Wedding Day Timeline
Having a timeline for your wedding day is, in my opinion, imperative.  In figuring out your timeline, it will tell you exactly how many hours you need your photographer, keep everyone on schedule and help eliminate confusion.  Do yourself a wedding day favor and have a wedding day timeline. You will not regret it!

My advice on creating your  wedding day timeline is coming from personal experience in shooting weddings from 5 hours to 11 hours. I have a lot of impute on what might work best for you. So let’s start planning your day.

There are 3 questions you should ask yourself before drafting your wedding day timeline.
1. Are you and your honey seeing each other before the ceremony?
2. Are you wanting your photographer there to getting ready photos?
3. Are you having a dance?

If you answered all three questions with a yes, let’s continue.

Getting Ready Photos: I like to suggest allowing 45 minutes to 1 hour for getting ready.  This allows time for your photographer to photograph details such as jewelry, candids, hair & make up, wedding dress and getting into your wedding dress.  Allow enough time in case there are any shortcomings.

Bride & Groom Portraits:  Once you are ready and in your wedding day attire, you’ll want to see your honey.  Have a first look location in mind.  If you are unsure, your photographer will be more than happy to scope out a beautiful location. Allow 1 hour for you and your spouse-to-be for portraits.  You’ll want this time not to be rushed but relaxed so block off some good time.

Wedding Party: Have on the timeline for wedding party arrive 15 minutes prior to start time. This way, if you have any wonders they technically should have enough time to get there.  Allow about 30-45 minutes for the wedding party.  If you have a large or out going wedding party, it’s always nice to communicate to them about cooperation during photos.  It makes for a smooth fun time and you can make sure you get the images that you want. Win win!

Family Photos:  After the wedding party photos, move right into the family photos.  Same thing with the family photos, have them arrive 15 minutes prior to start time.   Allow about 30 minutes for these photos. Your photographer should provide you with a must have photo list for the family photos.  This list will make for smooth transitions through each family grouping.  With all the family dynamic present, it’s nice to know who is who and to call them up for photos one at a time. In preparation for the ceremony block off 30 minutes to freshen up, have a bite to eat and relax while your guests start arriving.

Ceremony:  Talk with the Pastor that is marring you and your spouse-to-be.  Keep in mind the timing of the music, readings and vows.  Typically ceremonies can last anywhere from 20 mins to an hour and 20 mins.  So it’s important to cover this alloted block of time.
Receiving line:  This is an important one as most couples honestly don’t realize that this portion can eat up a good 20-30 mins of your timeline.  So decide what you will do and add this to your timeline accordingly.

Cocktail:  This is always the fun time.  Some weddings take this time to take more photos together.  If you did not answer the beginning questions with all yes’s than you will want to allow an hour and half to photograph the remaining photos that you didn’t get before the ceremony; such as the remaining family photos, remaining wedding party photos and of course the bride and groom photos.

Dinner-Reception-Dance: Consider your toasts and speeches.  How many are there?  How long will they be speaking?  Just a few things to consider.  As for the dance, you know your friends best and will know if there is going to be a sweet dance party happening.  Prehaps there will be a dance off?  Or maybe there will be a Hora.  These are events that need to be considered for your timeline.  Typically, allow 15-20 mins for the first dances and 30-45 mins for the remaining dance party.  Exit:  Will there be an exit that you would like photographed? Sparklers?  Make sure you put this in the timeline for photography coverage purposes.

In a nutshell, if you have a photographer for 8 hours and you follow the above timeline, this is what it could look like.  You can customize your personal wedding timeline from there.

1:00pm -2:00pm Getting Ready Photos
2:00pm – 3:00pm  First Look/ Bride and Groom Photos
3:30pm – 4:00pm Wedding Party Photos
4:00pm – 4:30pm Family Photos
4:30pm – 5:00pm Relax
5:00pm – 5:30pm Ceremony
5:30pm – 6:30pm Cocktail hour
6:30pm – 7:30pm Dinner
7:30pm – 8:00pm Speeches/Toast/Cake cutting
8:00pm – 9:00pm Dance starts
9:00pm Photography ends

IF you will not seeing each other prior to the ceremony see this timeline and make it your own.

1:00pm – 2:00pm Getting Ready Photos
2:00pm – 2:30pm  Bride & Bridesmaids
2:30pm – 3:00pm Groom & Grooms men
3:00pm – 3:15pm Groom & Family
3:15pm – 3:30pm Bride & Family
3:30pm – 4:00pm Relax
4:000pm – 4:30pm Ceremony
4:30pm – 5:00pm  Remaining Family Photos
5:00pm – 6:30pm Cocktail Hour
5:00pm – 5:30pm Remaining Wedding Party Photos
5:30pm – 6:30pm Bride & Groom Photos
6:30pm – 7:30pm Dinner
7:30pm – 8:00pm Speeches/Toast/Cake cutting
8:00pm – 9:00pm Dance starts
9:00pm Photography ends

Happy timeline drafting!!!!


How I became a Wedding Photographer
How did you get into photography? Why do you love you photography? These are probably the biggest questions I get and I am more than happy to share my story with you.  So how about we do a little blog post about it. Woohoo!!!

Back in 2008 I was given the Canon d30.  This camera was one of the first “home grown” dslr camera from Canon.  Right away I was smitten (I didn’t know otherwise).  I was taking this camera to farmer markets, photographing my cat, I was even practicing my depth of field on rocks.  Yes rocks!  I was photographing everything. I’m sure people where super annoyed with me and now I have all these random images on my hard drives. Yah?

That winter I booked my first family session for $75. Oh man, I was SO freaked, intimidated, feeling not good enough. You know all those feelings.  I remember talking with my brother before I went into my shoot and he said, “You have to start somewhere.  Remember this day in 2-3 years.”  I went into the family session that lasted 15 mins.  *Gasp* haha. As a matter of fact, I still have the images.  Just for funsies, let’s take a stroll down memory lane and take a look at my first photo session. Oh, look at that, I can’t seem to find it. Oh darn!? Sorry about that  (???)

Anyways…moving right along.  After that photo session, that was a little rocky, I knew that I wanted more of this photography world.  I was searching the internet finding the best way to learn.  I was certain that I would be attending Art School for photography for $xx,xxx.  I was quickly talked out of that, quickly!  Then the idea popped in my head to shadow a photographer.  I went on craigslist (because thats where you look when you need to further your education) and came across a wedding photographer in need of a assistant.  Doing wedding photography was probably the furthest thought in my mind to photograph.  I honestly didn’t know where this art was going to take me.  But I knew I loved it.  I ended up contacting this gal, chatting and we hit it off right away. To speed up this story I shot with her until the wedding season of 2010. In that time I even upgraded to the Canon 40D. Then of course like every other photographer I was stalking photographers blogs.  I contacted Miss Laura Ivanova as  I really wanted to expanded my knowledge of wedding photography and wanted to pick her brain, period.  I remember before I met with Laura she asked me to bring some of my work with.  At this point, I never  printed images from a professional lab nor did I have work that I felt was good enough to show.  I had a mini panic attack.  hahah. (I’m sure Laura is laughing if she’s reading this hahaha).  I also had very little time to get any type of professional prints.  I did the unthinkable and took my images to Target. *gasp*.  Trust me, I was MORE than embarrassed.  I remember my parents saying, “If she’s a true artist she will see your potential and not that you printed your images from Target.”  haha.  It was a wonderful meeting that lead to becoming her second photographer for the 2010 wedding season.  That turned into being an Associate Photographer in 2011 as well as second shooting her weddings. 2012-2013 I was strictly Associate shooting as well as booking my own weddings. It was beyond my wildest dreams of a learning experience.  I traveled to some amazing destination weddings from St. Louis, MO to Watch Hill, Rhode Island.   With all those experiences, it truly has formed the direction, the person and the business I am and have become. And I am beyond thrilled, excited,  blessed to be photographing love and beautiful weddings.

If you have further questions about photography feel free to email me I love to talk shop! Enjoy the journey my friend – it is so sweet!


minneapolis minnesota wedding photographyWhen I say trigger happy I mean – “do I publish this or don’t I?”  I constantly have the battle with my mind on whether or not to talk about topics on my blog. **internal scream**.  Sometimes I can be literally on a roll with writing and then other days it’s like, “Hello, do you even know how to speak?” Because when I can write I seriously love it and the words just flow. It’s a beautiful thing.

I will tell you that I am almost 85% positive (not medically proven) that I have dyslexia. Raise your hand if you have  read something of mine where the letters are all flip flopped. (everyone raised their hands)  It happens almost daily.  For instance, I remember the other day I posted about these gorgeous wedding flowers.  I posted, “Amazing table scrape …”  Whoops!  Later I read it and busted out laughing.  My mind is just working a 1000x a minute. I know what I want to type or write but I literally see it normal. It’s actually sort of mind freakishly weird.  Especially when I make a spelling error that is simple, easy and a no brainer for a large corporate company (not saying I did that. nope that me. ;–).  How do you explain that one? Lol.

So I apologize to all ya’ll that have received and read my amazing grammar :–)  I definitely mean well.  To make light of the situation let me share with you some of my fav jokes. (I am already laughing before I even type them out hahaha).

Dyslexics of the world, untie!
Ten out of two people have numerical dyslexia.
If life gives you melons then you’re probably dyslexic.

And that’s a wrap folks. I’m out!

  • Lynnae 'Dean' Whitfield

    I love that! Melons!!!

  • Lynnae 'Dean' Whitfield

    I love that! Melons!!!

  • Jeri Ashbeck

    I totally agree. We are blessed that we can laugh at our own selves. I love your posts.

  • Jeri Ashbeck

    I totally agree. We are blessed that we can laugh at our own selves. I love your posts.


Today I’m getting per-so-nal! Not physical, personal. haha.  Just wanted to clear that up. ;–)  I ask for my couples to get personal with me a lot; meeting them for the first time, telling me about their relationship, cuddling with their honey at their engagement session, on their wedding day and through out the process of their planning. I am so grateful to all my couples for opening up to me. So I guess it is only appropriate that I reciprocate. You might see some more personal post on here.  A look into my world, emotions and thoughts.

To get serious with you right away, for 2014 I want a life that will be determined/successful, to be a blessing to others and become better at listening to what the Lords wants me to do… on a daily basis.  Have you ever thought of the concept of listening to the Lord daily?  Growing up in a Christian home my faith became routine until my adult years. It wasn’t until most recently when I put my faith to action and experience.

My life has taken a drastic upside down changed in the last few years and through these experiences the only choice I had was to pray to the Lord and listen to what he wanted me to do next.  I will say that I struggled a lot and tried to debate the concept of listening to the Lord with many other Christians. I was certain that God favored them over me. A christian for 27 years, I felt like I was rarely hearing from the Lord.  Especially when I felt like I needed to hear from him.  Trust me, I have heard a thousand, “The Lord doesn’t answers all your prayers with a yes, but he does answer them” sermons. I was convinced that the Lord was teaching me a lesson for some reason.  Or that I didn’t have the special gift of hearing from the Lord. Like I said, the Lord was all I had these last two years.  In a way, I was forced to pray, listen and follow.  Daily.  As we should.

I began 2014 doing just that. Praying every single day, journaling, writing out my prayers, repeat.  Things would come up and it was down to the wire that I needed a miracle and at the last possible second my prayer was answered.  From small things to very huge things, my prayers were answered.  During my prayer time I was learning not to pray for the answer I  wanted (as I usual did), but asking the Lord what he wanted me to do and then for that door to open. I honestly thought, “what do I have to lose to ask God for help?”  God had my life mapped out anyways so he will know exactly what the next best step would be.  Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  Matthew 6:25-34 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life.”

I wanted to write about prayer not to brag about my prayers being answered but to give you hope and direction.  Whatever you are struggling/frustrated with, pray! And Pray knowing that whatever the answer or outcome is it IS the right answer.  The Lord knows the outcome and he will be there with you through it.  Just trust him.  It’s a very cool thing to go through and to experience his love and provision.  And of course if you are reading this and need to talk ,please, do not hesitate to message me.  There is also a wonderful site set up for online prayer needs called Prayer Works!. It’s the coolest thing.  Its all confidential.  So if you feel like no one can pray for your needs definitely go here and receive prayer.

Be blessed – prayer is a beautiful thing.

  • Kristen Janikowski Purrington

    Awesome! Thank you for sharing!

  • Kristen Janikowski Purrington

    Awesome! Thank you for sharing!

I love pretty much all the wedding vendors here in the Minneapolis, MN. The vendors are committed to their couples, classy and creative beyond belief!  We are a great group of people and I want to celebrate their success and of course sing their praises. Can you hear it? I’m literally singing over here. ;–)

So with that said, let’s start out with the great and powerful duo, Jenn & Janea of Rosetree Weddings & Events.  They are based out of the Minneapolis area and serve Minnesota and beyond.  I had the pleasure of first meeting Jenn & Janea at a wedding we were apart of back in 2012. You might remember Holly & Adam here.  Ever since we have become great friends.  It was an exciting adventure collaborating on our first styled shoot together at the Minnetonka Apple Orchards (again with some amazing wedding vendors). Jenn & Janea LOVE weddings, serving and having a great time through the entire process.  They truly are invested in all their couples and do it with a grateful loving heart. I am honored to know them and have them in my life. (Love you ladies) And if you aren’t a hugger you will be once you meet these ladies, they’re huggers!

I present to you Rosetree!

1. Tell me a little bit about you and Rosetree Wedding & Events.
We LOVE what we do. Jenn and I have been friends for over 16 yrs and we’ve had this dream of owning a wedding planning /coordintation company together since our late teens. In fact, I still have the first draft of our business plan from those years. Jenn and I both love our little big families (which are blended), love to sing,  love romance and love that we can be apart of special love through our clients. And it’s important that you know, we love giving hugs!  ;–) 

Rosetree Weddings & Events 2. What is your fav thing about weddings?
We both love the look on the grooms face when he sees his bride for the first time, and we love the “I’m trusting you with my daughter” speech that usually has us in tears by the end of it. No worries, we have plenty of kleenex on hand

3. What are you loving about the wedding industry these days?
We are really blessed to be a part of such a creative and fabulous group of wedding professionals. We love when creative minds can join forces and its not about who’s better than who. Lets come together y’all!!!

4. What is one thing you like to tell your couples?
Well, besides the philosophies that can be given or the “enjoy your day”, we like to tell them to Breath and EAT. It is all too easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the day. And most importantly, steal away a moment or two with your honey and savor that moment as you are now one couple.

5. If you weren’t in the wedding industry, what would you like to do?
If we weren’t in the wedding industry we both would be somewhere serving people. We love to be around people, helping and giving where we can.

6. Tell us something we don’t know about you?
Janea: I have eaten a pound of spaghetti in a minute and 4 secs. (spaghetti eating contest for city ambassadors)
Jenn: I tried out for American Idol in 2006.  We like to have fun!

Minnesota Wedding PhotographerOn Solid Ground RentalsKatie Murphy StationeryMinnetonka Apple OrchardsQueens of Cake

The Wildernesses PhotographyMegan Norman PhotographyComing up this Monday February 10th at 6:00pm -9:00pm Rosetree and I will be putting on Date Night Out!  What is Date Night out? Well…let me tell you.  It is a casual time for engaged couples to come and enjoy a night out in St. Paul at the Lowertown Event Center and preview 20+ wedding vendors.  You might be missing a few wedding vendors for your up coming wedding. Make sure to RSVP here!   There will also be prizes from the vendors that you need.  OH! How could I forget!  There will be alitte bubbly and desserts. My fav.   Can’t wait to meet you! And yes, make sure to stop and say hello!!!