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Your Wedding Photography Timeline: Tear Up The Rule Book!

As with most elements of a wedding, when it comes to your wedding photography timeline there is a long-standing, traditional way of doing things…but if you’ve been here a while, you’ll know that following the rule book is not the way I do things at Charlotte Nelson Photography. I’m not just here to capture every momentous little moment of your day, but also to guide you through your planning process to create the most sparkly version of your wedding day possible. Today, I want to shake up the system when it comes to your portraits – this will help maximise the time you have on your special day, and hopefully you’ll love tearing up the rule book as much as I do! 

When I talk about your portraits, I’m referring to the selection of pictures I take of you as a couple. One of my biggest focuses on your wedding day is you, and I put a lot of energy into the bridal shots to make you feel absolutely incred. Traditionally, your wedding day goes a little something like this…everybody gets ready in the morning, the ceremony takes place and then you arrive at your cocktail hour or drinks reception. Generally, this is about an hour and a half long, and usually the chosen time to go off and capture all those lovely portraits. 

There are two things that ruffle my feathers when it comes to capturing portraits during your cocktail hour – the first is that there are lots and lots of expectations and things to do during this time and, whilst my job as your photographer is to make sure we get all the money shots in as fun and relaxed a way possible, it’s not the optimal environment for you to feel playful and at ease in front of the camera. If you read my intro blog recently you’ll know I pride myself on my knack for teasing out the most confident and glowy version of you on your wedding day, and today’s advice is just one way I can do that! The second thing I don’t love about having portraits during your cocktail hour on your wedding day timeline? You’re missing out on time with your guests and getting your party started! Let’s be honest – you’ve paid lots of money for your venue, you’ve curated your drinks reception and all your guests are here and ready to bring the energy. You want to be able to spend time with them and enjoy your first drink as newlyweds, and I want to capture your loving life with your nearest and dearest. 

You’ve guessed it, though…I’m proposing an alternative way of doing things.

More and more I’m speaking to my couples about using the time before the wedding itself to capture portraits, often in the form of a ‘first look’. To me, the morning of your wedding is a portion of the day that could be better maximised. More often than not there’s lots of waiting around to get dressed, excitedly sipping fizz and wondering why you started so early…so let’s switch things up! Having your portraits done before you head off to your ceremony helps use this time to the fullest, and more importantly helps you really enjoy it. The benefits of doing it this way just keep on flowing; you’ve just had hair and make up done so it’s at its absolute loveliest; you create an intimate moment between the two of you before any of the gorgeous chaos of a wedding day gets going; and by the time it comes to your cocktail hour, your only ‘to-do’ is to get amongst it! 

Your wedding day photography timeline should be very personal to you. I encourage you to break down your timeline and think about it differently, without worrying about what tradition dictates. I know that having a first look isn’t for everyone so, if you love the idea of freeing up your cocktail hour but this way doesn’t feel quite right, let’s chat about other ways we can mix it up like the perfect margarita. 
Having me on your team means never having to settle for the accepted way of doing wedding photographs. My editorial, personal approach encourages fun and sparkle, and flipping timeline traditions on their heads is just the start. If you want to chat, pop me a message – I can’t wait to bring the Charlotte Nelson energy to your wedding day!

Photos captured at Goldsborough Hall, when Natasha and Charles did it their way!!!!!

Love Charlotte x

The Journal




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