6 Things to Consider for Your Wedding Day Timeline

I’ll be honest, when I first started shooting weddings I didn’t realize how much the timeline truly meant on the wedding day. I wasn’t married at the time and have only been in a handful a weddings so my personal experience was limited.

But as I continued to book weddings myself and second shoot for other very talented photographers I quickly realized how a well-thought-out timeline is key for a stress-free wedding day that will allow you to actually enjoy it!

Before I get into my tips, I think it is important to know WHY it is so important:

It literally maps out your day. From getting ready to your ceremony start time to your grand exit. Without it, you're lost and so are your vendors.

 So here are 6 great things to consider when thinking about your timeline:

1.     Getting Ready – Let me be real - this will take longer than you think. I mean yes, I can do my makeup in 10 min flat, but your wedding day makeup and hair styling will take a while – Its your wedding day and it has to be PERFECT. Therefore, it will take as long (if not longer) than what your makeup and stylist say. Also, if you are having your photographer capture you getting ready, make SURE to plan extra time for this. He/She will want to spend time with your details (shoes, jewelry, stationary suite, veil, dress) EVEN before you get into it. So factor in time for that along with extra time actually getting into your dress because the photographer and/or videographer may want you in certain light, near the window, or they may even want to move some stuff around to make sure they get that amazing moment for you. Also, many brides and grooms exchange gifts to each other and want that captured on film. This again takes minutes, but it adds up.

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2.     Transportation – This is a biggie. If your day will unfold at a number of locations you NEED to factor in travel time. And be realistic  - if your getting married on the Cape or in Boston, there will be traffic. The best suggestion I have is to try and get everything done as close as possible. Because if you fall behind on schedule you CANNOT make up for it with travel. So being close to your venue will help lessen time slippage.

3.     First Looks – This is a very personal decision between the bride and groom but if you decide to do a first look, you will need to front-load your schedule. Which means less time needed for photos later, but you will need to think about a few things.

  • You will need to make sure there is a good meeting place for the two of you within reason (see transportation above)

  • Factor at least 30 minutes just for the two of you alone

  • If you plan on doing wedding party and family photos after, this means they will have to get ready earlier in the day too – so just keep that in mind. Also, if you are planning to do these photos after the first look, plan on an hour with the wedding party and family.

  • Lighting – many times the first looks will happen more in the midday, meaning harsher light, especially in the summer months, not to mention it can be super hot. I recommend pre-selecting a first look location that provides shade and a place for reprieve as needed but keep in mind travel time (see transportation above)

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4.     Receiving Lines – Again, this is a personal decision whether to have/not have a receiving line after your ceremony. But still, many couples forget to account for this time. Receiving lines can go as long as 30 minutes. So if you plan on doing the majority of your photos after the ceremony, make sure to factor this into your timeline.

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5.     Sunset Photos – Do you envision photos at sunset? Okay, grab your phone and download one of the many sunset apps to find out the exact time the sun will set on your wedding day. Depending on what time that is, you may or may not need to adjust some of your reception highlights to allow for the two of you to sneak away for some shots at sunset. Also, in the late summer months the sun sets close to 9PM. Make sure you have enough coverage with your photographer to account for this time!

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6.     Toasts – Oh boy. This is a tricky one, but I’d like to address it. Let me first say I LOVE the toasts. I literally cry almost every time. Or laugh hysterically like a dying hyena. But I have photographed some weddings where the toasts have taken 30+ minutes. If you are running behind, this can easily add time slippage. The issue is you may soon run out of time with your contracted photographer. If he/she is only paid until 9PM and toasts are still going on at 8:30PM and you haven’t cut the cake or done first dances this can easily start to cause undue stress on your wedding day. So I recommend you factor in at least 30 minutes for toasts.

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Hopefully those 6 tips will help you as you start to plan your wedding day timeline. Of course each day is different so as long as you take some time to map out your day in detail, you will have no problem nailing your wedding day timeline!

Recently engaged? Looking for a wedding photographer? Jessie Wyman has been shooting couples and weddings since 2013 and has worked at a variety of venues. Want to know more? Check out her blog or portfolio page for more information or contact her directly at jessiewymanphotos@gmail.com

 

 

 

My 5 Favorite Engagement Session Locations in Eastern Massachusetts

Massachusetts has so many great spots for photography and sometimes it can be overwhelming selecting a location. To help you, I’ve put together a list of my 5 favorite locations for engagement sessions (of course other types of sessions could be held here).  Whether you are a beach person, city person or nature person, there is a location for you!

1.     Boston Common – Carousel

This is such a fun location – but the key here is timing! Ideally, you want to shoot when there is NO ONE on the carousel so that can be a little tricky. For this session, we planned it on a Sunday evening at 6PM in mid-July. Which was PERFECT because the carousel actually ‘closes at 6PM’! We started the shoot right at 6PM just after the carousel closed, which gave us plenty of time (and light) to then go to a few other spots in downtown Boston.

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2.     Beacon Hill

This is a go-to here in Boston. Especially Acorn Street, which is one of the most photographed streets in the city. Because of this, expect to have to wait in line. Yes, I said ‘wait in line’ to take a photo. It can be especially difficult to frame photos without any bystanders in the background. Nothing that a little photoshop can’t take care of, but it certainly can be intimidating doing a dip in front a a dozen strangers. But its totally worth it! Another great spot to stop in Beacon Hill is in front of the State House. It’s a gorgeous building and makes a stunning backdrop.

Acorn Street Boston
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Massachusetts State House

3.     Hartwell House

This is a popular spot for photographers, but it is pretty spread out so you don’t feel like you have to wait for a particular shot. It is also part of the Minute Man National Park, so it is well cared for and parking is very easy. One of the reasons I loved this location so much is the variety it offered. The Hartwell House offers a great backdrop, but there are also several historic stone walls in the vicinity. You don’t have to go far to get a variety of shots. If you like trees, fields, history – this is the spot for you!

Hartwell House Concord
Hartwell House Concord
Hartwell House Concord

4.     Preston Beach, Swampscott, MA

I was first introduced to this location by one of my high school senior clients. She suggested it as it was near to her home. I figured we couldn’t go wrong with a beach shoot so I trusted her judgement on this one. And she was right! However, what I particularly love about this spot isn’t actually the beach! It’s the part just above the seawall. It has meandering paths that wander through native grasses and stone work. Its truly beautiful. Plus the warm tones of this location really add to the overall feel of the shoot. Sometimes shooting in ‘less green’ location can really benefit you in that way.

Preston Beach, Swampscott
Preston Beach, Swampscott
Preston Beach, Swampscott

5.     Harborwalk

The Boston Harborwalk is actually quite long and travels through many neighborhoods of the city. The area where I’m particularly fond of is Fan Pier Park. This location is in South Boston, but has great views of Boston Proper. There is a beautiful cobblestone walk which is great for that historic Boston feel. So this location is one of my favorites because it has the historic cobblestone walks, but also has Fan Pier Park which offers some beautiful greenery to explore. My recommendation for this location is try to shoot NOT on a windy day. Being right on the water means more winds in general, and if you have an especially windy or cold day, it can make for a less pleasant experience. This shoot actually was done on one of the colder days of the year. They toughed it out and the shoot was awesome, but I wouldn’t recommend this spot in the colder months.

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Recently engaged? Looking for a wedding photographer? Jessie Wyman has been shooting couples and weddings since 2013 and has worked at a variety of venues. Want to know more? Check out her blog or portfolio page for more information or contact her directly at jessiewymanphotos@gmail.com

Contest! Help me choose my next sample! Winner gets $50 Amazon Gift Card

What better way to start 2018 than with a contest?!?

I'm looking to purchase a new wall art sample, and I CANNOT decide! So I've selected 7 of my favorite sessions from last year and the one with the most votes will be my new sample wall art, AND the individual/couple/ or family featured will win a $50 Gift Card to Amazon. So help your friends win and vote for their gallery by commenting below!

Rules:

1. Vote by commenting below. Make sure to include the family name in your comment to receive a vote!

2. Gallery with the most votes will win. The family, couple or individual featured in the winning gallery will win a $50 Gift Card to Amazon and I will use their photos as sample wall art products to show future clients :) 

3. Please only vote once, lets keep it fair! So share, share, share!

4. Contest will run until January 24th. So make sure to get your votes in by the deadline. 

 

About the Wall Art

Wall Art depicted in the photos below are hand-crafted premium canvas wraps. The image is wrapped around the edge by 2" and is UV light resistant.  Want to know more about my products? Click here

 

Wainer Family

Emma

Paradis Family

Meg + Jon

Gollwitzer Boys

LeBlanc Family

Miksch Family

A White Christmas // Upstate, NY

Most of my family lives in the midwest. It can be expensive to travel during the holidays so I generally visit them before Christmas and then we spend time with my husband's family on the day of - either here in Boston or in upstate NY. 

And by upstate NY, I mean middle of nowhere, country, upstate. Don't get me wrong, its beautiful country and it is nice to get away from the city every now and then. And where they live its called the Tug Hill Plateau, an area known for heavy snow events covering much of upstate NY near Lake Ontario. So it was no surprise when the weather report was calling for a huge lake effect storm the next day. Seeing how they haven't had a white Christmas in years, this was somewhat exciting! It ended up staying a bit north of them, so they didn't get the full impact buster of a storm, but still ended up with a good feet or so of snow, just in time for Christmas :) 

Decoy enjoyed the snow, as did the rest of us - cleanup and post-cleanup snow fight. 

My Family Christmas Shoot

Well friends - we are here. Holiday season is upon us and I'm happy to present: The Wyman Family Christmas Shoot! 

The past few years I've taken out the tripod and dressed the hubby and pup for some photos. Of course we can use these for our Christmas cards, but just like all of YOU - I want photos of my family :) Decoy is now 9 years old, and while he's still got quite a bit of spunk, you never know what can happen with aging pets. I want to make sure I have memories with him. Plus he is adorable and I just can't help myself. 

And of George, who as you probably have seen by now frequents my Instagram page quite often. He's been my supporter from day 1 - so naturally he is now my muse - my model - my "hey can you just stand right there while I test the light" kind-of-guy. But I LOVE capturing his smile and trying to make him laugh. Its something I want to remember - always. 

So about the shoot - this year I decided on North Point Park in Boston. Its a great little spot along the river with nice footpaths and bridges - and some amazing willow trees which I absolutely love. I had saved time for us to do the shoot so when we lucked out with amazing weather and light I was pumped. S

So, we get dressed, pack up the dog and equipment and head out. When we get to North Point Park, I realize its a bit more windy then I would have liked - so I get out to walk around first, to see where I want to set up. I find the spot - go to get the tripod and camera - AND Sh*@ I forgot the tripod! Back to Wakefield to get the tripod....

Take two - drive back to the city, set up shop,  set the camera on timer and shoot away. Of course getting Decoy to look at the camera was a challenge - only took half a dozen tries (and maybe some photoshop magic in post). Hooray - great success!

I know Christmas is still a few days away, and Hanukkah has already past, but I want to wish all my clients a very happy holiday season and amazing New Year!

Location: North Point Park

Decoy's Sweater: Gone to the Dogs, Wakefield, MA

Jenn + Tim // Boston, MA Engagement Shoot

This shoot was by far one of my favorites. Mostly because it highlights some of the most wonderful spots in Boston to shoot - the Garden and Beacon Hill! 

While Jenn is from the Boston area, they both currently live down south. So they traveled to MA for their engagement session, which was also the first time I met them. It was great because I'm also shooting their wedding next year - so of course I was super excited to meet them! The weather actually wasn't too bad, considering we are in November! We walked around the garden, stopped in Beacon Hill to shoot on famous Acorn Street and then headed to her parents house where they have an amazing roof-deck just in time for sunset. 

Both Tim and Jenn were troopers and I had such a great time with them. I cannot wait for their wedding next year! Cheer to Jenn + Tim <3 

 

Cait + Tim // Lincoln, MA Engagement Session

This session was a blast! I had so much fun with Cait and Tim and seriously cannot wait to photograph their wedding next year.

So, sometimes couples don't enjoy being in front of the camera - and that is when I try to make it as fun as possible. Usually that means coming up with ways to make them laugh - telling stupid jokes or having them do stilly games....but after about 10 minutes into the shoot Tim was the one making me (and Cait laugh). It was great! 

Their session was held at the Minuteman National Park at the Hartwell Tavern. It is in Lincoln MA just outside the city of Boston. The leaves still had some wonderful color so I tried to take advantage of that. Plus their outfits were perfect. Future couples - take note! ;)

Cheers and Congratulations to Cait and Tim. Can't wait for next year!