Documentary Associates Photography – Washington DC Wedding Photographers » A Washington DC Wedding Photography Blog

Moving Parts

NMWA Wedding

Catering Staff at a NMWA Wedding

There is a LOT of stuff happening at a wedding – vendors arriving, guests arriving, set-up, transportation, access windows…it’s a lot to juggle. Generally, from what we see, people are able to plan this without dropping any balls, but we do occasionally run into a schedule that makes our job a little tougher.

The timeline is very important.

Here are a few ideas to make sure your photographer can make you happy -

- Get input from your photographer before the schedule is set in stone.
- Don’t get dressed before your photographer shows up.
- Plan transportation so your photographer has a seat and can tag along.
- Pad your transportation times.
- Don’t get bullied into doing a first look. If you’d like to do one because you want to spend a lot of time at your cocktail hour, great. If you want that first look to be when the bride is coming down the aisle, great. Your photographer should be able to deal with either scenario.
- If you’re going offsite for portraits, generally it’s better to pick fewer locations and “go deep”, rather than several locations.
- The bigger the group, the more difficult it is to go offsite. Budget more time if necessary.
- Make sure you budget enough time for the really big family shots, it’s difficult to make those up at the reception.
- You don’t want to spend half the reception trying to catch up on group shots.
- Make sure you eat.
- Make sure your photographer has time to eat. We just need 10 minutes.:)
- If you do a first look or have portraits earlier in the day, it might be a good idea to not be too busy around sunset. We like shooting at sunset, and might want to take you out for 10 minutes. Google “golden hour”, and bear in mind the best time to shoot is going to vary by location.

This stuff rarely lines up perfectly, so you definitely want a photographer who can adapt and react, but the more of this sort of thing you can adopt, the better for your photographer and you. The most important thing here is to get input from your photographer early on in the planning process.

Having said all that, bear in mind your schedule is a plan to guide you through your day, and it’s ok to color outside the lines — as long as the ceremony starts on time, and dinner is hot for the guests. Relax and enjoy the ride!!


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