{Expert Tip} Mastering the wedding photography timeline

Latte Productions

A PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A WITH JUSTIN & JENNIFER REID, OF LATTE PRODUCTIONS, KITCHENER

Latte Productions Wedding Photography (♥) (latteproductions.ca) has performed in excess of 1000 weddings in just the past 7 years alone. Boasting a flexible 12-hour, 2-Photographer package for all couples, one would wonder why this studio makes such an effort to go above and beyond in the planning of the big day if they plan to be there for the entirety of it anyways. Their answer is simple: “A less-stressed bride is a fun, more easy-going bride…”

Q. HOW DO YOU PLAN FOR PREP TIME?

A. “BRIDAL PREP AND GROOM PREP SHOULDN’T BE TREATED EQUALLY The bridal party tends to need more time and attention. The bride’s morning tends to be more structured. Virtually all members of the bridal party will have their hair and makeup done, one after another. This offers opportunities to get great photos of everyone being dolled up, and also of all the bridesmaids are in one place. Details like the dress, shoes, jewelry and gifts need to be captured and can keep a photographer fairly
busy. On the other hand, the groomsmen’s prep tends to be  less structured. It’s common to have someone missing or not available when the rest of the groomsmen are getting ready. The groomsmen prep process is literally minutes long at most and usually takes place one by one in a bathroom with a closed door, a mocked prep at the ceremony spot before the service looks best”

Q. IF EVERYTHING IS AT ONE VENUE, HOW DOES THE TIMELINE WORK?

A. “PLAN A REVEAL/FIRST LOOK. When your ceremony, location photos, and reception are all taking place at the same venue, the venue coordinator often minimizes the time in between the ceremony and reception so that guests are less likely to disappear or wander around during the downtime. Unfortunately, this adds a lot of stress on the bride and groom who want to do family photos, wedding party photos and couple photos all within that 1 to 1.5 hour window before they are due for the reception entrance. Your best option is to plan a ‘reveal’ (aka a ‘first look’). The best time for a Reveal is in the morning, after
mastering the wedding photography timeline prep but before the ceremony. Reveals allow the bride and groom to see each other for the first time, dressed and ready in full bride and groom attire, makeup, accessories… It’s an extremely emotional and beautiful moment to capture. Reveals begin with a nice location – at the venue or somewhere on the way. One way to do a reveal is to have the groom facing forward and the bride sneaking up behind him. She turns him around at the last moment after building up the suspense. Without fail, the groom almost always gets emotional and sheds a tear as at that moment. Yet, despite how many people may be watching, it’s only the bride and groom who are truly sharing this singular beautiful moment.”

Q. WHEN IS THE BEST TIME FOR FAMILY PHOTOS?

A. THERE IS REALLY ONLY ONE IDEAL TIME FOR FAMILY PHOTOS. “Regardless of whether you have a morning Reveal photo session or a more traditional timeline (prep then ceremony then formal photos then reception),  there is really just one ideal time of the wedding day that is optimal for formal family photos: immediately following the ceremony. Why? Because everyone is in the place at the same time. Often those performing the service can sneak in an announcement for immediate family to assemble somewhere. Guests have been sitting for a while and will welcome the chance to stand and pose for photos for a little while. If the ceremony location offers some nice backgrounds for the photos, this can further benefit the couple by not having to coordinate logistics for everyone. You don’t want to have a key member of the family or wedding party ending up in the wrong spot. During warmer months, it’s quite common for guests to dress down if they aren’t being photographed right away. This is good because a loosened tie or removed jacket can quickly take away from the family photos. Trying to pull family members from a cocktail social can also be difficult once they get chatting.”

Latte Productions
Latte Productions

THE TIME IT TAKES… According to Latte Productions, this is roughly how long to plan for each photo session throughout the wedding day. And as you can see below, everything can be done in 1-2 hours…
FAMILY PHOTOS: 15-20 MINUTES These don’t need to be lengthy if your photographer is helpful. Adding people into photos and peeling people out can make for some efficient photos so family members can be released and not just standing around waiting for the end of the session.
WEDDING PARTY PHOTOS: 30-45 MINUTES Whether there are two people or twelve in your group, there are always a lot of possibilities and arrangements of both structured and quirky photos to be had. Plan enough time to have some fun with it!
NEWLYWED PHOTOS: 15-30 MINUTES Photos of the Bride and Groom (or bride and bride, groom and groom, as the case may be) should be a variety of affectionate and storytelling photos about the couples past and their future together.”
TRAVEL TIME: Add extra time for travel as needed.”

Q. IS IT POSSIBLE TO SPEED UP THE RECEIVING LINE WITHOUT ADDING STRESS?

A. YES. IT’S ABOUT POSITIONING. “Often the couple thinks they should be at the end of the line to be the final ones to receive
‘congratulations!’ from guests. In actual fact, the best position is at the beginning. This is because several guests will more than likely stop and ‘catch up’ with various wedding party members along the line, creating gaps in the line and a longer wait time for the newlyweds if they’re not first in line.”

Q. IS PARTICIPATING IN A COCKTAIL HOUR A GOOD IDEA?

A. DEFINITELY! “Whenever possible, we encourage couples to get involved in their cocktail hour. This is one of the most social times of the wedding day and provides the couples with the ideal opportunity to float around, mixing and mingling with guests while enjoy a rewarding drink. One of the biggest regrets couples have when they don’t get to attend their cocktail hour is that it becomes difficult to find the time between courses to visit all the tables and engage in limited greetings of their guests. Planning a reveal as part of the big day makes being part of the cocktail hour even more possible as the family photos can be efficiently performed, allowing the couple some breathing room in the rest of the days photography moments.”

Q.  DO GUESTS LOVE THE SPEECHES AS MUCH AS THE NEWLYWEDS DO?

A. UM NO. SORRY! BUT THIS WILL HELP. “Speeches by key members of the wedding day is almost always an assumption in every wedding, but it always runs the risk of becoming the most dry and boring time of night, taking place just before the  bar re-opens and dancing begins. We aren’t suggesting to eliminate them all together, just consider a few key approaches to the speeches that could save your evenings excitement… 1. Limit both the number of speakers as well as the time they are speaking for. We recommend Parents, Best Man, Made of Honour, and the couple themselves be the only speakers. 2. Consider doing speeches in between courses. This way the couple is making their way up to the podium to speak right about the same time you finished your dessert. 3. Have fun! Check out ways people have kept the audiences laughing and paying attention to the speakers. It’s a wedding, not a timeshare meeting… walk around with the mic when you can and use props to illustrate funny stories.”♥

Featured in the Fall/Winter 2017 issue of The Wedding Ring ONTARIO Magazine

Contacting Latte Productions Photography

Justin and Jennifer Reid at Latte Productions Wedding Photography can be reached directly by email using the form below. 🙂 or by phone at 519-745-8368. You can also visit Latte Productions Wedding Photography online at http://www.latteproductions.ca.