Pine Knob Mansion outdoor ceremony | Clarkston, MI wedding photogaphers

Wedding day timelines

Are you ready to envision how your day will unfold?

10:00 am Photographer and Videographer arrive

The start of your day | Getting ready photos and Detail photos

When we arrive we’ll check in to say hi and see how the day is going. Then we’ll get started styling your details and making magazine-worthy images. 

I know you’ve spent a lot of time choosing these details from your stunning dress to those jewel-encrusted Badgley Mischka bridal shoes. I’ll spend some time laying them out and photographing them alongside your bouquet and invites. 

 If you’ve added video to your package the videographer will grab some dramatic footage of your details after I’ve styled them together. This way you have cohesive footage and video. 

 

PRO TIP:

If you can have all of your details together when we arrive that would be super helpful. This allows us to get right to work. These details would include your invitation suite, shoes, rings, bouquet, perfume, any jewelry or hairpieces you'll be wearing, and of course your dress! 

11:00 am Ladies together before getting dressed

Grab your wedding party and get some cute photos before the day gets started

This time of the day is one of my favorites. Grab a cocktail and let’s get some cute photos (and video!) of you with your besties before the day really gets started! These photos are super cute on the bed or couch of your wedding ready space.  

 

 

PRO TIP:

Matching robes or pjs are adorable BUT matching glasses are a must. There is nothing worse than when one of you has a plastic solo cup while everyone else has champagne glasses. So, you don't need to go buy super fancy glasses but having the same cup for everyone is a great idea. 

11:15 Getting into your dress

Woohoo! It's finally time to put those stunning details on

Getting your dress on is such a special time during the day. This a great time to grab some candid photos with you and your mom, sister or whoever is most important to you. 

 

PRO TIP:

Allowing us to be in the room while you're getting your dress is a personal preference, but if you ask us to step out please make sure to call us before you get your dress zipped or buttoned. Those photos are always great and sometimes offer some really great authentic emotion. 

11:30 First look with your girls!

I LOVE first looks, you get to see that raw emotion of someone's expression the first time they see you in your wedding attire.

A first look with your wedding party is always fun. You already have your crew in with you, why not do a fancy reveal with them?! 

 

 

PRO TIP:

If you want a first look with your wedding party have them step out while you're getting dressed. This allows us to make sure we're standing at the best angle to capture the moment. 

11:45 First look with dad

Grab your tissues for this one, I know I'll need em ;)

I’m a sucker for emotional moments on a wedding day. It’s kinda what drives me to stay in the wedding industry. Moments like a first look with your dad (or mom) gets me every time! 

 

 

PRO TIP:

Having your officiant make an announcement after the ceremony (like right after you walk down the aisle) for immediate family to stay for photos. Also please tell your family that they'll need to stay after the ceremony.  This cuts out any downtime that we might be waiting for people to come back.

12:00 Bridal session

It's your time to shine! Lol, the whole day is your time to shine but this portion is just for you. We'll grab some close up glam shots before we head down to set up the first look with your partner!

I love a good close-up shot of those eyelashes or some great detail shots of your dress while it’s on you. Taking a little time before we head out for your first look with your soon to be life partner will give you some super glam photos. 

 

 

PRO TIP:

Have your wedding party pack up during this time. They can be getting everyone's bags ready to go which will save time when you go to get on the bus. 

12:15 set up the first look

This is one of my favorite parts of the day you'll see why in a min

A first look with your partner is something that is a personal decision. If you don’t want to see each other before the ceremony I won’t push you to do, but I will absolutely educate you on what we may need to adjust to ensure you get all the amazing you’re looking for. 

Some of the benefits of doing a first look include having time alone to enjoy that moment when you first see each other. I know many people have likely told you how fast your day goes by, and they’re right. What I’m sure they don’t tell you is how little time you have to spend with your spouse. I mean you’re together all day but you don’t have much alone time. This part of the day is just for you to enjoy a moment together and share in your happiness. 

Doing a first look also allows for more time for photos AND more time with your guests. I am known for being flexible with how much time I need. I can sneak you guys out at sunset and for backlit photos so if I have at least 15 min with the couple post-ceremony I’m usually good. HOWEVER, if you want to travel Detroit and hit up some iconic locations we’ll need a little extra time to explore. 

A first look can also allow you to be present at cocktail hr. For some couples, this is a huge bonus. They get to greet all of their guests before the reception starts which allows them to dance and hang out without feeling like they didn’t talk to everyone. 

 

 

PRO TIP:

If you don't want to have a first look but still want to go off-site for photos consider an extended cocktail hr with heavy apps. I know you don't want your guests waiting forever but if you do a 1.5 hr a cocktail hr and have some heavy apps your guest won't go hungry or get bored. 

12:30 - 2:30 Bridal party and couples photos

Get ready to go explore new locations to create amazing images

Whether you’re getting married in Detroit and want to hit up all of my favorite locations or you’re having some downtime between your ceremony and reception and you’d like to stop by a stunning garden; You’re going to want to give a little time to get creative. 

We’ll work closely with you to make sure we choose locations that reflect your vision and also stay within the time we have. 

 

 

PRO TIP:

Making sure that you have transportation for everyone in your wedding party will make the run as smooth as possible. If we're traveling to more than one location it can get tricky to find parking more multiple cars. 

Weddings at Birchview-Event-Center

3:30 Arrive at your venue

Whew, we made it through the first part of the day, we're so close to you being married!

Once we arrive to the venue or the ceremony location (depending on if your have your ceremony and reception at the same location) you’ll have a little downtime. This time is great for touching up your makeup, taking a breather and overall getting ready for your ceremony. 

 

During this time your photo and video crew will be capturing the details of this space. Things like the alter, table setups, the exterior of the venue. We will also be discussing preferences with your officiant and getting lighting setup for family photos.

 

 

PRO TIP:

If you're having your ceremony and reception at the same location try to keep guests out of the reception space. This allows us to get footage and images of the space untouched. Most couples don't get to see this space before their guests get in; these images might be your only shot at seeing your reception space untouched.  

Winter Wedding at the Pine Tree Barn

4:30 Time for the ceremony

It's time for you to get MARRIED!

During the ceremony, we stay back and capture the events as they unfold. We are unobtrusive while still getting creative angles. 

PRO TIP:

Please be sure to check with your officiant regarding their preferences when it comes to where your photographers and videographers stand and also if they have equipment restrictions.

5:00 Family formals

Your family is one of the most important parts of your day

While I agree that family formals are not the most fun part of the day, I do feel they are one of the most important. We’ll work closely to create a list of people you’d like photographed to ensure we can do this quickly and correctly. That’s one less thing that you’ll need to worry about on your wedding day. 

PRO TIP:

Have your officiant make an announcement for you family to stay for photos. This will save a ton of time trying to get everyone back to the alter for photos.

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5:30 Cocktail hr and possibly more photos

If you did a first look you might want to join cocktail hr, or you want to take some couples photos around your venue.

If you did not do a first look or we've not completed your couples photos yet we'll need to do that now.

I love the idea of spending time with your guest during your cocktail hr. This is a great time to greet people and catch up, freeing up that ever-important dancefloor time. But there are a couple of reasons why you may want to use some of this time for more photos. 

 

If your venue has areas you’d like to photographed in (assuming we didn’t have time before). Things like rooftops or secret rooms make for some of the best photos. These sessions can be short (even 15 min will offer you more diversity in your gallery). 

Of course, if you didn’t do your couples photos and/or bridal party photos we’ll use this time for those. 

PRO TIP:

If you've seen photos taken at your venue and want to explore that area please let us know beforehand so we can make sure to leave enough time. Many Detroit venues will allow the couple on the rooftop but you have to have someone with you, this can take a min to put together.

6:30 Entrances!

Everyone seated and ready for you to make your grand entrance.

This is the time of day I am usually passing the coordination baton to your DJ or MC. I always check with them to make sure our timelines match and that they’ll not start anything without me. 

PRO TIP:

After you enter move into cake cutting then speeches. This will allow the venue to cut the cake and have it ready to eat before dancing. This allows the two of you to eat cake and your guests can enjoy a slice during the formals dances.

6:45-7:00 Cake cutting and Speeches

Sweet words from those who know you best

Speeches at a wedding are an amazing time for those closest to you to share some of their fondest memories of you. I usually leave 15 min for speeches however, if you have a large wedding party and many of them intend to say something please let us know so we can pad a little extra time here.  

PRO TIP:

Please don't schedule speeches during dinner! If people have food in front of them they will eat and I promise you don't want photos of people eating. ALSO, during dinner we take a break and eat too.

7:00-8:15 Dinner

Good food, good drinks and good people. Enjoy this bit of a down time.  

Vendor Seating

Don't forget to have a place for your vendors to sit. This can be a place outside of the dining room or at a table inside the dining room (we don't mind either way). Remember we are with you all day and your DJ is with you all night. Having this time to eat and recharge is so very important.

Food services

Also please make sure your caterer ensures all of your vendors are served after the wedding party and immediate family. This allows us to be done and ready to get back to work shortly after you finish up.

8:00 pm Sunset photos

Sunset lighting is warm and romantic, when possible I love capturing this on a wedding day.

Taking a couple of minutes for sunset photos while your guest finish up dinner is a great way to add diversity to your wedding images without leaving your guests feeling like they’re waiting. These sessions are short, maybe 15 min or so but will really make an impact on your gallery. 

PRO TIP

I always check to see where the sun is coming from so I can pre-plan my ideas for sunset photos. When you're at your venue try to do the same so you can have some ideas of where the light might fall at sunset.

Ford Piquette plant wedding

8:30 Formal dances

Your first dance with your spouse, your dances with your parents and maybe even an anniversary dance.

This wraps up most of the formalities of your night. After you’ve danced with your new spouse, both of you with your parents and maybe even after you’ve invited all of your guests to join it’ll be time to party and enjoy! 

8:45 (and the rest of the night PARTY!

You did it you're married! Enjoy the rest of your evening with your guest!

PRO TIP:

I love capturing you and your guests celebrating. It truly is a ton of fun, however, having us capture more than 30(ish) min of open dancing can be really repetitive. For this reason, if you want things like a sparkler send-off or "end of the night" celebration (like the last dance) photographed I suggest staging it. I've done plenty of send off's around 9:30-10:00 pm and they are perfect. More importantly, YES guests stayed and partied ;) Don't get me wrong we'll totally stay all night if you want us to, I was just trying to save you a little $ by being honest.

Barn wedding ideas - Michigan wedding photographers - weddings at Vale Royal Barn

9:30 Back lit photos

This is one of my favorite parts of the night! LeAnn will tell you that she often wonders why she even comes to a wedding when there's not backlit (it's absolutely her favorite park of the night)

Backlit photos are short and sweet but they pack a huge wow factor in your wedding gallery. For these photos, we’ll head out and set up lighting BEFORE we ask you to leave your dance floor. This ensures that you’re gone for as little time as possible (like only 3 songs).  Trust me when I say you’re gonna wanna make sure you leave time for these! 

Keep in mind every timeline is as unique as the couple it was created for

Remember we help each and every one of our amazing couples create a timeline to ensure their day runs as smoothly as possible. 

We’d love to hear more about your wedding and see if we’d be a good fit!