northern california

Wedding Timeline Priorities: A Photographer’s Perspective

Oh, weddings. A healthy mix of love and business, planning and spontenaity, stress and pure happiness.

When the engagement jitters have worn off and the inaugural to-do list is created, a wedding photographer is one of the first-booked vendors to check off. According to The Knot, the photographer is third only to the planner and venue. Assuming this represents the value of the images themselves, we’re talking a top priority item here.

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But let’s be clear: the photos shouldn’t be a higher priority than simply being present and enjoying your wedding day. If you emphasize the right moments in your timeline, beautiful and genuine documentation will come naturally. Here are a few (completely subjective but also coming from experience) tips:

1: Portraits with your partner will likely be the only portion of the day where the two of you are alone. Don’t skimp on this part. You don’t need to set aside hours, but give the moment the attention it deserves. Allow time for the two of you to soak each other up and revel in your just-married-ness. Plus, this moment will be dripping in emotion and will likely be an anchor in your photo gallery. Prioritize it.

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2: Cushion up that timeline. Whether it’s 30 minutes before the ceremony to just breathe, or 90 minutes for dinner when it will likely only take an hour - include it. This might sound like a literal waste of time but if every minute is accounted for, your timeline will feel like a checklist of moments to efficiently cross off (think Monica at Phoebe’s wedding). Less rushing between moments allows for more relaxed, sincere celebrating with your guests. And more sincere celebrating means more sincerely candid photos.

3: Consider what is unique about your wedding. What about your stage of life merits a reserved spot in your fleeting timeline? Is your bridal party made up of a lifelong group of friends traveling from afar to stand by your side? Make time to document them. Is your family breathing a sigh of relief that your grandpa, in his old age, is around to witness your wedding? Make time to document him.

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All in all, when drafting your timeline, forget what will look best on Pinterest or on your photographer’s curated Instagram feed. Think beyond the common items mentioned on every 10000 Things To Remember When Planning A Wedding!!!! list. Prioritize the moments that you’ll want to tell your kids about - the moments that are specifically important in your wedding - throw in some cushion time, and let your photographer take care of the rest.

xo, Hailey

victor + josh / sacramento wedding at the firehouse

Victor + Josh’s wedding was special for quite a few reasons. 1) I married my husband at the same venue 4 years ago. To be back in the same spot, watching another two people say their vows under the same alter, was magical. 2) Christina was my second shooter this night, and together we photographed Victor + Josh around the same spots where she and her wife married just a few months ago. (Remember their wedding?)

But most importantly, the night was special because of the sheer amount of love and support that surrounded them. Yes, weddings are inherently love-filled. But LGBT weddings often come with an extra set of obstacles and support isn’t always a given. But on this night, under the moon with their closest people, support and love was an unwavering given. From the ladies tying Josh’s tie and the men fastening Victor’s cuff links, to the many, many glasses cheered, to Josh’s tear-jerker speech addressed to those who encouraged him to be his truest self - happiness spilled from this wedding and it was truly an honor to document it all.

Victor + Josh, thank you for inviting me to be a part of it <3

Assistant photographer: Christina Best
Venue + Catering: The Firehouse Restaurant
DJ: Jeremy Fristoe, Extreme Productions
Tuxes: R. Douglas Custom Clothier
Decor: Conrad Hughes Special Events



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