Storey Wilkins Photography
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Wedding Day Timeline

"How long should my photographer stay on the wedding day?" As a Toronto Wedding Photographer this is one of the most common questions that I get asked. Here are three sample timelines to help you choose the perfect length of photography coverage for you.

A Lush Garden Scroll at Toronto Hunt Club by the Lake

Four Hours - A Short & Sweet Day

A wedding is a whirlwind of events, gone in the blink of an eye. There’s little more important to a perfectly executed event than an organized timeline. If you are looking to effectively plan out your wedding day, here is a look at a typical 4 hour wedding photography timeline from our point of view.

FIRST HOUR - The bride will be finished with her hair and make up when I arrive at the preparation site to capture the finishing touches and to document the bride getting into her gown. The bride will be photographed on her own and with her bridesmaids, mother, sisters, etc. at this time. My second photographer will meet up with the groom and groomsmen who will be dressed and ready to go. Final preparations will be documented and portraits of the groom and groomsmen, father, brothers etc will be taken.

SECOND HOUR - The bride and groom and attendants and family all head to the wedding site, as do the photographers. We will photograph guests arriving and capture the pre-ceremony energy and ambiance. The ceremony will be glorious and the aftermath will be incredible. We will document each part of the ceremony as well as the wonderful meet and greet immediately following the ceremony.

THIRD HOUR - As guests head to the party we will gather your bridal party and families for some formal photographs. As soon as we are finished these we will invite your loved ones to head to the party. At this point we will create some lovely portrait images of just the bride and groom that will include a variety of full length, close up, formal, casual, romantic, and fun photographs.

FOURTH HOUR - We arrive at the reception site and immediately begin photographing candid shots of guests enjoying the cocktail reception. If there are any additional formal photographs desired we will take this time to finish them. We are always available for any photo request you may have before we leave. Just ask!


Toronto Wedding Cake at Graydon Hall Manor

Eight Hours - a Taste of Everything!

If you are looking to effectively plan out your wedding day, here is a look at a typical 8 hour wedding photography timeline from our point of view.

3 HOURS BEFORE THE CEREMONY - I arrive and begin to capture the finishing touches and to document the bride getting into her wedding dress while my assistant documents the groom and groomsmen making their final preparations.

2 HOURS BEFORE THE CEREMONY - We arrange for a “first meeting” for the bride and groom where they see each other before the ceremony and their portraits begin. We capture a wide range of poses.

1.5 HOURS BEFORE THE CEREMONY - We photograph the wedding party and the bride and groom’s immediate families. About 30 min. before the ceremony we stop so you can tuck away as guest begin to arrive.

THE CEREMONY - Following the ceremony we switch to candid mode to photograph guests enjoying the cocktail party. Any extended family group portraits can be done at this time.

1 HOUR AFTER THE CEREMONY - We enter the dining room before the guests to photograph the cake and floral decor. Once the dinner reception begins we document the fun as it unfolds, including the first dances, toasts and cake cutting.

5 HOURS AFTER THE CEREMONY - We pack up and head out while you dance the rest of the night away and treasure every moment of your amazing party.

Bride and Groom Stroll through Art Gallery of Ontario

Twelve Hours - Epic in Every Way, no Detail Missed!

If you are looking to effectively plan out your wedding day, here is a look at a typical 12 hour wedding photography timeline from our point of view.

7 HOURS BEFORE THE CEREMONY - I arrive at the preparation site to capture the finishing touches of hair and makeup and to document the bride getting into her wedding dress and the groomsmen making their final preparations.

5 HOURS BEFORE THE CEREMONY - We arrange for a “first meeting” for the bride and groom where they see each other before the ceremony. Immediately after this the bride and groom’s portraits begin. We work in a variety of locations and capture a wide range of poses.

2.5 HOURS BEFORE THE CEREMONY - We begin formal photographs with the entire wedding party and the bride and groom’s immediate and extended families.

30 MINUTES BEFORE THE CEREMONY - I leave the preparations site to set out for the ceremony site. Here I coordinate with my assistant and set up any equipment we need during the ceremony. We take a last look around and set up specific lighting gear to best document the ceremony. At this time you should have a quick refreshment and take 15 minutes of quiet time with just the two of you; you’ll want to regroup before all the excitement begins!

30 MINUTES AFTER THE CEREMONY - We arrive at the reception site and immediately begin photographing candid shots of arriving guests and continue into cocktail reception. If there are any additional formal photographs desired we will take this time to finish them in plenty of time for the reception.

45 MINUTES AFTER THE CEREMONY - We enter the dining room before the guests arrive to photograph the cake and floral decor. We also take this time to set up room lights and spotlights if we find they are needed. Right before the guests arrive we touch base with the wedding planner.

1 HOUR AFTER THE CEREMONY - At this time we strictly document the reception candidly as it unfolds, including the first dances, toasts, dancing, and cake cutting. But don’t worry; we are always available for any photo request you may have throughout the evening. Just ask!

5 HOURS AFTER THE CEREMONY - We pack our equipment and prepare for our departure. But first, we will check with you to make sure there aren’t any further photos you would like or an overtime request. We may go outside for a night “time exposure” photograph of the both of you to showcase the beauty of your location at night.

Rare wedding held at The Canon Theatre in Toronto

What about extra time?

Sometimes even the best laid plans can drift a little. We will always check with you before applying any extra time charges. You may want a portion of your rehearsal dinner photographed. For events like that we charge $400 per hour and include the full-resolution files in your collection.

When do you Need to Know our Timeline?

Two weeks before your wedding we will touch base via phone or e-mail to discuss your wedding day photo timeline. At this time we will also confirm all your wedding details including locations, family members, special wedding day events, vendors and much more. This information will ensure we are all on the same page for an unforgettable and stress-free event!