When Should Your Chicago Wedding Photographer Arrive to Your Wedding?

You don’t want to pay for your photographer to arrive too early and stand for hours being bored, but you also don’t want them to miss the fun moments of you and your wedding party hanging out and getting ready for the wedding day. So when should your Chicago wedding photographer arrive on your wedding day?

When Should Your Chicago Wedding Photographer Arrive on Your Wedding Day?

What photos are taken during getting ready?

My go-to photos to take during getting ready include: the finishing touches of hair and makeup; general candids of you and your party hanging out and having a good time; the detail photos of your invitation suite, jewelry, florals, dress, etc…; and staged PJ pics or a fun champagne spray.

We’ll also take photos as you’re putting the finishing touches on your outfit. Mom zipping up the dress, best man throwing the suit coat on you… cuff links and earrings are all cute photos and lead to nice moments shared between you and your friends and family.

These photos are the perfect way to open up your wedding gallery because they start the story of you preparing for the day with the people who matter most. It’s truly the beginning of your wedding day.

When Should Your Chicago Wedding Photographer Arrive on Your Wedding Day?

When should your photographer begin? 60 minutes before you’re dressed.

If your photographer arrive 60 minutes before you put on your dress or suit/tux, you’ll have the perfect amount of getting ready photos. No one will feel rushed, we’ll have time to settle in and chat with you, then jump into photos.

I begin with details, while watching for fun moments between you and your group.

You’ll be putting the finishing touches on hair and makeup at this point, so you’ll see cute photos of the lip gloss or setting spray going on, which beautifully encapsulates that you’re ready to get married.

When Should Your Chicago Wedding Photographer Arrive on Your Wedding Day?

When should my bridal hair & makeup end?

If your photography begins 60 minutes before you’re dressed, you could schedule hair and makeup to be concluding 45 minutes before you get dressed. I like this timing because there’s wiggle room in the event someone runs long. Finish even earlier? Enjoy a drink and relax.

When Should Your Chicago Wedding Photographer Arrive on Your Wedding Day?

Example of a Getting Ready Timeline From a Photographer’s Perspective

12:00 – Photography begins

12:10 – Detail Photos

12:15 – Final touches of hair and makeup

12:45 – PJ photos

12:55 – Bridal party dresses

1:00 – Dress or Tux goes on

1:30 First Look (assuming it’s onsite)

Bonus Tip:

When looking for a getting ready location, look for something with big windows for lots of natural light. I love the balcony suites at The Gwen!

In Summary

If you’re nervous, schedule a little more time than you think and then be glad when you have time to relax. I always arrive early so I can settle in and not feel rushed. Hopefully this helps you decide when your Chicago wedding photographer should arrive on your wedding day!

Have any questions about your timeline? Send me a note!

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