empty venue hallway, shady location

Advice:  The first look will make the rest of your wedding go smoothly and allow for many more photographs later that can be taken. 

First Touch Portrait
First Touch Portrait

Wedding Party Photos.

Ideal time allotment:   45 minutes

Ideal time of day:  Morning or afternoon

Ideal location:  Venue lobby, garden, park or off-site location 

Wedding Party Photography
Wedding Party Photography

Immediate Family.

Ideal time allotment:  30 minutes

Ideal time of day:  morning or afternoon

Ideal location:  venue lobby, park, garden, off-site location, church

Advice:  Plan on 3 minutes per group image.  It is important to have additional pictures of immediate family.  Delegate someone close to you and the groom to make sure family members don’t leave when the pictures or being taken.

Bride and Her Dad


Ideal time allotment:  45-60 minutes

Ideal time of day:  morning or afternoon

Ideal location:  ceremony site

Advice:  Plan on 3 minutes per group on average.  Be organized and have a delegate to help with your family groupings and make sure no one leaves for the reception.  

Formals After the Ceremony

Couples Session.

Ideal time allotment: 1 hour

Ideal time of day:  after the ceremony

Ideal location:  Venue garden, hotel lobby, off-site location

Advice:  This is when you get those photographs you have loved on that helped you to hire your photographer in the first place.  Give priority to this time and allow him to use his artistic license to find the best locations for your portrait and best poses.  He is seeing what the camera sees and wants your portraits to look stunning.  Trust the professional you have hired.  He is a photographer.  Changes are, you are not.  If you have not allowed him to be an artist and insisted on your poses and your locations, his pictures won’t look like his pictures.  

Couple’s Session Off-site
Wedding Couple
Wedding Couple Photography

Couple’s Session Sneak Out.

Ideal time allotment:  20-30 minutes

Ideal time of day:  dusk

Ideal location:  areas with interesting lights, fountains, city scapes, in the rain with an umbrella, with fireworks or sparklers

Sparkler Send-off

Advice:  During the reception, plan to sneak out for a couple of night shots.  There may be a gorgeous sunset, or interesting night scapes.  If you’ve danced a few songs, take a break.  Your guests will understand!


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