ShootAnyAngle.com Wedding Photography Blog

What story will your photos tell? We're a husband and wife photography team, and we want to capture your special day so you can relive it every time you look at your photographs! On this blog, you'll find all things wedding to inspire you for your big day! Check back often for posts on photography, DIY, dresses, decorations, and more!


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Wedding Day Timelines

I’ve seen that one area of difficulty for a planning bride is how to create a timeline and what comes when.  It varies from religion to religion and culture to culture, but here are the basics so you can create your timeline!

Let’s start at noon:

12:00-3:00pmSet-up

  • This will depend on your decorum and your rental company, but some need 3 hours to set up all tables, chairs, lighting, and decorations.  Talk with your rental company (or venue, if they are handling it) about how much time they need.

3:00-4:00pmGetting Ready

  • An hour may seem like a lot, but if you need hair and make-up and to get in your dress, an hour is a good idea.  Plus, you’ll be followed by your photographers during this time as well as your bridesmaids as they get ready.  If you just need to get in your dress, you can cut down this time.  If you want posed photos or a “First Look” prior to the ceremony, add an hour after getting ready for that.

4:00-4:30pmCeremony

  • Ceremony lengths vary.  We’ve seen 5 minutes, we’ve seen half an hour, and we’ve seen a full hour-long mass.  For the purposes of this timeline, we’ll assign it to half an hour.

4:30-5:30pmCocktail Hours and PhotosEJ17WM

  • It’s always a good idea to allow an hour for posed photos.  This will (hopefully) take you away from your guests, so this hour is a good time for them to mingle, grab appetizers and a drink, and sign your guestbook.  We recommend having the cocktail hour in a separate location from where you are taking your photographs.  Otherwise, you’ll get curious guests mingling around you and potentially disrupting the photos.

5:30pmAnnouncement of Couple and First Dance

  • Once you finish with your photos, it’s time to greet your guests as husband and wife.  Generally, your DJ or a bridesmaid/groomsman will announce you so you can enter the party formally.  Many couples follow this announcement with their first dance and then go straight into dinner.  Others choose to hold off on the first dance until after dinner.

5:30-6:30pmDinner & Toasts

  • Even with the appetizers, your guests will be hungry – though probably not nearly as hungry as the two of you will be!  So, this is a good time for dinner.  Toasts can happen before dinner or towards the tail end of everyone eating.

6:00-7:00pmGolden HourJAH_6882WM

  • This is just an estimate, but if you want to shoot at Golden Hour (the hour just before sunset when the sun is low and there is a golden glow over everything), then check to see when sunset is, and schedule the photos for the hour approaching sunset.  These photos are best if it is just the two of you.  Everyone else can finish up dinner, while you take some shots in this magical glow.

6:30/7:00pmFirst Dances

  • If you haven’t had your first dance yet, have it now.  That’s followed by the Father-Daughter Dance.  If you wish to have a Mother-Groom Dance, you can do that with the Father-Daughter or just after.  My personal feeling is that each dance should be kept separate in order to give each couple their own special time.  If you wish to do a Money Dance, this is a good last dance of the “First Dances” because it can lead into everyone dancing.  After the first dances, it’s a good idea to ask your DJ to announce free-for-all dancing.

7:30-8:30pmDancing

  • Dance the night away!

8:30-9:00pmBouquet, Garter, Cake Cutting

  • About an hour into dancing, it’s a good idea to switch gears to the bouquet toss and garter toss (if you are having this event).  For our wedding, we used the song “Single Ladies” as a transition and had it announced that all the single ladies come to the dance floor for the bouquet toss.  Then, you can go straight from that to cake cutting.  You don’t want to wait too late to cut the cake because some guests will want to retire early.  Once that’s done, start the music again, and let the party continue!

9:30-10:30Dancing

  • More dancing!

10:30-12:30Breakdown

  • This may need to be longer, so again, talk with your rental company or venue.

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Photography by ShootAnyAngle Wedding Photography


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“What I’d Do Differently”: Brides and Grooms Look Back at Their Weddings

Odds are that everything will turn out great on your big day, but there are some things brides and grooms wish they’d done differently looking back. Hindsight is 20/20 after all! So, we talked to past brides and grooms to see what they would have done differently. Here are their actual responses so you can learn from their experiences.

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Eat! I got so busy socializing and making sure everything was on track that I only took 2 or 3 bites.”

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[I would have] taken more pictures, especially candid shots.”

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“I worked on a lot of different craft groups, and when they heard that we were doing the wedding all ourselves, they offered to help.  I felt awkward taking them up on it since they weren’t actually on the guest list (which was primarily family).  What I didn’t understand was they truly wanted to help as a way of paying me back for the work I had done for them.  The answer to that offer should be, ‘yes, thank you!’”

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“I wish I had a day of coordinator.”

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Regarding photography, I would have the guest area far away from the photo action.  Camera happy family and friends are a distraction and you end up with many pictures of the subjects looking at different cameras instead of one perfect set. Have the shutterbugs help with candid shots of the party while you are away doing your formal shoot instead.”

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“I would have booked more than one night at our ‘night of’ hotel so we could relax.  We were absolutely exhausted after the wedding, but because we had so many out of town guests for our destination wedding, we ended up spending all our time with them up until the honeymoon, and it took too much out of us: brunches, day outings, shopping, tours, dinner parties…  The first day of our honeymoon, we ended up sleeping the whole day.”

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[I would have hired] a planner.  Not a full on wedding planner as our wedding was too small. Rather a wedding assistant- to be sure my vision of things were being implemented by those helping us and to help with clean up etc.  I was paying attention to table settings and flowers in the hours leading up to the ceremony instead of relaxing.” 

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“[More detail to the ceremony.] I’ve been to too many weddings where it was all about the reception with no real in depth thought to the wedding [ceremony] itself.”

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“I would have gone with more professional equipment instead of using what I already had.  Even though it worked out fine in the end, the stress and worry wasn’t worth it.”

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“I would have paid off my [credit] card the week before.  I’ve never gone over my credit limit – except the day of the wedding when my caterer was scheduled to charge me!  Whoops!”

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“[I’d] pay more for the photographer than the other vendors; the majority of our vendor budget went to our DJ, who was awesome, but if he hadn’t been awesome we would only be stuck with him for one night, but since we spent significantly less on our photographer we are stuck with pictures we aren’t crazy about forever!”

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“Nearly six years later… I still wish we had eloped!”

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If you can’t see rental supplies yourself (due to out of town or state wedding) have someone else look at them for you & take pictures. Or have the vendors send pictures so you know exactly what you’re getting. Confirm your orders and have someone in charge confirm they are the right item when delivered. All the food at our wedding was supposed to be in sterling silver trays with lids and burners below and they arrived in tin containers, and I didn’t find out until the reception.”

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“We had so many guests offering to help, and I should have taken them up on it more. Even assigning them the task of handling an unforeseen circumstance would have helped us a lot!”

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What I WOULD do over again: Don’t stress out & go with the flow! Even if everything isn’t exactly how you imagined it, there’s not much that can be changed in the moment and your job as a bride is to enjoy yourself with the one you love!”

Photos by ShootAnyAngle Wedding Photography.

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