The One Thing Brides Always Forget in the Wedding Day Timeline

I always offer to create a customized wedding photography timeline for my brides and grooms, and I send them a recommended photography timeline as part of my “Bridal Guide” as soon as they book with me. Most of my couples are super organized, and already have their timeline planned. When I look at their timeline to see if I need to make and changes or give any recommendations, there is almost always one thing missing from the timeline: a designated time for reception detail photos.

Let me explain why this is important. My brides and grooms spend a lot of money on their wedding reception details. They’ve spend countless hours with their florists and/or wedding designers planning their centerpieces. They’ve spent extra money on fancier chairs and beautiful linens. they have the room arranged perfectly. And they’ve picked their wedding venue because they love the way it will look when it's all set up for their reception. I think all brides and grooms see the value in making sure they have photos of the reception details, but many couples think that their wedding photographer can take these photos during the reception. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Once your guests enter your reception, there will be bags and coats on the chairs, drinks and cell phones on the tables, and I won’t be able to get a clean shot of the room or the tablescapes. This is why I tell my couples that we need to plan for these photos in the timeline BEFORE guests are allowed into the reception.

There can be a few logistical challenges with making this happen. First, we need to make sure that the entire reception will be set up before I’m scheduled to take photos of it. Check with your venue, your caterer, and your florist to make sure set up will be finished in time. If your ceremony and reception are in the same venue (which always makes for WAY easier logistics the entire day), then I can photograph your reception details in the 30 minutes before the ceremony while the bride is in hiding. If your reception venue is driving distance from your ceremony and we don’t have any photos to take after the ceremony (because of doing a first look), then I can send my second shooter to the reception venue towards the end of the ceremony to take photos before guests arrive. If you’re having a separate location for a cocktail hour, this gives us a little more wiggle room. If you’re doing a room flip or using the same chairs for the ceremony and reception, unfortunately, I won’t have much, if any, time to photograph the reception fully set up, but I always do my best to take as many photos as possible in the small amount of time I have.

I promise, it’s always worth it to plan reception detail shots into your wedding day timeline. If you don’t believe me, check out some of my favorite wedding reception detail photos below.

Are you looking for a wedding photographer? I would absolutely LOVE to work with you! Send me a message over on my contact page to see if I have your date available!