Your big day isn’t far away! We’ve already given you some ideas for your wedding day timings, but one of the most important people you’ll need to confirm timings with is your wedding photographer, as they’ll be with you for most of the day. Here are the tips you need to know…
When your photographer arrives will depend on how much coverage you’ve booked with them (if you’re not 100% sure how long your photographer is booked for, then check your contract). If you’ve booked them to cover the bridal prep, then your photographer will usually arrive around two hours before you’re scheduled to leave for the ceremony, so that they can capture the hair and makeup and any gift giving. Check they have the correct address, know where they’re parking when they arrive and have a contact number to reach the group on, as you may be in the hair or makeup chair and unable to answer your phone.
If you want to catch the groom’s prep as well, you’ll need to confirm whether this is possible with your photographer. If you’re both getting ready in the same hotel, then your photographer may be able to split their time between the two of you, but otherwise, you may need to discuss having a second shooter to catch both at once.
Your photographer will generally leave 10 minutes before you do so they can get to the ceremony venue and capture you arriving. If you want to get photos of you and your father in the car, then let them know this in advance! Again, be sure that they have the right address and the contact number of someone at the venue in case of delay or emergency.
Confirm with your photographer ahead of time whether you want group shots at the ceremony venue – this is particularly popular with brides having a church ceremony.
Some photographers will ask for a group shot list ahead of time, while others will prefer to work to their own formula. We recommend letting your photographer know in advance if you have slightly unusual family shots (for example if your parents have divorced and remarried, meaning that you may have multiple families present), or if you’d like specific family or friends shots that might not be on a standard list (such as all the cousins together).
Discuss with your photographer how long they’ll need for couple portraits, and whether they have an idea of what time they’ll need you. This gives you time to touch up your makeup if you’ve already made a start on the reception canapes! If you’re having a winter wedding, your photographer may schedule couple portraits for earlier in the day, in order to make the most of the light before it starts getting dark.
Although this isn’t part of the timings, we recommend checking with your photographer whether they need a meal provided at the reception. Some photographers will have this stated in their contract, while others will be happy to bring their own meal.
Most wedding photographers will include the first dance as part of their coverage, so let them know in advance when you’re planning the cake cutting and first dance. If you’d like your photographer to stick around for a few more hours in the evening, you may be able to pay them per hour, so it’s always worth asking ahead of time.
Don’t forget to confirm with your photographer whether they’ll need overnight accommodation provided! This is usually the case if they’ve travelled a long distance to shoot your wedding.