I AM SO EXCITED to show you a little sneak peek into an 8 hour wedding day! I recently photographed a wedding in Blenheim and it was way too good to not turn it into a blog post – so here I am!
An 8 hour wedding day covers EVERYTHING you want! It’s jam packed with wedding festivities but if you time it right – everything will flow just as you planned it to.
Please note not ALL wedding days with 8 hour coverage are planned out like this one. This timeline and events worked for this couple and was what they wanted to prioritize as important to them.
1:00pm – photographer arrives, sets up equipment
1:30pm – photography starts, girls “getting ready photos”
2:45pm – photographer to venue
3pm – venue detail photos
3:30pm – boys “getting ready photos”
4:00pm – ceremony starts
4:45pm – family photos
5:00pm – wedding party/bride+groom photos
5:45pm – back to venue
6:00pm – reception starts
6:30pm – dinner starts
7:30pm – speeches/cake cutting
8:00pm – golden hour photos
8:30pm – first dances
9:30pm – photography ends
Booking 8 hours of photography coverage for your wedding day allows me to capture all the way from getting ready photos to the start of your dancing photos. It’s the perfect amount of time to capture the wedding as a whole!
Getting ready photos varies for everyone. Do you want the final details of your makeup getting done? Photos of the girls in robes/pjs? This will determine what part of the morning I arrive at!
For this specific wedding, the bride wanted me to arrive once the make up + hair stylist were gone. I arrived and went straight to photographing the dress + shoes. Usually this is also the time where I would take the flat lay photo as well which consists of invitations, shoes, perfume, flowers, earring, rings, bracelets, etc. For this wedding the bride didn’t care for me to photograph it so we skipped it completely! While I was photographing the dress + shoes, the girls finished up some touches on themselves. Once the girls were sorted we took a few photos in their pjs and then they got into their wedding day attire.
This bride wanted the majority of the bridesmaids photos done now, so we didn’t have to worry about them later. We did group photos of the girls, individual photos, some bride portraits, and photos of the bride putting on earrings, shoes, perfume, etc. Once that was all done, I headed to the venue!
The boys were getting ready at the venue so once I arrived we took a few getting ready photos of the boys putting on their bowties + jackets. I also did the boys group photos, individual photos and groom portraits. Again, I did all the groomsmen photos now, so we didn’t have to do them later!
Once 4:45pm came around, we got straight into family photos. During family photos, It’s no time to mess around (lol). This is usually when unnecessary time can be wasted if you’re not organised.
I will ALWAYS have my couple make a list of family photos beforehand so when it comes to this moment, I read the groupings off the list, take 3 or 4 photos of each group and onto the next. Family photos usually take place at a location at the ceremony spot. For this wedding, we took family photos where the bride + groom were standing for the ceremony. So we wasted no time travelling to a location.
The location for these photos was about a five minute drive to another house. We took wedding party photos in a few different locations around the backyard and a few bride + groom photos. This is usually when we do ALL bride + groom photos but this couple really wanted their photos to be focused later in the evening around sunset. So we took a few and called it a day (for now!).
We arrived back at the venue and the couple went off mingling with guests and I continued to take candid photos of everyone. In addition to candids, I also went up to groupings of people and asked if they wanted a photo. So I was making sure I got a mix of candids and also posed ones! Everyone soon was directed to their seats for dinner + speeches. There were two people doing speeches before dinner so I photographed those and then made myself comfortable in my seat to eat some dinner with everyone. For 8 hour wedding days, I always let my couples know that I’ill be eating too. I use this time to debrief for a bit, get some food in me, look over photos, and switch out camera batteries + sd cards.
After I eat and it looks like everyone else is finishing up, I check in with my couple and make sure we’re on time for the rest of the speeches, cake cutting, first dance, etc.
For this wedding it was overcast and I was worried about it getting too dark for the sunset photos. So after dinner I grabbed them and we did those photos before we finished off the rest of the speeches + cake cutting.
Not everything goes to plan at a wedding so being able to maneuver things around is very important! I’ll always make sure I’m communicating my thoughts with my couple.
The first dance led into everyone dancing and that’s where I hung out for the rest of the evening!
I knew the bride and groom and had planned to stay after the wedding to help celebrate once my 8 hours was up. Not long after I put my camera gear away, the boys started jumping in the pool and I knew that had to be photographed. So I literally ran back to my camera gear, set it all up and quickly captured everyone jumping in. It was so much fun and there was no way I was letting that go undocumented!
Being able to photograph an activity like this usually happens when I’m booked for a 10 hour wedding day. I am literally there until some of the guests start heading home. Luckily, I was friends with the bride + groom and wasn’t going home for another few hours so I was able to do this for them!
The day after the wedding I go and back up ALLL the photos. I get started in editing the sneak peek right away and get it sent to the couple within 72 hours. For a sneak peek I intentionally will choose photos that allow the couple to see bits and pieces from the very start all the way to the end.
So there’s getting ready photos, ceremony photos, family photos, wedding party photos, bride + groom photos, speeches, cake cutting, first dance and dancing photos. A little bit of everythaaang!!
If you have ANY questions about an 8 hour wedding day, please reach out to me!!! I’m happy to answer and help you out as best as I can x
Lots of love,
Below are the sneak peek photos for you to view!
Florals: Enika Rood
Makeup: Rejuva Beauty New Zealand
Bride Dress: Fame and Partners
Bridesmaid Dresses: Bec and Bridge
Jewellery: The Village Goldsmith
Mens Attire: Rembrandt
Caterer: Feast Merchants
Wedding Cake: Cakes by Kirsten Blenheim
DJ/Band: Tom Knowles New Zealand
Celebrant: Tane the Celebrant
Venue Tipis: Element Tipis