Time: there never enough of it. It is especially true when we are talking about the wedding day.
When reviewing timelines with my clients we always stumble against the same sticking point when we try to fit everything into the day. The one bottleneck where everything must fit. But there in one solution to make it all flow!
It is easier to do family portraits and bridal party at the end of the getting ready and before the ceremony.
The reason is we can free most or all of your time after the ceremony and be sure you get what you need in terms of pictures. Traditionally we do the group shots, formal portraits, bridal party and couple pictures right after the ceremony and before/during the cocktail hour. If you let them, most wedding planners will only give me 1 hour to complete those 4 pillars of the wedding photography. The problem is we never know how much time those really take and if for a reason or another there is a delay in the event, this is the time that will be impacted.
I had a wedding where I only had 5 minutes to do the couple session… The ceremony was delayed, the wedding planner thought my time could be used as buffer. Obviously I could not create as many images as I would have loved to. I pledged to myself never to do that again.
It is not fair for you and the images you deserve. It is not fair for me as I am not able to work in an optimal fashion.
What should we do then ?
I always suggestto start the day earlier. We finish the getting ready on a first look between the bride and groom. The we do the bridal party pictures and wrap up with family formal pictures. All that before the ceremony. We can also manage a little time for you to refresh before the ceremony.
Once it is over we can proceed to a group shot with everyone and then move on to the romantic photoshoot of the couple. Shall any delay arise in the timeline there will still be plenty of time to create nice images and adapt. Furthermore we would already have the pictures from the first look to complete the set of images of the couple alone.
In my experience this is one of the best way to articulate the timeline, to get the most out of the day. I also help minimize downtime and to protect our time against scheduling delays and mishaps.