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Creating a wedding timeline doesn’t have to be difficult (especially when you have an awesome planner on your side!), and it can be one of the biggest things in reducing stress on your wedding day. That’s why I always work with couples and their planner on crafting the perfect photo timeline for the day. Below you’ll find a few tips and things to consider when creating the perfect timeline for your day!

1.  Before setting your ceremony time, look up sunset time for your wedding day.

Knowing what time the sun will set on your wedding day is a huge help when planning your wedding day timeline. If you’re wanting those lovely, romantic portraits, we need light! If you want any golden hour portraits, we should plan for those to take place 1.5 -2 hours before sunset. Knowing that helps us craft the timeline around the best light for the day. It also helps in deciding what time your ceremony should be so that you can plan for beautiful light as your saying your vows! Pro tip: If you’re getting married outside, look for areas of open shade! If you’re getting married indoors, think through when it’s brightest inside your location.

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2. Determine whether you’d like to do a first look.

Having a first look helps the day run a bit more smoothly, as you’ll get the most important photos done before the ceremony and you’ll be able to join in on your cocktail hour a bit sooner after the ceremony. It helps ease nerves and it’s one of the few times you’ll get some slow & quiet time together. It’s always so sweet to see couples actually getting to spend some time together alone before the big events of the day start happening. And if you’re worried about his reaction, I can also reassure you that he will be just as thrilled to see you walk down that aisle towards him because it means you’re officially becoming his wife.

With that said, I didn’t opt for a first look on our wedding day (though I’m pretty sure I’d change that now!), so I completely understand if it’s not something you’d like to do. My best advice is that we simply work together to create the best timeline for your day to still allow for the best time & light!

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3. Always account for wiggle room.

Chances are, something may run behind on your wedding day even if you’ve planned really well for it. The best way to keep things on time is to plan in some wiggle room into your timeline so that even if things get behind, you don’t feel rushed and the photos aren’t rushed.

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4. Work with your photographer to determine how much coverage you really need.

Most of my couples end up with about 8 hours of coverage, but I’ve worked with couples anywhere from 6 hours to 12 hours. Some things to discuss include your ceremony & reception locations, how large your wedding is, and how much reception / getting ready coverage you’d like. I work with my couples throughout the entire planning process so that when the day comes, you simply sit back and actually enjoy your beautiful day!

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5. Think through travel time needed if you’re having your ceremony and reception in different locations.

This can always sneak it’s way into a timeline and it’s crucial it isn’t forgotten! You may have scheduled 45 minutes for Bride & Groom portraits, but if it takes 15 minutes to get there and/or you need to return to the original location, that’s 30 minutes of travel time. If your ceremony & reception are all at the same place, make sure you account for at least a few minutes of walking between locations if it’s a big property.

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Lastly, below you’ll find a few sample photo timelines based on a fall wedding. Of course, you can adjust based on the time the sun sets on your wedding day.

 

Sample Timeline with First Look:
12:30pm: Photographer arrives, Details & Getting Ready
2:00pm:  Bride puts dress on
2:15-3:15pm: First Look, Bride & Groom portraits
3:15-3:45pm: Wedding Party
3:45-4:15pm: Family Portraits
4:15pm: Bride & Groom hide, Ceremony & Reception detail photos
5:00-5:30pm: Ceremony
5:30-6:00pm:  Bride & Groom golden hour photos
6:00pm: Bride & Groom join cocktail hour
6:30pm – Sunset & Grand Entrance into reception
8:30: Reception coverage ends with an 8 hour timeline

Sample Timeline without First Look:
1:00pm: Photographer arrives, Getting Ready & Details photos
2:15pm: Bride puts dress on
2:20-2:50pm: Bride & Bridesmaid photos
2:55-3:15pm: Groom & Groomsmen photos
3:15pm: Bride & Groom Hide, Ceremony & Reception Detail photos
4:00-4:30pm: Ceremony
4:30-5:00pm: Family Portraits
5:00-5:15pm: Full Wedding Party
5:15-6:00pm: Bride & Groom Portraits
6:15pm: Reception grand entrance
6:30pm – Sunset
9:00pm: Reception coverage ends with an 8 hour timeline

www.amynicolephoto.com | Amy Nicole Photography

Have any questions or want to share more about your beautiful wedding day? I’d love to hear from you!

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I first met Laura back in 2014 when we both attended a workshop focused on film photography hosted by Belle Lumiere and taught by the wonderful Elisa Bricker.  We came to find we were two Virginia girls living in Nashville, and we had grown up not too far from one another!

My, how things have come full circle. Now, I’ve made my way back to Virginia and I’m thankful to say we’ve become sweet friends.  I had the opportunity to photograph her and her children while she was visiting her grandparents in Charlottesville (such a small world!) earlier this year, and what a joy it was to give her time to be on the other side of the camera enjoying her two littles. I photographed them simply on film, and it was such a breath of fresh air to leave my digital cameras at home and focus on film specifically. Combined with her grandparents’ magical backyard, it’s a session I just had to share!

Moms, you have a beautiful yet tough job, and I hope you give yourself the chance to celebrate. To celebrate who you are as a woman and a mother. Who you are for your children. Who your children are for you. And the beauty of the bond between you. It’s a relationship I’ll never tire of documenting, because it’s a relationship that never ceases to amaze me and teach me.

Laura, I hope you felt celebrated!

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downtown nashville urban lifestyle baby session by charlottesville and nashville family photographer, amy nicole photography_0004

 

You may remember this sweet little boy, Elliot, from his newborn session in NYC, where he and his parents live. But, you also may remember Kate & Mark from their wedding at The Bridge Building in downtown Nashville.

When Kate and I initially started talking about the different sessions throughout Elliot’s first year, she mentioned that she wanted to have the sessions take place in the cities that were a part of Kate & Mark’s story. Of course, NYC made sense, as they currently live in the city, but Nashville was also such a special city for them, as they met & married in Music City.

Ironically, it snowed on the day we initially scheduled the session after a string of such warm days in Nashville. We decided to reschedule for the next day since it looked like it would be at least a tad warmer.

So, we met downtown near the same place they had married three years prior almost exactly. What a sweet way to celebrate Elliot’s first 6 months!

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wedding heirloom album and heirloom box by charlottesville wedding photographer, amy nicole photography_0004

When you were a child, I’m sure you spent some time thumbing through your parents’ wedding album or wedding prints. Even if you didn’t, maybe you enjoyed flipping through them as you’re planning your very own wedding. One thing I can guarantee is, you didn’t just look at their wedding photographs on Facebook.

After all that time, all that work and all of your investments, simply sharing your photographs on Facebook feels like something is missing. Your wedding photographs truly come alive when they are printed and held. So when your wedding day has come and passed, you can relive your favorite moments and be transported right back to how you felt as you sit with your spouse and hold the very photographs of your wedding day.

Since every collection includes an Heirloom Box, every one of my couples walks away with their very own Heirloom Box. Each Heirloom Box includes 100 4×6 photographs, but many couples also love to have an Heirloom Album to showcase their very favorite photographs and moments from their wedding day. Ben & Nancy chose to do this, and I just loved their classic Heirlooms!

For their Heirloom Box, they chose the Heathered Blue fabric with silver foil. And to match their classic wedding soaked in family tradition, they chose a classic Pinecone brown leather album. You can see a few favorite photos of their classy heirlooms below!

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charlottesville in-home newborn session on film by charlottesville newborn & family photographer, amy nicole photography_0013I first met Mallory a few years ago, as I reached out to her because I was visiting Virginia for a friend’s wedding ( The adorable Torrance of Teak & Twine was marrying one of Jeremy’s close college friends). Shortly after some back and forth via email, I found that the wedding I was attending was the same wedding Mallory would be designing the weekend I’d be in town. So, the first time I met Mallory, she was totally in her element and as graceful as you’d imagine. We met for coffee the next time I was in Charlottesville, and we stayed in touch over the next year or so.

Fast forward, Jeremy accepted a job in Charlottesville last year and this beautiful city became our home. Mallory & her husband were welcoming from day one, and we grew our friendship over coffee and great meals.

I still remember the day Mallory shared that she was expecting, and I’m still in awe her sweet girl has already arrived. Mallory and Michael invited me to document the day she arrived, and it was one of the most beautiful experiences and moving beyond words. A few short days later, they welcomed me into their home to document their precious daughter, James, officially home and in their arms, as a family of three.

I’m so very honored to have documented this sweet time for them, and I look forward to documenting James as she grows over the next year! Be sure to follow along to see her over the next year!

You can also see their full gallery & order prints here.

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For 2-3 weeks straight, it had oddly been at least 60-70 degrees in Virginia. Of course for the weekend of their session, the temperature dropped to typical March temperatures…though it sure didn’t feel like it after all those warm days. But, Kat & Stu didn’t let it phase them. It was a beautiful day with clear skies and gorgeous sunshine at Seven Springs, and they were here to celebrate (and even better, they brought their adorable pup!).

Katharine is from Chicago, and Stu grew up in Georgia. They met at William & Mary, so it was only fitting that he’d ask her to become his wife the weekend of William & Mary’s homecoming…and even more fitting that they plan to wed at the Wren Chapel on William & Mary’s gorgeous campus. Their wedding is set for October, an iconically beautifully month in Virginia and I simply can’t wait to celebrate these two. Their reception will be at the lovely Berkeley Plantation, which they found when exploring during their college years. And they have sweet Alana of Chancey Charm helping design their day, so I can’t wait to see what they come up with together.

Kat & Stu were so warm and welcoming from the second I stepped out the car, and I know that will be one of the themes for their wedding day…a warm & welcoming celebration.

Congratulations, you two! I am so looking forward to celebrating you two as you become husband & wife!

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