Basic timeline for 10 hour wedding photography.

You’re getting married!!!  Isn’t that just the most exciting news!
I can imagine the planning is such an exhilarating and fun part of the whole event, but I’m sure you have a lot of questions regarding when, what and where?! After all, it’s not like we all get married every day all the time.

So, here is a general timeline of how the photography flows on a day where the ceremony starts at around 4pm on a South African Summer day and the preparation locations of the Bride and Groom are not too far apart or too far from the ceremony venue.  This is just a guideline and of course can be adjusted to your own wedding timeline to fit in any special traditions or events.  This timeline will change according to the season and time of year.  Please email me with your ceremony date and location and I will send you a detailed timeline for photography of the day that is worked out according to the sunset times for that day. (This service is only for confirmed existing clients).


11:00 – Reception hall décor and details

Please ask your reception area to have most of the décor and tables ready by 11:00am so that I can snap a few shots of all the little details.  Ask that the bridal table and one other table be finished first before they set up the rest.  After the ceremony we will be going off for your portrait session and by the time we get back to the reception area most of the guests would have sat down and moved the table décor etc.  So the best time for me to catch these little details would be right at the beginning of the day.

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12:00 – Groom and groomsmen preparations.

I know what you’re thinking.  FOUR HOURS before the ceremony?! Landi, are you crazy?  So this is how it works:  I arrive at the location where the groom is getting ready, we have some fun and when I’m done, the men get back in to casual wear and enjoy a few more hours of relaxation before the event.
By 12:00 I require the groom and groomsmen to only wear their pants, socks and shirts.  No ties, no jackets, no shoes.
I will then get a few shots as you finish getting dressed. The shots I get here will include details such as putting on your tie, putting on your watch, tying shoe laces, buttoning your jacket etc. Also included here will be where the groom opens a gift from his bride.  This is usually accompanied by a small, handwritten letter by the bride. I capture the emotions of the groom reading this letter and opening his gift.

IMPORTANT:  Please make sure the room is tidy when I get there.  Hide away all other clothes, shoes, glasses, bottles and things creating clutter.  The cleaner and more neat the room the cleaner the photos will be.

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12:30 – Groom and groomsmen portraits

These shots will be of the groom and groomsmen having some guy time before the ceremony.  Perhaps drinking a glass of whiskey and smoking a cigar together.  I’ll also get shots of everyone as a group and a few individual portraits.
At 13:00pm I’ll be off to go capture the bride.  You are more than welcome to get back in to casual wear!

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13:30 – Bridal preparation.

This is where I capture the bride getting ready and dressed up.  I will capture where she gets the finishing touches of her makeup and hair, Bridesmaids helping her to put on the dress,  Mother of the bride assisting  in fastening a bracelet or necklace, Perfume, dress, shoes and details etc.  As women, we like to doll up a lot more so these take a bit longer than the men’s detail shots.

Included here will be where the bride opens a gift from her groom.  This is also usually accompanied by a small, handwritten letter by the groom. I capture the emotions of the bride reading her love’s words of affection.

IMPORTANT:  Please make sure the room is tidy when I get there.  Hide away all other clothes, shoes, glasses, bottles and things creating clutter.  The cleaner and more neat the room the cleaner the photos will be.


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14:45 – Bride and bridesmaid portraits

After the bride and bridesmaids are finished, I’ll get a few shots of them together and individually. It is really important to organize with your MUA to have your hair and make-up finished at least 1 hour before the ceremony to be able to get proper photos of you as a bride before walking down the isle.
At 15:30 I’ll be on my way to the ceremony venue depending how far it is from the bride’s location, I may leave earlier.
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15:45 – Details at ceremony venue (décor etc)

Right before the ceremony starts, I’ll capture the detail at the ceremony venue,  groom waiting for his bride and I’ll be ready to capture the bride as she walks down the isle.

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16:00 – Ceremony

Time to capture “I do!”
During the ceremony I capture moments of emotion between the bride and groom as well as guests.  The exchange of rings and the first kiss.  This all dependents on rules and regulations by the ceremony venue. Some churches and chapels do not allow photography and it is a good idea to express your importance of photography to the venue or official marrying you.  Please also ask your guests not to take photos during the ceremony since you’ll end up with photos of you and all your guests holding up their phones or getting in front of my lens and in the way of a beautiful shot of you.  Unplugged weddings are so nice and guests can sit back and enjoy the real reason they are there.

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17:00 – Family Portraits

This will happen immediately after the ceremony.  It would be a great help if you can appoint a family member or someone in charge of getting everyone together immediately after the ceremony.  Please inform your family of this before the day of the event so that everyone is ready.  Send me a list of everyone who needs to be on photos and which combinations of which people.  Please send this list in advance to your actual family members as well so that they can be prepared and ready.  It is crucial that we do this part as quickly as possible so that we have enough time and light for your couple session which is following after this.  Please remember that I do not know who is family and who is not and therefore it is important that you take the responsibility of getting everyone who needs to be on a photo, ready.

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17:20 – Couple and wedding party portraits

We’ll take this time to capture a few fun photos with your wedding party (groomsmen and bridesmaids)  Please ask your party in advance to please co-operate and pay attention to all commands so that we do not take too  long since the most important photos of the event is still to follow –  your couple session.



17:30 – Couple portraits

Finally!! Your most beautiful photos of the day!  We’ll take as much time as we need to incorporate your chosen location and special moments between the two of you. It sounds like a long time, but take in consideration the availability of light this time of the year and how important these photos are to your day.

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19:00 – Walk in to reception and open with first dance (or cake cutting)

You do not have to open with the first dance, however this is such a beautiful way of entering! When you walk in on your song and immediately start your dance, I can capture this stunning moment and all the guests will still be in awe because they’ve been waiting in anticipation for you to come back from  your photo session. You’ll be entering with quite a bang!

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19:30 – Speeches  and Toasts

After the first dance, it’s a great idea to get all the speeches and formalities out of the way.  The night is still young and people are ready to have fun and enjoy this amazing celebration.

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20:00 – Dinner

I’m sure by now everyone is starving! You probably haven’t had the slightest bit of time to think about food!  During this time the photographer also takes a quick break to refuel. Please make sure your caterers supplied seating for the photographer as well and that the photographer will be served early so that I can finish quickly and resume my duties before the guests start resuming the party.  I normally do not capture guests while they are eating.  These are not flattering images.



20:45 – First Dance/garter/bouquet.

If you didn’t enter with the first dance, this is a good time to do so and also do the garter and bouquet toss (if it is part of your evening).  By now, everyone is fed, has had a drink or two and is ready for some fun to happen.

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21:30 – Photographer services end.

It may sound very early, but it has been an early start to the day and 10 hours already flew by so quickly! But I still need to drive back safely in the dark on unknown roads and locations and my safety is of utmost importance to me.  I am always happy to stay later if you prebook me for overtime. In any event, my services will end no later than 11pm as I often need to be ready for another wedding event the next day and need time to recharge not only my camera batteries but my own batteries.

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