HOW TO PLAN YOUR WEDDING

CRAFT YOUR TIMELINE

Once you have some decisions made, travel and lodging booked, activities, attire and gear picked out -- it's time to put everything together and plan out the timeline of your day (or multiple days). This is where your elopement or wedding experience starts to feel super real as you see your vision coming together into a seamless, exciting plan. Don't worry, it's not about scheduling out every minute of your day, but rather, making sure that you have time for everything you want to do, see, and experience together -- leaving room for spontaneity and relaxation.

HOW MUCH COVERAGE IS ENOUGH?

When planning out the timeline for your wedding day (or days), you might be wondering,

how much of it should you have documented by me? 

Want my honest opinion? Well, here it is:

Your day deserves just as much documentation as anyone else getting married -- and maybe even more.

Why? Well, here are three reasons:

ONE

While sometimes people think an elopement or intimate wedding is just saying your vows and spending an hour or two taking portraits, the day you get married is so much more than that. Your wedding day is going to be the day you remember every year on your anniversary for the rest of your life together -- and everything that happened that day from sun up to sun down is a part of your experience. Couples having big weddings get the entire story of their day documented, so why shouldn't you?

TWO

If you're spending all of this time intentionally planning the absolute best, most authentic experience for you and your partner, don't you want to be able to relive all of it and remember it precisely, in full-color detail?

THREE

If you're not having as many people attend your even in-person, the photos of your day are truly the only way to share your experience with others. Don't you want to be able to do that?

I honestly have never photographed a wedding or elopement that I thought the couple had me there for too long, but there have been countless days that I wish I could have documented a fuller picture of how awesome their entire experience was.

So when deciding how much of your day to have me along for, remember that just because I'm there doesn't mean that it's going to feel like an all-day photoshoot. I'm there to melt into the background, to make sure you have the best experience possible, and to just document you two have the time of your life.

SUNRISE VERSUS SUNSET

One big decision when it comes to creating a timeline for your wedding timeline is what time of day you want to have your ceremony and have your couples portraits taken. Sunrise and sunset are favorite times among photographers to take pictures because of the golden lighting and vibrant colors that are caused by the sun being low in the sky. In sunny climates, midday sunlight can create harsh under-eye shadows, which is why the middle of the day is when I usually recommend doing indoor photos, getting ready photos, traveling or hiking, doing activities, or hanging out and relaxing. 

BENEFITS OF GETTING MARRIED AT SUNRISE

SECLUSION: If you are concerned about  how much privacy you are going to have while you are saying your vows to your partner, then a sunrise ceremony might be a good idea, especially if you choose a heavily-trafficked or well-known area.

POTENTIALLY BETTER WEATHER: This is entirely region-dependent, but some areas regularly forecast rain more commonly in the afternoon which means that a sunrise ceremony increases your chances of clear skies. If you're getting married in a hot climate or wanting to hike, going for sunrise can also mean cooler temperatures and less sweating.

"ALPENGLOW" ON EAST-FACING LOCATIONS: If you're getting married in a mountainous region on a clear day and the dramatic view faces east, sunrise is ideal because it means that the sunlight will hit that view first, causing the mountains to glow with gorgeous pinks, oranges, and yellow colors.

GREAT WAY TO START YOUR DAY: Starting early and having your ceremony right at sunrise is an incredible way to start out your wedding day. It also gives you plenty of time to relax for the rest of your day and enjoy any other activities that you and your partner want to do.

BENEFITS OF GETTING MARRIED AT SUNSET

YOU CAN ALSO DO BOTH!

It's also always an option to do a full-day wedding that spans both sunrise to sunset or a multi-day celebration where you get to experience both as well.

SECLUSION: In the evening, most people, whether they are tourists or locals, tend to return home or wherever they are staying to have dinner, which means that many locations become less busy at sunset. So, similar to sunrise, you can get privacy if you say your vows around this time. However, this doesn't hold true for every location, as some spots are particularly known for their sunsets.

YOU CAN SLEEP IN: If you decide to do your ceremony at sunset, then you will have more flexibility regarding what time you wake up and be able to get ready in the daylight. If you know that you are not  morning person, you'll want to keep in mind that a sunrise ceremony could potentially leave you groggy and tired on your wedding day -- so you may want to seriously consider the benefits of a sunset ceremony instead.

GREAT LIGHT FOR WEST-FACING VIEWS: If you are wanting to say your vows with a beautiful west-facing view behind you, then having a ceremony at sunset means that the sun's final rays will be hitting the features behind you, and if the view behind you includes mountains to the west, then they will be illuminated with alpenglow towards sunset on a clear day.

YOU'LL BE ALL WARMED UP: It can take some people a bit of time to get comfortable being photographed, and your awareness of me as your photographer will likely be greatest at the beginning of our time together. A benefit of having a ceremony at sunset is that we will probably have already spent a good chunk of the day together, which means that you will have had time to get more comfortable with having a camera pointed at you, especially right before you say your vows to your partner, which many couples consider to be the most intimate part of a wedding day.

GETTING READY

WHY GETTING READY & DETAILS PHOTOS MATTER

The getting ready portion of the day is one of my favorite times of the day to document! During these moments, the excitement is high, and things are starting to feel so real. The day you've waited so long for is finally coming together -- you're about to marry your best friend! Including this portion of the day into your photo coverage really helps weave together a complete story of your wedding experience. It's also a helpful way to start getting warmed up to the camera, and a great time for me to document your important wedding details.

I recommend starting your day off in a relaxed manner, waking up with plenty of time to get ready so that you can feel really prepared, be present, and just soak in the excitement before heading off to the first location.

During this time, I will photograph all of your special wedding details that you've put so much time and effort into. It's helpful to have all of these details ready and laid out in advance. I recommend doing this the day before so you have one less thing on your mind day-of. Typically, these details will include your wedding attire, rings, jewelry, vow books, florals, family heirlooms, invitations or announcements, etc. This is also a great time to give your partner any special gifts.

WILL YOU GET READY TOGETHER OR SEPARATELY?

Some couples choose to get ready separately, especially if they've kept their wedding attire a surprise from each other or plan to do a first look. If you get ready separately, it's helpful to choose getting ready locations that are close to one another, and even better if you can get ready in nearby rooms at the same home. A lovely thought if you chose to get ready separately is that I will be able to photograph a unique glimpse into your partner's experience that you wouldn't see otherwise.

Other couples choose to get ready together. This enables you to spend the entirety of your wedding day together. Some of the sweetest photo opportunities include, sharing a mirror as you fix your hair, zipping your partner up into their wedding dress, tying a bow tie, or lacing up boots for each other. There is no wrong way to do this, it's all up to you and how you envision your day going!

You could even choose a combination of the two! Starting your day off snuggled in your pjs, making breakfast together and enjoying it in bed or on the deck of your AirBnb with a view. Then when it comes time to get dressed in your wedding attire, you can choose to keep that portion of the getting ready process a surprise. 

TIPS ON HOW TO HAVE THE BEST

GETTING-READY & DETAILS PHOTOS

When choosing your lodging and getting ready location, keep in mind the aesthetics, and look for lodging that will fit the general vibe you're going for. It's best to keep the rooms you are getting ready in neat & tidy and do any necessary picking up the day before. Try to pick up any loose clothing on the floor, move any luggage or miscellaneous items to one side of the room, or out of the rooms altogether. This will allow me to candidly photograph you two without any clutter or distractions in the frame. It will also create a more calm and peaceful environment for you to get ready in.

When searching for photogenic places to stay, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Always look for a nice, clean, calm, and open space

  • The more natural window light, the better

  • The less busy and distracting the space and decor is, the better

  • Consider the general aesthetics and decor -- do they match the vibe you're going for?

Once I arrive, I may do some slight rearranging depending on the lighting scenario, but don't worry! I'll put everything back in it's place for you when we wrap up!

Amazing and heartfelt moments to incorporate into your getting ready photos:

  • Copying your vows into your vow books

  • Writing and reading each other love notes

  • Giving a gift to your partner

  • Reading letters from family or friends

  • Videochatting with loved ones who are not present

  • Reading love notes or cards from early on in your relationship

  • Framed photos set up of loved ones who have passed

Additional things to consider to further elevate your getting ready photos:

  • Sit by a window when you're having your hair and make-up done. This will enable me to capture getting ready portraits in the most flattering light. Your hair and make-up artist will likely be in search of the best light in the room to apply your make-up anyhow. Having your make-up done in window light will also help ensure it will look natural once you are outdoors.

  • Think about what you will be wearing before your put on your dress or wedding attire. I will be capturing portraits of you before you put on your wedding attire, so consider opting for a nice casual outfit, robe, nightgown, or pajama set rather than sweatpants and a neon-colored graphic tee. You'll be just as comfortable but it'll bring that extra something special to your getting ready portraits.

  • Consider including details that are important to the two of you or that helps illustrate the story of your wedding day that are outside of the norm. Perhaps a postcard from the location you are saying your vows, extra loose flower stems from your florist, a special ring box or jewelry case, the bottle of perfume or cologne you've chosen to wear on your day, and a nice hanger for your dress or wedding attire.

HOW MUCH TIME DO I NEED FOR GETTING READY PHOTOS?

There are a couple of factors that go into determining this. How many people will be present? Are there any specific moments that you'd like to make sure are included (like FaceTiming a loved one, a first look with your dad, or making breakfast with your partner)? Generally two hours is enough time for most, enabling me to fully capture the details you put so much time and thought into, and the getting ready finishing touches that will help tell the full story of your day.

YOUR GETTING READY CHECKLIST:

  1. Declutter your space. Tuck all clothing, suitcases, and miscellaneous items away.

  2. Collect all details you'd like to have photographed (wedding attire, invitation suite, jewelry, perfume/cologne, bow tie, cufflinks, etc.)

  3. Create a clam atmosphere with music, candles or incense, and window light.

  4. Relax with a warm cup of tea coffee, hot cocoa, or a mimosa.

  5. Enjoy these previous first moments of your wedding day.

FIRST LOOK

FIRST OF ALL, WHAT'S A FIRST LOOK? Your first look is the moment you see your partner for the first time on your wedding day, all done up and looking incredible. If it hasn't felt like your wedding day is really here and happening up until this point, it will now. First looks are often emotional at first, followed by a stream of pure excitement and joy. Your first look is typically when any nerves and stress begin to fall away, too. You realize you're right where you're supposed to be, standing before the person that makes you feel the most comfortable in this world, about to have one of your best experiences yet together.

WHY SHOULD I HAVE ONE? Traditionally, at big weddings, the couple does not see one another until they are walking down the aisle during their ceremony. Think about how much of their wedding day has already flown by at this point! But, you're here because you've chosen to throw tradition to the wind, so having a first look is your opportunity to see your partner for the first time in their wedding attire! It allows you to see your partner earlier in the day so you can spend as much time as possible together, even if you want to get ready separately. It's a moment where you can be fully present without distraction. It doesn't make your ceremony any less emotional or special, in fact most often couples feel infinitely less nervous and more excited once they have had their first look to themselves. And if you're eloping or holding a smaller, more intimate wedding, choosing to have a first look also opens up a vast amount of possibilities when it comes to the rest of your day's timeline.

WHERE DO COUPLES HAVE THEIR FIRST LOOK?

Some couples choose to have their first look at their getting ready location, maybe in the front or back yard, out on a spacious deck, a stylized room indoors, or in any scenic corner of the property. Don't forget to consider this when you're booking your lodging! The benefit of doing your first look right at the getting ready location is that you'll be able to diminish any nerves from from the start, spend the maximum amount of time with your partner, and enjoy the journey to your next location together.

Other couples will choose to travel separately to their first portrait location or trailhead and do a first look there. You can have a friend or family member drive you, take two cars, or even ride in the same car with one partner in the backseat (if you promise not to peek!).

If you are doing a hiking elopement, many couples will hike up to their destination in normal hiking attire, change into their wedding attire once they reach their destination, and then have their first look there. This is also a great option for sunrise elopements if it has been dark outside up until this point.

I'm always here for you and happy to help give you guidance on the perfect nearby first look location and help make it as epic as possible. I'll also give you guidance on where to stand and make sure you don't see one another beforehand.

I love when couples stand there for a moment before the grand reveal, maybe exchanging sweet words as the anticipation builds. Once you've turned around to see each other, take it all in. I'll be capturing both of your reactions, the only thing you two have to do in this moment is enjoy it.

WHAT IF WE DON'T WANT A FIRST LOOK?

Listen, this is your wedding day. I'm just here to make recommendations and suggestions and you are under no obligation to take me up on any of them! I only make these because I know they'll result in better photos but I am in no way trying to dictate how your day should go. If you don't want a first look, don't do one! But, here are a few things to consider when making that decision:

  • You and your partner will miss all of cocktail hour. Immediately following the ceremony, we'll take family photos. Depending on your shot list, anticipate these taking 20 - 30 minutes. After your family is finished, we'll take your wedding party photos. Again, depending on the size of your group, expect another 20 minutes. If you have the standard one-hour cocktail hour, we're already 40-50 minutes in and we haven't even taken a single shot of just the two of you yet! Plus, you've now been standing around, taking 40+ minutes of photos. The last thing you'll probably want to do is go off for more.
     

  • In the winter, unless you have a ceremony mid-day, it'll probably be dark before we get to the group shots or your portraits. Expect lots of flash photography then (which really, that's probably not why you hired me).
     

  • The second half of your day will be much busier than the first half. If the first 4 hours of your 8-hour day is nothing but getting ready photos, all the important shots have to take place during the last 4 hours and, these are the 4 hours where you want nothing more but to celebrate with your family and friends and eat all that wonderful food and drink those amazing cocktails. Instead, I'll have to pull you away from that (your family and wedding party included) because we haven't taken any group shots or portraits yet.

PLANNING YOUR CEREMONY

When it comes to your ceremony, it's up to you what traditions you want to honor and which ones you would rather leave behind. Your ceremony can be completely personalized to you, your partner, and the relationship you've built together. 

THE LEGAL SIDE OF YOUR CEREMONY

The legal side of getting married depends entirely on where you live and where you get married. Do your research beforehand and familiarize yourself with local laws and regulations and decide if you want to go through the steps of getting legally married on your actual wedding day, or if you'd prefer to do it before, after, or not at all.

OPTIONS FOR GETTING LEGALLY MARRIED ON YOUR WEDDING DAY:

SELF-SOLEMNIZE

OFFICIANT & WITNESSES

Most U.S. states require you to have an officiant and witnesses for your ceremony and to sign your license. You can hire a professional officiant or ask a friend or family member that's attending to get ordained online (if that's legal in that state). As far as witnesses go, make sure to research the exact regulations for your location, but in most states, anyone over the age of 18 can be a witness. You can ask friends or family members, any of your wedding vendors, or even random hikers on the trail to be witnesses.

Some U.S. states like Colorado, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Washington D.C. allow you to self-solemnize, which is a law that grants you and your partner to legally marry each other without any officiant or witness present.

COURTHOUSE

If you want to get legally married on the same day that you say your vows, you could have your ceremony in a courthouse, or simply swing by and do the paperwork and read your vows in another location on that same day. Research beforehand whether you need an appointment and have all of your required documents gathered so that it's not something you need to stress about day-of.

OPTIONS FOR GETTING MARRIED WITHOUT THE LEGAL PART ON YOUR WEDDING DAY:

COMMITMENT CEREMONY

Many couples choose to not worry about the legal part of getting married on the day they say their vows. This is called a "commitment ceremony," "symbolic ceremony," or "promise ceremony." It's essentially getting married without a marriage license. Having a commitment ceremony means you wedding day plans are completely unhindered by rules or legalities, and can open the door for more location possibilities and require less people involved. If you choose to have a commitment ceremony, you can still do the paperwork and make it legal on another day, but some couples choose not to do the legal side, or aren't able to get legally married per the law.

SIGN BEFORE OR AFTER

If you want to get legally married without worrying about an officiant, witnesses, or paperwork on the day you get married, a great option is to go to the courthouse or county clerk before your trip or after you get back. For some couples, it's advantageous to get legally married for tax or benefit purposes before the day they read their vows. If you want, you can invite your family or friends to get ordained or be witnesses and make a fun experience out of signing the paperwork once you get back home.

WHAT TO DO DURING YOUR CEREMONY

Regardless of how you choose to do the legal side of getting married, there are numerous traditions that you can decide to incorporate on the day you say your vows -- or you can skip them all and totally decide on your own.

Here are some ideas of what exactly you can do during your elopement or wedding ceremony:

READ PERSONALIZED VOWS

Reflect upon your relationship so far, declare any promises that you want to share about your future together, express any emotions that you are feeling, and commit your life to your partner. 

EXCHANGE RINGS OR ANOTHER TOKEN

Rings are traditional since they represent an infinity with no beginning and no end, but you could exchange any other symbol that is important to, and honors, your relationship.

FIRST KISS & FIRST DANCE

Celebrate some exciting firsts in your new married life together with your first kiss as a married couple and your first dance.

INCORPORATE MUSIC

Play your favorite song on a portable speaker, have a musician play your favorite tune, or surprise your partner with your musical talent by playing your own instrument or singing an original song.

SAGE SMUDGING

If allowed and safe (please check fire bans and always leave no trace), this ceremony requires a bundle of sage, a way of lighting it, and a bowl. The intention is that you light the sage, which is symbolic for replacing any negative energies with positive, healing ones. You can also use an essential oil sage spray if fire isn't safe.

HANDFASTING

This is originally a Celtic pagan ceremony where the hands of you and your partner are bound together by a braided rope, and it both figuratively and literally joins you and  your partner. You can also have friends or family members participating in tying cords around your hands.

UNITY CEREMONY

A unity ceremony consists of joining two parts of something into a singular piece, and it is representative of merging your life together with your partner's life. Traditionally, this has been done by lighting a unity candle, but you can also combine two different colors of sand or plant a tree together -- whatever feels like a unification of you and your partner.

READ LETTERS

You can ask friends or family members who aren't physically present on your day to write you a letter for you to read during your ceremony. This is a beautiful way to feel their presence and support.

SURPRISES & GIFTS

If you have a special surprise or gift for your partner, whether it's a handmade gift, jewelry, or something else, giving it to your partner during your ceremony can be really special!

CREATE SPACE FOR THOSE NOT PRESENT

As a gesture to a special person or people who could not physically attend your day, you can include a moment of silence during your ceremony, or incorporate a memento from them into your wedding day.

PORTRAITS

COUPLES PORTRAITS

It's incredibly common for couples to fear being awkward in front of the camera. Trust me, I hear this from almost everyone I talk to. I want to assure you that letting those worries fall away will be easier than you anticipate. Remember that you're going to be looking SO GOOD and you will be experiencing so many wonderful emotions on your wedding day, and those feelings of overwhelming joy will shine through to your photos.

This designated portrait time is a great chance for you two to enjoy some slower-paced alone time. My best photos happen when you two actually forget that I'm there and are just wrapped up in each other and the stunning scenery around you. If any posing adjustments need to be made, I will speak up and give you two some gentle directions. I'll never leave you hanging or wondering what to do.

The more time we have for portraits, the more relaxed you two will feel and the more great portraits I'll be able to take! The magic typically begins to happen after spending at least 20-30 minutes at a location.

QUICK TIPS FOR LOOKING GREAT IN YOUR PHOTOS

ONE

Trust me! I do this professionally, and we have the same goal in mind. I want your photos to look as incredible as you do (if not more).

TWO

You'll find yourself quickly forgetting about any cameras the more you focus on being present with your partner and the beautiful scenery around you. That's what the day is all about, after all.

THREE

If you're ever unsure with what to do with your hands, reach for your partner.

FOUR

You never have to be statues, movement is good! Don't be afraid to interact with one another how you normally would and explore the landscape around you.

FIVE

Keep each other smiling. Reminisce over all the amazing stories, adventures, and misadventures that brought you to where you are now. Remind your partner how great they look and how much you love them often.

SIX

Have fun and enjoy yourself! Happy looks good on you.

FAMILY PORTRAITS

Most often, I photograph family portraits immediately after the ceremony while everyone is still in one place and looking great! Or, if you've done a first look and want all group shots finished before the ceremony, we'll take them approximately 45 minutes before your ceremony begins. If you make a list of desired family portrait combinations beforehand, this process can be seamless and relatively quick! I recommend keeping your shot list to under 10 separate groupings and you can anticipate each family portrait combination taking about 3 minutes to complete. Here's a short and simple example:

  • Couple + parents

  • Couple + parents + siblings

  • Couple + siblings

  • Couple + friends

  • Couple + dogs

  • Group photo of everyone

As we get closer to your wedding day and I send you your day-of questionnaire, I'll ask you to provide a more thorough list structured like the following (and following the same short and simple examples as above):

  • GROUP ONE -- Couple + Partner A's Parents
    Partner A & Partner B
    Partner A's parent's names
     

  • GROUP TWO -- Couple + Partner A's Immediate Family
    Partner A & Partner B
    Partner A's parent's names
    Partner A's sibling's names

    etc. I always ask that you use first names and label who I'm calling (mom, grandma, sister, brother). That way, if there are multiple guests with the same first name, we can quickly distinguish who's needed for what shot.

TIPS FOR YOUR FAMILY PORTRAITS

ONE

Have your guests remove all sunglasses and/or transition eyeglasses

TWO

Empty all pockets! No phones or wallets creating awkward bulky pockets.

THREE

Set any purses, bags, or jackets/layers that they don't want to be photographed in, off to the side.

FOUR

Have fun with it! Yes, I will make sure to capture plenty of each group looking at the camera and smiling, but don't be afraid to get candid after the "serious" photos are captured too. Hugs, laughs, goofy poses, and bunny ears are all welcome.

ACTIVITIES

When you are thinking about your wedding day timeline, you will also want to consider any other meaningful activities that you might want to incorporate into your day -- either to celebrate your relationship or to take a moment to reflect upon the commitment you are making.

Here are a few ideas for some activities that you don't necessarily need to book ahead of time but might still want to leave space for in your wedding day:

  • Dedicating time to write in a journal so that you can capture all of the emotions of the day and revisit how you felt on your wedding day in the future.
     

  • Reading letters from friends and family members who might not be in attendance during your actual wedding day.
     

  • Playing instruments together -- whether you are both talented musicians or just started learning together, this can be a special way to spend time together and communicate your joy through music.
     

  • Creating something together, like painting a blank canvas, throwing some pottery, making your own rings, or blending your own wedding-day wine. This will also give you a unique memento from your special day unlike any other.
     

  • Spending some time taking a nearby walk or hike to really be present, take in your surroundings, and commit them to memory.
     

  • Taking a trip to the local tattoo parlor to get matching tattoos in celebration of your new marriage.
     

  • Planting trees, flowers, or other foliage (but only in places where it is appropriate to do so!) to represent rooting yourself in your relationship and being ready to grow together.
     

  • Playing a game -- from video games to board games to backyard games, there are so many options, and this is a great activity to include some guests while also having a lot of fun.
     

When budgeting time in your day for activities, I recommend leaving some extra space so that you don't feel rushed to "perform" an activity in a short amount of time but rather, have time to relax and enjoy it. Also remember that some activities can take a while to set up, so leave space for travel and those transitions when planning these out.

CELEBRATORY MEAL OR PARTY

It's super important to stay fueled and sustained during your wedding day, especially if there are activities involved. A meal is the perfect time to sit back, relax, and simply soak in the excitement of the day. There are many routes you can go to incorporate food into your day. Will you choose a more luxurious route? Or is it more your style to do something casual?

HERE ARE SOME FUN FOOD-RELATED IDEAS TO CONSIDER

  • Do you want to feel pampered and have a private chef prepare special meals for you?
     

  • Would you like to pack a picnic and enjoy it someplace scenic?
     

  • Will you make a charcuterie board of all your favorite foods?
     

  • Will you tailgate on the side of a 4x4 road?
     

  • Would you like to cook something together over a fire?
     

  • Would you like a more casual potluck style meal with guests at an Airbnb?
     

  • Will you seek a favorite food or try something new?
     

  • Will you be dining out of a JetBoil outside of your tent?
     

  • Would you like to swing by a nearby restaurant, distillery, or brewery? Maybe reserve a private room or tasting?
     

  • Is spontaneously finding a random street vendor more your style?
     

  • Will you be on the go? If so, maybe you'll prefer to swing by a caterer or restaurant and pick up something pre-packaged.
     

  • Will you celebrate with sparkling water or champagne? Or is there a favorite beverage you'd enjoy together?
     

  • What would be the most awesome scenario for you on your wedding day?

If you're having an intimate wedding, you can also use the time around a celebratory meal to have a first dance and toasts. This is also a great time to read letters or cards from friends and family who aren't physically there with you and reminisce about highlights of the day so far. I highly recommend putting some time aside to enjoy these moments on your wedding day without feeling rushed. I will be documenting this time very candidly, but will also leave space for you two to enjoy yourselves without the camera present, especially while you're consuming food.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER -- TIMELINE EXAMPLES

Remember, this is your day. Not your parents'. Not your friends'. Not anyone else's. So, throw tradition to the wind and get married in a way that truly reflects who you are together. Your timeline does not have to look like the traditional wedding day! While at some point in the day, you will have your ceremony and commit your lives to one another, but the journey to that moment and how you choose to celebrate afterwards can truly look a million different ways. Use these timeline examples as a jumping off point and to spark your imagination. Anything is possible!

2 DAY 2-PERSON ELOPEMENT

This option is perfect for those that love activities and want to include a multitude of different types of scenery in their day. Spend your first day road-tripping someplace new, stopping for short hikes and amazing view points along the way. Then use your second day for a fun activity like a seaplane ride into the wilderness, canoeing on a pristine mountain lake, sailing from one tiny island to another, off-roading in the desert, or a day at a vineyard blending your own bottles of wine. There is plenty of room for spontaneity too so feel free to relax while soaking up a beautiful view.

Or maybe you two love hiking and tent camping together. Use the first day to hike into an awesome location and set up camp. Then, on the second day, wake up early for sunrise and grab incredible photos around the area you worked so hard to get to!

DAY 1 SAMPLE TIMELINE : CAMPING

DAY 2 SAMPLE TIMELINE : CAMPING

  • 7am -- Meet at trailhead, begin hike in (8 miles)

  • 3pm -- Arrive at camping spot and set up camp

  • 4pm -- Get ready for first look

  • 5:30pm -- First look!

  • 5:30 - 6:30pm -- Portraits around the area

  • 7pm -- Ceremony at sunset

  • 7:30pm -- Twilight & starry sky photos

  • 8pm -- Return to camp. Prepare dinner and take cozy campfire photos in your wedding attire.

  • 9pm -- Lights out!

  • 3am -- Wake up and prepare to head out for sunrise!

  • 3:30am -- Leave for mountain summit (1 mile hike)

  • 4:30am -- Arrive on summit, cool off before photos begin

  • 5:30am -- Sunrise!

  • 5:30 - 6:30am -- Portraits on the summit

  • 6:30am -- Hike back to camp

  • 7:30am -- Break down camp

  • 8am -- Begin hike back out (8 miles)

  • 4pm -- Arrive back at trailhead

DAY 1 SAMPLE TIMELINE : DAY TRIPS

  • 5:30am -- Meet at location one & set up for first look

  • 6am -- Sunrise first look at location one and portraits

  • 7am -- Head to location two (15 min drive)

  • 7:15am -- Arrive at trailhead, gear up

  • 7:30am -- Begin hike, taking portraits along the way (2 miles)

  • 9:30am -- Arrive at location two for ceremony & picnic brunch

  • 12pm -- Hike back to trailhead, taking portraits along the way

  • 1:30pm -- Arrive at trailhead, head to location three (45 min)

  • 2:15pm -- Arrive at location three for exploring & kayaking

  • 5:30pm -- Return kayaks, photo coverage wraps up

DAY 2 SAMPLE TIMELINE : DAY TRIPS

  • 6am -- Arrive at boat launch for check-in

  • 6:30am -- Depart for first location

  • 7am -- Arrive at location one for portraits

  • 8am -- Depart for second location

  • 8:30am -- Arrive at location two for portraits

  • 9:30am -- Depart and head back to the marina

2 DAY EVENT WITH FAMILY

This option is perfect for those who want to still have the time to do adventurous activities that are meaningful to them as a couple but don't exclude friends and loved ones.

On day one, hold a traditional wedding day. Celebrate with your guests and stick to values and traditions that are important to you and your family members. But on day two, get adventurous! Get up early with your new spouse and do something epic -- something that wasn't possible on your actual wedding day.

It's the best of both worlds without hurting anyone's feelings.

DAY 1 SAMPLE TIMELINE : TRADITIONAL

DAY 2 SAMPLE TIMELINE : ADVENTURE

  • 2:45pm -- Meet at ceremony location & set up for first look

  • 3:15pm -- First look followed by capturing details

  • 4:00pm -- Family arrives & set up for ceremony

  • 4:30pm -- Ceremony begins

  • 5:15pm -- Ceremony wraps up, pops champagne to celebrate

  • 5:45pm -- Family photos

  • 6:30pm -- Family photos wrap up & family leaves

  • 6:45pm -- Exploring & portraits with just the couple

  • 7:45pm -- Sunset, head to dinner location

  • 8:15pm -- Arrive at reception & meet family 

  • 10:45pm -- Photo coverage wraps up

  • 2am -- Wake up and prepare to head out for sunrise!

  • 2:30am -- Leave for mountain summit (3 mile hike)

  • 5:30am -- Arrive on summit, cool off before photos begin

  • 6am -- Sunrise!

  • 6am -- Sunrise portraits & exploring

  • 8:30am -- Begin hike back down, taking portraits along the way

  • 10am -- Arrive back at trailhead, photo coverage ends

12 HOUR ELOPEMENT 

This is just enough time to tell the story of your incredible wedding day. Enough time to capture getting ready photos, your adventure to your ceremony location, portraits, and a celebration of your elopement together. You can choose to tackle climbing a mountain together, having a relaxing day spent by the sea or a lake, or anything in between.

My 12-hour elopement package is my only package that can be broken up. This means we can spend 6 hours getting epic photos at sunrise, come back and take a little afternoon nap, then head back out again for 6 hours, wrapping up with some starry sky shots.

SAMPLE TIMELINE -- CONTINUOUS

  • 9am -- Coverage begins at couple's lodging

  • 9 - 9:30am -- Location & detail photos are taken

  • 9:30 - 11am -- Getting ready coverage between both partners

  • 11am -- Partner One gets dressed & solo portraits

  • 11:30am -- Partner Two gets dressed & solo portraits

  • Noon -- Head to first look location

  • 12:30pm -- Arrive at first look location

  • 12:45pm -- First look and portraits around the area

  • 1:45pm -- Head to ceremony location, stopping along the way

  • 2:45pm -- Arrive at ceremony location

  • 3:15pm -- Ceremony, followed by exploring & portraits

  • 5pm -- Head back to lodging

  • 6pm -- Arrive at lodging for a private chef dinner

  • 8pm -- Head back outside for some night/campfire shots

  • 9pm -- Photography coverage wraps up

SAMPLE TIMELINE -- SPLIT COVERAGE

  • 3am -- Meet at trailhead and gear up

  • 3:30am -- Hit the trail for hike to summit (2 miles)

  • 5:30am -- Arrive at summit, cool down and change

  • 6am -- Sunrise & portraits

  • 7:30am -- Pack up and head back to trailhead

  • 9am -- Arrive at trail head. Photography coverage #1 wraps up

BREAK FOR THE AFTERNOON

  • 4pm -- Meet at trailhead #2 and gear up

  • 4:30pm -- Hit the trail to hike to summit (2 miles)

  • 6:30pm -- Arrive at summit, cool down and change

  • 7pm -- Explore and portraits

  • 8pm -- Ceremony

  • 8:30pm -- Sunset portraits

  • 8:45pm -- Pack up and head back to trailhead

  • 10pm -- Arrive at trail head. Photography coverage wraps up.

12 HOUR WEDDING WITH GUESTS

Your wedding day with loved ones can still include an adventure for just the two of you! Start your day with a hike above the clouds at sunrise or a morning paddleboarding session before reuniting with your friends and family for a ceremony and delicious meal together. Or opt for an off-roading adventure ending in expansive views, easily accessible for everyone to explore together and then have your ceremony and picnic right there! The possibilities are endless.

SAMPLE TIMELINE -- ADVENTURE SESSION

  • 3am -- Meet at trailhead and gear up

  • 3:30am -- Hit the trail for hike to summit (2 miles)

  • 5:30am -- Arrive at summit, cool down and change

  • 6am -- Sunrise & portraits

  • 7:30am -- Pack up and head back to trailhead

  • 9am -- Arrive at trail head and head to lodgings

  • 9:30am -- Arrive at lodging and prep for ceremony

  • 11am -- Ceremony

  • 11:30am -- Family photos

  • 12pm -- Brunch party with mimosas and Bloody Marys

  • 2pm -- Head offsite for portraits

  • 3pm -- Photography coverage wraps up

SAMPLE TIMELINE -- TRADITIONAL DAY

  • 10am -- Photography coverage begins

  • 10 - 11am -- Getting ready photos of Partner A

  • 11am - Noon -- Getting ready photos of Partner B

  • 12:30pm -- First look & portraits offsite

  • 2:30pm -- Wedding party photos

  • 3pm -- Family photos

  • 3:30pm -- Couple hidden away in preparation for ceremony 

  • 4pm -- Ceremony

  • 4:30pm -- Cocktail hour

  • 5:30pm -- Formal introductions

  • 5:45pm -- Toasts

  • 6pm -- Dinner service begins

  • 7pm -- Golden hour portraits

  • 7:30pm -- First dance

  • 7:35pm -- Parent dances

  • 7:45pm -- Dance floor opens

  • 8pm -- Cake cutting

  • 10pm -- Photography coverage ends

TRADITIONAL WEDDING PACKAGES

While any of these packages can also be used for a 2-person elopement, the sample timelines below are structured for traditional wedding days. If you want to use one for an elopement, just ask and we'll craft the perfect timeline together!

FOUR HOUR / HALF DAY PACKAGE

REMEMBER:

  • 1pm -- Photography coverage begins

  • 1 - 1:30pm -- Getting ready photos of Partner A

  • 1:30pm -- Partner A's solo portraits

  • 1:45 - 2:15pm -- Getting ready photos of Partner B

  • 2:15pm -- Partner B's solo portraits

  • 2:45pm -- First look & portraits onsite

  • 3:30pm -- Ceremony

  • 4pm -- Group photos

  • 4:30pm -- Reception candids

  • 5pm -- Photography coverage ends

No matter how you choose to structure your wedding day, keep in mind these tips:

Leave room for spontaneity. The last thing you want to feel on your wedding day is rushed and stressed. Give yourself lots of extra cushion in your day for transitions, spontaneous adventure, and for if you end up running behind at some point. Worse case scenario? You end up with extra time to spend relaxing or soaking up a gorgeous view.

Be uniquely you. Consider carving out time in your day to enjoy an experience together that may be a bit unusual for a wedding day but is important to and uniquely you. Is your favorite way to spend a morning making french toast and hanging with your fur babies? Do it! Love to play an instrument and want to surprise your partner with a song? Go for it!

Worried about being super vulnerable in front of family and friends when you say your vows? Figure out another time during the day to recite your private vows to one another and then just repeat the standard vows at your ceremony!

EIGHT HOUR PACKAGE

  • 12pm -- Photography coverage begins

  • 12 - 1pm -- Getting ready photos of Partner A

  • 1 - 2pm -- Getting ready photos of Partner B

  • 2:30pm -- First look & portraits

  • 3pm -- Wedding party photos

  • 3:30pm -- Family photos

  • 4pm -- Couple hidden away before ceremony

  • 4:30pm -- Ceremony

  • 5pm -- Cocktail hour

  • 6pm -- Formal introductions into first dance

  • 6:10pm -- Parent dances

  • 6:15pm -- Toasts

  • 6:30pm -- Dinner service begins

  • 7pm -- Golden hour portraits

  • 7:30pm -- Cake cutting

  • 8pm -- Photography coverage ends

TEN HOUR PACKAGE

  • 11am -- Photography coverage begins

  • 11am - 1:30pm -- Getting ready photos of Partner A

  • 1:30pm - 3pm -- Getting ready photos of Partner B

  • 3:30pm -- First look & portraits

  • 4pm -- Wedding party photos

  • 4:30pm -- Family photos

  • 5pm -- Couple hidden away before ceremony

  • 5:30pm -- Ceremony

  • 6pm -- Cocktail hour

  • 7pm -- Formal introductions into first dance

  • 7:10pm -- Dinner service begins

  • 7:15pm -- Golden hour portraits

  • 7:45pm -- Toasts

  • 8pm -- Parent dances

  • 8:15pm -- Cake cutting

  • 9pm -- Photography coverage ends

GET READY TO GO