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If anyone understands how easy it is to get sucked into wedding details and design, it’s me. It’s so much fun to spend the time leading up to your wedding focused on the florals or ceremony backdrop but the best way to actually enjoy your wedding day is to spend 20 minutes contemplating the schedule. It does not have to be hyper detailed but a general flow of your wedding day will really take the pressure off. 

Here’s our secret photography schedule template we share with all of our couples. We love helping you plan your day. Why? because relaxed couples are easy to photograph and you’ll be able to sink into the moment. 

Where to start? It’s daunting! A quick trick is to start at the last thing you want photographed and work backward. 

Step 1:  Reception

Typically this is a first dance, cake cutting, or when the party starts. For most weddings, we don’t advise getting your entire reception photographed. Generally after 1-2 we’ve captured most of the party and guests. Of course if the entire reception is important to you, you should do it!

Step 2: Dinner 

Dinner is usually roughly 2-2.5 hours, so if guests are seated at 7pm, you can guess the party and dancing will start around 9pm. Speeches are generally interspersed throughout dinner. 

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Step 3: Cocktail hour and portraits

Do you want to have a first look? Do you want to see one another before the ceremony and take your portraits then? If not your couple and bridal party photos would go here while your guests enjoy cocktail hour. 

If you do want a first look and schedule your portraits beforehand, you have a short cocktail hour to allow for formal family photos quickly and then move right into reception.

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Step 4: This one is important! Directly following the ceremony while everyone is all in the same place take all of your formal family photos. Delegate the job of gathering the people to one person and let everyone who is in the photos know beforehand (hot tip: write out a list of every permeation ie: instead of only writing mom/dad/bride/sibling think about whether you want a photo of just you and your mom and another of just you and your dad. That’s three  separate photos. There are no re-dos on these photos once your day is over and we want so much for you to get images you will cherish forever. Absolutely spend time on this step. Of course, it’s hard to know where to stop – what about your cousins? Childhood bestie? A good idea of where to stop is to gauge whether you think someone will print this photo. Will grandma print a photo of all of her grandkids?  That sounds like a lovely photo. Will you and your college friends end up on a harddrive somewhere? We can probably get some informal shots during the reception and it’s not necessary to schedule in a formal portrait. 

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Step 5: Ceremony 

You’re married! We like to add on 20 minutes or so to the end of the ceremony for the exciting chaos that ensues after the ceremony. 

Step 6: Getting ready! We recommend about an hour, maybe a little longer for women. Typically when we arrive your hair is done, makeup almost complete and we can get photos of you with your friends and final touches 

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Of course add in travel time around Toronto and the GTA where applicable