Hello & welcome to the blog! I'm Angela Norton, and I'm a family, senior, & wedding photographer based in North Central Florida. I'd love for you to relax a while here, and enjoy reading the ANP stories. You'll also find resources for your next session or wedding!
When I ask my bride if she plans on a first look, she typically responds with a no, with a super quick follow up that she’s really sorry because she knows it helps with the timeline, but….. fill in the blank.
Why I love first looks, and the reason might surprise you!
So what does a wedding day timeline really look like?
You know, everything just takes longer than you think it will. So many people are involved in each step of the day, and it just takes time to mobilize various groups of people throughout the day.
To help the events of the day to run smoothly, you’ll want a detailed timeline to follow. It also serves as a checklist to make sure everything, and everyone is remembered!
When starting to plan your timeline, you’ll start with the hair and makeup of the bridal party, allowing a minimum of 15 minutes per person. If one person is doing both hair and makeup, allow 30 minutes per person. Remember to account for moms, grandmas, & flower girls. Your professional stylists will give you a custom timeline for your party.
If I am your photographer, I’ll be arriving about 30 minutes prior to the brides hair and makeup being done. I’ll get detail shots of the invitation, flowers, jewelry, etc.
If you are getting ready at another location from your ceremony site, add time to get there. A few quick searches on Google Maps will do the trick!
Mom needs to be dressed and ready before the bride is getting into her gown, because she’ll be in pictures next. We’ll get the detail shots of mom and/or maid of honor helping with the dress, this takes about 15 minutes. We need another 20 minutes to take portraits of the bride, alone. Then another 20 minutes for the bridesmaids portraits.
Allow 45 minutes for these pictures. You can overlap this time with the Bride and Bridesmaids time if you have a second shooter. And again, account for any travel time between locations. We will take pictures of the groom with his mom, dad, and best man helping him get ready.
I can usually get these photos done quicker than an hour, but let’s face it…. The guys are rarely ready on time! I say that with good humor, but it’s still true. I usually jump over and grab some reception shots, if we are near, while someone else is hounding the guys to finish up.
Dad’s First Look
I recommend taking a moment to allow the bride and her dad, or whoever is walking her down the aisle, to see each other, alone. It’s an opportunity for them to be themselves, and for dad to get a good look at his baby girl. Dad is usually just doing what he’s told throughout this whole crazy wedding planning process, and this gives him the honor of having time set aside just for him. It will take about 15 minutes.
Bride and Groom’s First Look or Prayer
If ya’ll choose to do a first look, we’d take care of that next. Allow 15 minutes for a moment alone, and a few moments to touch up any makeup on the bride (including the lipstick transferred to the groom!); then we’ll spend about 20 minutes on photos.
Wedding Party Photos
Whether before (if doing a first look) or after the ceremony, the entire wedding party photos will take about 20 minutes.
The family photos will take 2 – 3 minutes per group. To help with the process, you’ll want a loud and firm person to work the shotlist. Prior to your wedding day, we will have created a shot list with an efficient workflow.
I’m sure your ceremony will start exactly on time, but go ahead and save yourself some gray hairs and add an extra 15 minutes to your timeline here! Plan 20 – 60 minutes for your ceremony.
Cocktail or Hors Devours Hour
This hour is created to entertain and feed your guests, at a location other than where dinner is being served, while we take any group photos that haven’t already been done.
Since it’s not too much fun for them to go straight to a table and just sit and stare at each other, give them something to do! This is a GREAT time for the second shooter to take a lot of pictures of your guests, so we really don’t want them at their table yet.
We’ll slip away for about 20 – 30 minutes for gorgeous sunset pictures. This is a chance for the bride and groom to have an alone moment, and breath each other in, and talk about the joy of their day. And here’s where it’s important to be on track with your wedding day timeline… The sun doesn’t wait for us! These pictures need to happen at a specific time.
Grand Entrance, First Dance, Welcome Toasts
Allow 15 minutes for your bridal party introductions, rolling right into your first dance, then the music fades and either you, or your dj, welcomes and thanks your guests for coming and say blessings.
Depending on how you are serving dinner, buffet line vs servers, allow around 45 minutes.
Bridal Party Toasts
This should take about 10 minutes, and be done just as guests are finishing up dinner.
Rolling right into dances, allow 10 minutes here. You can choose whether to play an entire song, or shorten it. This marks a great transition to open the dance floor and get your party started!
Cake, Bouquet & Garter Toss
If you so choose, these activities (barring no one gets too crazy) should take only 15 minutes. This is also a great opportunity for you to say a few words and thank your guests for coming.
And that’s about it for the standard events during a wedding day!
Your wedding day timeline is a must have tool for you, and several others, to use on your big day.
If you want to nerd out with me, I’ve got a geeky spreadsheet for us to play with timeframes and activities.
Angela Norton Photography – Essential Wedding Resource
You really wish you just didn’t have to say it! Letting your guests know that your ceremony will be unplugged, ahead of time, is a great way to prevent potential hazards.
If you have hired me as your photographer, you’ll have all your images in a format that can be easily shared with your friends and family. This way, with confidence, you can ask for your guests to remain unplugged throughout the ceremony, while assuring them that they will receive ceremony images!
Here are a few ideas to help you get the word out.
Once the officiant is mic’d up, and right before the groom comes to join him or her is a great time to make some housekeeping announcements.
“Welcome, friends and family! Good evening, everyone. Please be seated. Dan and Jennifer invite you to be truly present at this special time. Please, turn off your cell phones and put down your cameras. The photographer will capture how this moment looks — I encourage you all to capture how it feels with your hearts, without the distraction of technology. If Dan can do it, then so can you.” – Huffington Post
“As we tie the knot, please be our guest. Our photographer will take care of the rest!”
“Welcome! We’ve hired a photographer to capture how this moment looks with their camera, so you can capture how it feels with your hearts.”
“Welcome to our unplugged wedding! We invite you to be fully present with us during the ceremony. Please turn off all cell phones and cameras.”
“The bride and groom kindly request an unplugged ceremony.”
“We’re happy to share our professional wedding photos later, but the greatest gift you can give us today is just being fully here with us in this sacred and special moment.”
If you’d like to go a bit more direct, include an easy to understand graphic in your program. If you’d like this one, you can download it!
“We’re so glad you’re here! Please stow away your phones and cameras until the reception. We promise to share the beautiful pictures taken today.”
Check out this hilarious, and a little shocking, compilation of images from weddings where cell phone usage got way out of hand. 23 Reasons to have an Unplugged Wedding.
You really wish you just didn’t have to say it! Letting your guests know that your ceremony will be unplugged, ahead of time, is a great way to prevent potential hazards. If you have hired me as your photographer, you’ll have all your images in a format that can be easily shared with […]
Your desired wedding day look can change a lot leading up to the big day. I know when I’m planning anything, I look at so much inspiration, I forget what my vision was to begin with! So, I put together this article to give you a little hair and make-up advice.
You know I love Pinterest for Inspiration Boards. It’s free so what’s not to love?
Get your inspiration together, make sure it’s cohesive and clearly exhibits ‘your look’, and be ready to present it to your potential artists. Your inspiration board should, of course, contain examples that are in line with your real hair, face shape, and skin.
When I say artist, I really mean it. An artist will know what will look perfect with your face, skin, dress, and veil.
And choose a professional. A professional artist will show up on time, be able to give you a solid timeline for everyone in your party, and be appropriately dressed and courteous to your people.
They will use professional products that will last you day into evening.
It goes without saying, pick someone you trust to listen to you and your dreams. However, definitely need to listen to your artist. They are, after all, experts on the subject!
For hair coloring and styling, I recommend Sabrina Brice. She is an amazing colorist, and has a big bag of tricks for up-do’s and wedding day styles.
For make-up, I recommend Danielle Drake. She knows how to make a face camera ready!
Photographs are meant to be experienced, and photo albums are a great way to do it.
Every photo album is uniquely you, handcrafted with your images and your design. It’s an heirloom that will be cherished for years to come.
Since your albums will be displayed, they become a conversation piece for your home. You will reach for them time and time again to share with your company. You’ll get them out at parties and anniversaries, and look through the pages. Trying to show your images on the computer, just isn’t the same.
Technology comes and goes. Remember the floppy disk and vcr? A book is forever. An album will never become obsolete or ancient technology.
This one I love because it actually has two purposes! Create a unique guest sign-in experience for your party or wedding. It adds a personal touch, and makes a memorable keepsake.
How adorable is this one? This is a must have for your newborn session!
From mini accordions to 12×12 albums, there is an album shape & style for any occasion, event, and story.
While the interior of your albums will be different for every season and story of life, you can display them with class and style!
You can choose from premium leather, colored faux leather, colored fabric, linen, and buckram. And you can choose to place an image, either full size or windowed, on the cover.
Here again, you have lots of options! From satin to matte, all the pages are nice and thick to stand the test of time. All albums are designed to lay flat, which is a beautiful way to display your images, and tell a story.
Printing technology that produces a vibrant and detailed finish that is instantly noticeable. The inks are archival quality to ensure each image maintains its vibrancy for generations to discover.
You know moms and grandmas usually have everything they need. And you also know that the thing they cherish the most is their babies, young and old. Accordion photo albums come in a few sizes, and is a breeze to pop in the mail.
And what better way to say thanks to your bridal party, than a mini album of the best moments of the day!
I’ll help you create the perfect photo album for every story, starting from the outside.
On another note, are you interested in wall art? I have an awesome inspiration gallery for you to check out!
I’ll help you create the perfect photo album.
We live in an amazing age when artists can easily create a company and share their work! With so many selections for wedding stationary, I hope this article helps you!
These days you can get your invitations in absolutely almost any shape or style you can dream up. So it can be overwhelming to say the least!
While you have every option of style, color, font, material, shape, you still need to define your vision, and stay in your lane.
Before you choose, you’ll want to be certain of some things. Keeping an inspiration board close by will help you stay on your track, and be true to your vision.
Your inspiration board should contain a color palate along with design ideas. Make sure your inspiration board is in line with your venue capabilities.
Save the Date
This is generally where you’ll begin the process. You’ll want to get this in the mail at least six months prior to your wedding, if it is local. If you are planning a destination wedding, at the very least, eight months out is your target.
The details you’ll need to provide are the date, the city and state, and a comment that a formal invitation will be sent soon.
Along with a gorgeous engagement photo, or 5, this is your opportunity to set the tone for your wedding. If your wedding is rustic vs black tie, your guests will get the hint. With that said, you certainly do not have to match your wedding theme or colors. This is a fun way to show your true selves!
Here’s where you give all the details. Make absolutely sure you provide your guests with date, time, ceremony, and reception addresses.
Your wedding invitations should be mailed out about 6 months prior to the big day. Remember to start planning far before then, because you’ll need time design & proof (probably a few times), as well as printing and shipping.
The invitation can set the tone for the wedding, so you’ll want to try to represent your wedding theme in color and style.
If you’d like to have a simple invitation, but still have details to convey, you’ll want to incorporate inserts. Inserts might include, extra directions, attire instructions, accommodations for out of town guests, wedding hashtags, or a wedding website link.
Choose your words wisely, and have a few people help you proof to make sure everything is clearly stated.
Typically you’ll want to know how many guests you need to be prepared for. The RSVP card can provide you with guest name(s), whether they will or won’t attend the wedding, how many will be in their party. Be sure to include a due by date, so you’ll get what you need in time, and a postage paid, addressed return envelope.
Here’s another area where you want a second set of eyes! Check and re-check your dates.
You may have one or two envelopes, depending on your stationary package. The advantage of having two, is that you can write on the inner envelope the names of people you expect to be in your guests party.
Other Wedding Stationary Items to Consider
If you are looking for a very cohesive look, or simply want to get more to-do’s checked off your list, you can have the stationary company go ahead and create products for you! And for as busy bride to be, you may want to really think about.
Ordering ceremony programs, escort and/or place Cards, menu cards, & thank you cards, can save you time, and even money.
You can choose to have a professional do all the writing. Whether you hire a calligrapher, or use printed labels, you’ll want to have your addresses together about 10 months in advance.
Consider ordering a pretty stamp with your return address. From the Save-the-Date to the Thank You card, there is a whole lot of return addressing!
We live in an amazing age when artists can easily create a company and share their work! With so many selections for wedding stationary, I hope this article helps you! These days you can get your invitations in absolutely almost any shape or style you can dream up. So it can be overwhelming to say […]