A timeline and some tips to prepare for the big day.

Below is a quick guide to some of the key moments and timings for your wedding day. If you have any questions before locking anything in, please reach out for a chat.

Getting Ready

A clutter free room with good natural light is key for dreamy getting-ready shots. Your most important job is to relax. This part of the day can be the most confronting, with a camera appearing in the room all of a sudden, but I'll ease into taking photos and quickly become part of the furniture. You simply keep doing your thing and enjoy your time with family and friends. If you would like photos of your dress or other special items, just have them ready and I'll take care of finding a good spot with the right lighting. I'll usually shoot the last parts of the dress going on and being done up, as well as a few portraits of you with your flowers and entourage.

Couples Photos

These photos are about the two of you. Try to forget the camera, get close and enjoy your time away from the crowd. Have fun with it and don't be afraid to have a laugh. I'm usually totally occupied geeking out on angles, light and camera settings, so don't worry about me. This is the part most people are nervous about, and feel like they’re awkward in photos. I get it. Most people aren’t used to having a lens pointed at them. The best ones come when you’re not thinking about the camera, so I like to get my couples moving. This is where there’ll be some gentle direction from me - mostly where to walk and where to look.

All you’ve got to do is be close and interact with each other: think holding hands, linking arms, some eye contact here and there. Photos tend to be the most intimate when you think about using your hands to get close and pull each other in, and by all means, practice at home first! I don’t micro-pose couples, but prefer to capture the honest, natural and in-between moments.

Light

Photography is essentially light, bouncing off you into my camera, so it’s really important to think about this light. New Zealand usually has beautiful clean air but this also means it can be harsh. It’s usually best to take photos at or around sunset, or in the shade, especially on a bright, sunny day. This might mean doing family and bridal photos in the shade or away from the view, avoiding harsh light and bright green grass. Every wedding day is different, of course, so we’ll have a chat about your options and back-up plans for light and weather conditions.

Timelines

I encourage couples to do what feels right for them on their wedding day, and I love it when people shake things up. It’s your wedding, so create a timeline that makes you feel good. That means it’s up to you to decide how much time you want to spend with all your wedding guests, versus hanging with your bridal party. Doing less complicated bridal party photos or doing them with family photos can save time away from everyone, and on photos overall. Having ‘first look’ and bridal party photos can be a good idea, but there are compromises. It means being ready and dressed an hour or so earlier, and if there are pre-ceremony jitters, the photos may not be quite as relaxed.

The one thing I always encourage is to have some couple photos during the ‘golden hour’, as the sun goes down. In summer this will be during your reception, and in spring, autumn and winter this might fit in before your reception starts. Below is a sample timeline for a nine hour wedding. If you're having a shorter time covered, all good - just decide which parts of your wedding you want photographed.

*Remember, these times are just a guide. Your wedding, your way!

9 Hour Timeline

12pm - 12.45pm

Photographer arrives - Girls

This covers general getting-ready - makeup, hair and setup photos, which includes your hanging dress or any other items you want to capture before you get dressed, and pre-dress photos with the girls.

1pm - 1.45pm

Groom getting ready

Usually this covers the finishing touches - putting on ties and flowers, a drink with the boys and a lineup photo. We can also shoot some family photos if you’re after them.

2pm - 3pm

Bride finishing touches

I’m there to capture the final excitement before heading off to the ceremony. This includes the dress being done up, a drink with the girls and family photos.

3.30pm

Ceremony

Your ceremony can last anywhere between ten and forty five minutes, but most are around half an hour.

4pm

Celebrate!

Hugs, bubbles and mingling. I recommend taking some time after the ceremony to celebrate with your family and friends before you start thinking about photos. This is a great chance for me to capture you and your guests together and all the emotion that goes with being freshly married.

4.20pm

Family Photos

It's a good idea to be organised and have a list of the family and group photos you want captured. Give that list to someone you can trust to take charge, find people and organise groups. A tip is to start with larger groups and go down to smaller ones from there.

5pm - 6pm

Couple & Bridal Party photos

Depending on how far you want and need to travel, these photos usually take between one and two hours. This is all up to you, and bridal party photos can be added on to family photos or done nearby to save time if you want to spend more of it with your guests. In general, it's much faster to do location shots with just the bride and groom. I’d suggest doing additional couple portraits at dusk when the light is amazing. In summer, this can be done in between speeches and dinner, and usually only takes fifteen to thirty minutes.

5pm - 8.30pm

Sunset Photos

Timing for this always varies! Google can tell you the sunset time for your day, and in general it’s best to finish these photos half an hour before sunset. Of course, this depends on your location. It's a great opportunity to get out with just the two of you and capture portraits in amazing light. If you're having your wedding outside of summer we can usually shoot sunset photos before the reception, which makes things nice and easy.

6.15pm - 8.30pm

Reception

This covers dinner, speeches and cake cutting. Have a chat to your catering company to get an idea of timings, so you can schedule speeches and sunset photos (in summer) around your food service.

8.45pm -

First Dance

Doing a first dance is a great way to coax everyone onto the dance floor - if that’s your thing. Usually, fifteen to twenty minutes of coverage after the first dance is enough to capture the party vibe of your wedding (and stop before things get too rowdy).

First look Timeline

11.30 pm - 12.00 pm

Groom getting ready

Usually this covers the finishing touches: putting on ties and flowers, a drink with the boys and a lineup photo. We can also shoot some family photos.

12.15pm - 1.15 pm

Bride finishing touches

This covers general getting-ready - makeup, hair and setup photos, which includes your hanging dress or any other items you want to capture before you get dressed, and photos with the girls. Then it’s time to capture the final excitement before heading off to the ceremony. This includes the dress being done up, a drink with the girls and family photos.

1.30pm - 3pm

First Look & bridal Party Photos

The first look can be done at one of the getting-ready locations or we can head to a stunning location. I find the best way to do these first look photos is to have the groom face away, and have the bride-to-be walk up and say hi. Keeping things as natural as possible is the name of the game here. From there, we can shoot bridal party photos and a few couple portraits. However, I like to shoot most of the couple portraits after the ceremony or at sunset when everyone is a wee bit more relaxed.

3.30pm

Ceremony

Your ceremony can last anywhere between ten and forty five minutes, but most are around half an hour.

4.00pm

Celebrate!

Hugs, bubbles and mingling. I recommend taking some time after the ceremony to celebrate with your family and friends before you start thinking about photos. This is a great chance for me to capture you and your guests together and all the emotion that goes with being freshly married.

As you've already done your bridal party photos you'll have extra time now to hang out with your guests!

4.30pm

Family Photos

It's a good idea to be organised and have a list of the family and group photos you want captured. Give that list to someone you can trust to take charge, find people and organise groups. A tip is to start with larger groups and go down to smaller ones from there.

5.00pm -9.00pm

Sunset Photos

Timing for this always varies! Google can tell you the sunset time for your day, and in general it’s best to finish these photos half an hour before sunset. Of course, this depends on your location. It's a great opportunity to get out with just the two of you and capture portraits in amazing light. If you're having your wedding outside of summer we can usually shoot sunset photos before the reception, which makes things nice and easy.

6.15pm - 8.30pm

Reception/ Dinner

This covers dinner, speeches and cake cutting. Have a chat to your catering company to get an idea of timings, so you can schedule speeches and sunset photos (in summer) around your food service.

8.45pm

First Dance

Doing a first dance is a great way to coax everyone onto the dance floor - if that’s your thing. Usually, fifteen to twenty minutes of coverage after the first dance is enough to capture the party vibe of your wedding (and stop before things get too rowdy).