The idea is simple: organizing your day around a romantic and intimate moment between the two of you before your ceremony even starts, creating a very slow paced, relaxed timeline that lets you enjoy every moment without feeling overwhelmed by it all.
If you lie this, go ahead and read this page! A quick disclaimer: what follows is just some recommendations based on our experience, not a manual! Trust your gut and do whatever you feel right: you can get ready together or separately, you can skip any part of this timeline or change it to make it your own. You can stick it to traditions and walk down the aisle together as a couple, if that’s what you want! You don’t have to throw your bouquet, have a first dance, kiss at the aisle unless you want to. Make the day utterly and completely yours.
NOW, LET’S TALK ABOUT THIS TIMELINE.
If you’re feeling a little bit lost when planning your wedding, don’t worry: it’s completely normal. You may feel like there’s so many things to plan, decide and think about, and it can get a bit overwhelming! This is why we want to lend you a hand by showing you an example of what a smooth, well timed wedding day can look like. Of course, every wedding is unique, but there definitely tends to be a pattern, and it’s very useful to know it in advance!
We strongly encourage you to have a timeline, so the day will run smoothly and you’ll be sure of having time for all of the important moments you want to fit into it. Of course there are several ways to build a wedding timeline, these are our suggestions based on our experience built up over the years at many, many weddings.
BENEFITS OF THE FIRST LOOK
You'll spend more time together!
You get to spend more time together on the day of your wedding, and your first moment seeing each other will be more candid and relaxed. We want this moment to be all yours. We’ll take photos for the first few minutes, but then we encourage you to spend some alone time together. During this short break, you can check out the venue, catch up on your morning, and take a moment for yourselves.
The first look timeline
We are big, BIG FANS of first looks! If you’re not sure about having a first look, you can read our two cents about it and then decide what you prefer for your wedding day.
First looks are a (relatively) new and modern trend in weddings: having compared many weddings that began with a first look with others that didn’t, we started to think that it can have a very positive impact on the rest of the day. And, most importantly, it’s just a great way to quickly meet each other before the ceremony, with no other people or distractions around. It’s a very romantic, once in a lifetime moment, and one you will not regret having.
We totally get you if you would instead just not see each other before your ceremony, but we will note here the benefits we think a first look brings to the table, based on our experience.
Two special moments
Our couples often ask: does this ruin the moment I walk down the aisle? The answer is NO. If anything, it adds to it: having already met each other, you’ll be more relaxed when walking down the aisle, and you’ll live the moment at your very best. Plus, you’ll get to live and remember both of these two special moments!
You can fully enjoy the aperitif with your guests
After your ceremony, you’ll immediately be able to join everyone at the aperitif, with no need to hurry. You’ll mingle with your guests without a care in the world, instead of needing to fit couple photographs in your aperitif time – we took care of them during your first look, remember? It allows us time to capture your venue setting with no rush, while you get some true alone time in between your first look and ceremony.
A good way to take the formal photos before the ceremony
Sometimes, a first look leads to the perfect occasion for taking formal portraits with your close family before the ceremony: if your loved ones will be ready and waiting for you, we will take care of it in no time! This will free up your time after the ceremony for your wedding events & guests.
Instead of one look, you get two! It’s extending your moments, not taking them away.
FIRST LOOK TIMELINE
Finally, here’s how a timeline built around a ceremony starting at 4pm looks like. Remember, this is just an example. If you want to, make your own timeline and share it with us!
Let's Create your OWN
First dance and party
Core formal groups
Our job is to tell the story of your day, so we really love photographing the tiny, little things that make it special and truly "yours".
Here's a few details we can photograph: rings, dress, shoes, invitations, perfume, tie, bowtie, shoes, cufflinks, cologne, boutonniere, vest, socks, belt, pins, shoes. You can set aside all the things you care the most about, and we'll use some or all of them for a nice composition!
PRO TIP: You can gather all the details in one place before we even get there, so that we don't need to bother you looking them up all around the room.
This is when you get used to the camera and to our presence! Surround yourself with good music, good people, and enjoy this moment of relax and laughter as much as you can!
If you're concerned about the background of your photos, try to declutter your room a tiny bit - if you thrive in chaos don't worry, we can manage it! If you want to do a "first look" with any family members when you're all ready, make sure that we're aware of it, so that we can be prepared for that moment.
PRO TIP: If possible, get ready in a place with lots and lots of natural light (for exampe by a big window): this light is soft and flattering, we absolutely love it.
We will choose the best spot for your first look when we'll be there with you, with an eye to the lighting and venue layout. You don't need to plan anything in advance! Don't worry; it's going to be very simple, natural and exciting!
Consider making your first look into a special "alone moment" for you two: without others around you'll be fully present for one another, and we'll be able to follow it up with a tiny photo shoot quickly and easily!
PRO TIP: Usually, the best way to do it is that the first of you to be ready gets to the chosen spot and waits for the other to come, turning around to face them at the very last moment.
After your first look we will have time for some couple photos! It's not work for you, and you certainly don't need to be a professional model. You should think of this moment as a fun, relaxed part of your day to spend together, and we'll take care of the rest, so just enjoy it!
PRO TIP: we really don't need to go far away for these photos: we just need to find a little quiet spot in or around your venue, so you can relax and enjoy this moment all by yourselves.
Core formal groups
After your first look, there will be a moment when your closest family as well as best men/maids of honor we'll be more or less gathered together for the ceremony. This is the perfect time for some beautiful formals. This way, even this will be taken care of before the ceremony even starts, and you will have so much time to live your day and enjoy your guest's as well as each other's company.
PRO TIP: if any guests you would have loved a photo with are not present at this time, don't worry at all! During the aperitif you will have plenty of time to take more photos, if you so desire.
A small break is perfect for catching your breath before the ceremony! Sit down for a bit, relax, and spend some time without us photographers around. The day is long, and you won't regret slowing down a tiny bit to live it all at your best! In the meantime, we will get ready for documenting the ceremony, and we'll spend some more time photographing beautiful details and views of your venue.
PRO TIP: don't miss out on the opportunity to have quiet moments on your special day! You won't regret it and you'll be well rested and relaxed for the big moments ahead.
Now is the time! The most meaningful moment. This is about you two and that's all, so just enjoy it without thinking of anything or anyone else. Try walking down the aisle slowly, so that you can truly enjoy the beauty of this fleeting moment, and kiss as long as you feel like. Look at your partner in their eyes. That's all!
PRO TIP: plan a ceremony exit strategy! When you walk out together, we strongly recommend to go straight to the aperitif and don't "get stuck" in the crowd: this way, you'll be able to greet and kiss your guests in a comfortable area, with shade and seats for those who need them, and your aperitif will get started on time!
With this "first look" timeline, your aperitif time won't be packed with "to dos" (i.e. couple and formal shots). So, drink and have fun with your guests! That's it 😉
PRO TIP: if possible, we can take a single group photo of everyone together sometime during the aperitif.
2 HOURS AND A HALF
It's time to eat! If you're planning to have speeches during your dinner, please let us know, so we can be aware of how much time it will take. We'll also take a break to eat at the same time as you do, so that we can rest a little bit without missing important moments.
PRO TIP: If possible, talk with your caterer to inform them about how many speeches there will be, and how long each of them will take! This will ensure that the kitchen will be ready to handle your timings at their best.
Sunset couple shoot
First of all, this is not crucial: by now, we will have already taken many beautiful couple earlier in the day. So, if this won't happen due to the weather, venue location, or logistics (for example, a speech at the same time) you're not missing out on anything! If there's a good occasion, we'll let you know and try our best to capture it! Be aware, sunset doesn't last long and light changes quickly, so if you care about these pictures, you'll need to come with us when we'll tell you it's the moment.
PRO TIP: if you want to try and catch the sunset, keep it in mind when writing down your timeline. It will help the caterer and any speekers to plan accordingly.
You ate, you drank, you had some wonderful moments with your beloved... now it's time to get the party started! If you're doing a full fledged cake cutting, try choosing a nice, well lit spot for that, and again... no preset rules! Chop it, eat it, smash it on your face, do whatever you hearts tell you!
PRO TIP: always keep in mind that people will follow you! So you get to decide when things get started by just starting them! If you want more time for partying and dancing, after eating your cake go straight to the dancefloor, everyone will follow. Trust us, it's a superpower for one day, and you two have it!
First dance and party
And now, it's time to party! Whether you're having a first dance or not, embrace the moment and go have fun with your guests. If you're planning to have us documenting this part of the day, we won't need too much time to take plenty of photos: things move fast on the dance floor! So, don't worry if your time with us is almost finished...it will be more than enough!
PRO TIP: we always try to kiss you a proper Italian goodbye before leaving, but don't be mad at us in case we don't: you might be so much in the moment, having so much fun in the middle of the crowd, that we will decide not to interrupt the party... don't worry, you'll hear from us quite soon!
WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT A CLASSIC TIMELINE (WITHOUT A FIRST LOOK)? CLICK HERE!