Ask Kaitlyn: Timelines and Why They’re Important

What is a timeline and why do I need it?

Timelines are definitely the unsung hero of your wedding day! Having one is incredibly important for a plethora of reasons, but perhaps the most important reason is that it keeps everything running smoothly and efficiently – especially in the event something goes wrong!

As a photographer, timelines are kind of my thing! It helps me plan your formal photos, your family portraits (and how much time I’ll need to photograph them), and your bridal prep. It also helps keep all the other vendors on a schedule, so we have an idea of when we can take the time to capture certain moments. Working together with vendors who know each other can make ALL the difference, because we stay in constant contact and have an already established workflow. Ask me for some recommendations for cinematographers, DJ’s, venues, and more! I’d be happy to share my list with you!

During bridal prep, I always arrive two hours before you plan to leave for the ceremony, just to ensure I can photograph your details, your dress, your flowers, your bridesmaids, and more at a creative pace! Bride prep is a crucial time for me, and I like to spend as much time as possible getting things styled. Gathering your details the night before can save you a ton of time the morning of, and will guarantee that I’m operating efficiently and on schedule!

I also always recommend telling any chauffeur services to arrive 15 minutes before you need to leave, so you don’t find yourself waiting by the window, nervous that they won’t get there on time! This gives you a bit of breathing room in your timeline, and calms your nerves a little!

The same goes for makeup: making sure you’re not the last person to get your makeup done is the best thing you can do during bride prep, because we’re so limited on time. Once you get your makeup done, it’s time to grab the people who are helping you into your dress and gear up for the biggest day of your life! It’s okay if their makeup isn’t finished yet – this moment is all about you, your wedding gown, and the special people who’ve stood by your side. You’re most important!

If you haven’t thought much about doing a first look, allow me to give you a little insight! First looks add a special in between period with just the two of you – you, in your dress, him, in his tux – it’s a recipe for magic! I always recommend doing a first look because, truly, it will never take away from that moment you walk down the aisle. You’ll still be that stunning bride, and he’ll still see you in your dress! If you do decide to add in a first look, make sure to leave at least two hours between that and the ceremony, so we still have plenty of time to capture the tears, the smiles, and the laughs in a beautiful setting of your choosing.

After the first look, we dive right into the formal photos with your immediate family and bridal party. I love getting a chance to really capture all of those special memories with your parents, your siblings and your best friends. After all of those photos are finished, I send your family and friends off to relax for a bit before the ceremony (or to cocktail hour!), and go right into your portraits. This time is one of the most important pieces of your day, so that’s why myself and other vendors always suggest leaving two hours of time blocked off for it! In case you weren’t sure what this time entails, they are the blocks of time when we capture those natural, slightly posed, and organic photographs that you see all over the editorial magazines. It’s when I photograph you and your bride or groom loving each other so sweetly, and it’s one of my favorite parts of the day! I

These special moments also give you a chance to take a breather, relax, and just be together for a little bit. Since your day is generally filled with chaos and excitement simultaneously, this is a great way to spent time with your love, reflecting and enjoying the journey you’re about to embark on, together.

During the reception, you’re pretty much ready to enjoy the party with your family and friends! I try to stay in the background as much as I can, but your timeline will still play a huge part! Cake cutting, parent dances, and garter/bouquet are usually mapped out to the minute, so the party stays on track as much as possible. I make sure to go over these parts with you, as well, so don’t worry if you’re not sure how to schedule them! The venue you choose will play an instrumental part in planning these moments, so choosing the right place can make a huge difference! I’ve worked at a ton of venues on Long Island and beyond, so if you’re not sure who to choose, ask me! I’d be happy to give you some recommendations.

I’ll also ask you to take a few portraits during the reception, but don’t worry! I move quickly because I know you just want to sit back, relax, dance with your bridesmaids, and take a peek at your new spouse from across the room. I won’t hold you up, I promise!

I hope these tips are helpful, because I always aim to help my couples in every aspect of their wedding day! I want nothing more than to have you celebrate in style – without the stress and confusion that many people experience when planning the most important day of their lives!

Choosing me as your photographer will change how you look at wedding planning and wedding photography as a whole, and I’d love nothing more than to be there to capture these moments with you! Check out my FAQ page for more information on how I operate and what my favorite part of your day is!





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