Planning your Wedding

Right, so here we are in the nitty gritty of planning your wedding day! I hope the info below takes away some of the stress and answers some of the quetstions your may have!


The first thing you want to do is find out what time the sun will set on your wedding day. We highly recommend using the hour before sunset {also known as the golden hour} for your couple images. I call it "unicorn and rainbows hour" because the light is just magic! Don't forget to add an extra 10 minutes after sunset for a few blue light images {that is the time of day when the sun has just set}. The images have a very special "calm" quality to them.

I personally use a website called Time&Date to see the sunset time for a specific date and area. -

Next, you want an idea of how much each section or chapter of your wedding will need.


Groom getting ready

Venue detail

Bride getting ready


Family photo's

Mingle time with guests

Entourage photo's

Your photo's





Cake cutting

Time needed

90 minutes | 1.5 hours

30 minutes

120 minutes | 2 hours

1 hour

30 minutes per 10-12 group shots

30 minutes

20 minutes

40-60 minutes {the more you give the more images we create}


30 minutes

30 minutes

40-60 minutes

5-10 minutes

TIP: You don't want your guests to wait too long. Here is a few things that we recommend:

  • Guests can start moving into your venue 30min before you do. Getting everyone inside takes time. Your guests will naturally want to go to the bathroom to freshen up or to the bar to refill their drinks and of course, find their seats.
  • Have your MC do the house rules and indemnity {if your venue requires you to read it to your guests} before you walk in. This can be done 15-10 minutes before you are announced. You really don't need to be there for this part, you know where the bathrooms are and where to find the table wine and this buys you a couple of extra minutes for the last bit of golden light for your photos.
  • After the house rules, your MC can welcome everyone and then announce you. This way, when you walk in it's all hype and then you can go into starters immediately without having to go through house rules etc.

The trick is to work backward from sunset time. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • travel time between locations if you are not doing every chapter at the venue or in one location.
  • Mountain ranges and valleys that can block light from the setting sun
  • Bad weather can steal sunlight. In that case, we usually swap mingle time and couple photo's around so that we have the best light for your pictures together.

Example Timelines


Please note that between summer and winter, your chapel time can change from 16:00 to 15:30 or 15:00 depending on venue, travel time, and sunset time. Please send us your timeline draft before you lock in your chapel time.

Summer Timeline

Sunset time: 19:00

12:00 Groom

13:30 Venue detail

14:00 Bride

16:00 Chapel

17:00 Family photo's

17:30 Cocktail's & mingle

18:00 your photo's

18:40 guest can start moving into reception

19:00 MC can do house rules & Welcome speech

19:10 Couple entrance

19:15 starters

19:45 speeches

20:15 Mains

21:00 Cake cutting

21:05 Opening of dance floor & Father/Daughter dance

21:30 Photography ends

Winter Timeline

Sunset time: 17:30

10:30 Groom

12:00 Venue detail

12:30 Bride

14:30 Chapel

15:30 Family photos

16:00 Cocktails & mingle

16:30 your photos

17:10 guest can start moving into reception

17:30 MC can do house rules & Welcome speech

17:40 Couple entrance

17:45 starters

18:15 speeches

18:45 Mains

19:30 Cake cutting

19:35 Opening of dance floor & Father/Daughter dance

20:00 Photography ends

Pretoria sunset times



1st - 19:02

30th - 18:59


1st - 18:58

28th - 18:38


1st - 18:37

30th - 18:06


1st - 18:05

30th - 17:38


1st - 17:38

30th - 17:24


1st - 17:24

30th - 17:27


1st - 17:27

30th - 17:41


1st - 17:41

30th - 17:54


1st - 17:55

30th - 18:06


1st - 18:06

30th - 18:22


1st - 18:23

30th - 18:44


1st - 18:44

30th - 19:01

Family Photo's


  1. Allocate between 2-3 minutes per group shot. Yes guys, really. There is always someone stuck at the bar or bathroom during family photos. The actual taking of the picture is really quick, getting everyone there and ready for the picture takes time.
  2. Think 10-12 group shots per 30 minutes.
  3. Print 3 copies of your list and have them ready on the day.
  4. Be patient! For most couples, this is the worst part of the day but I can confidently say that a few years down the line this will be some of your most cherished photos of your wedding day.


Please complete your list below.

The Actual Wedding Day

This is how we work and what we recommend for your wedding day as well as a few tips to make it run smoothly. Let's go through your day one section at a time.

It is important to remember that you dictate the mood of your wedding. If you are stressed about the weather, everyone will stress about the weather. If you embrace the rain/wind/sunshine/heat wave/cold front, everyone else will too. Take it in your stride and enjoy your day. At the end of it, if you've said "yes" to your partner, it was the perfect day, regardless of the weather, the guest who had one too many G&Ts at cocktail hour, or the cake being late.

Remember, a wedding is a live event and all the planning in the world can not ensure that nothing will go "wrong". Be flexible and hold on to what is really important on your wedding day, your love and vows to each other.


Marli and Andre had a dream of getting married and having their reception in the bush under the African sky. The weather did not share their vision and we ended up having a massive summer thunderstorm in the afternoon. They laughed and embraced the weather. We did intimate and fun photos of them running through the rain with huge smiles on their faces. Absolutely nothing could spoil their day for them and they ended up with unique and beautiful images. Because they were calm and happy everyone else shared the mood and it really was a fantastic celebration!

Groom Getting Ready

We usually allocate around 90 minutes for the groom getting ready photos. This is roughly divided into 30 minutes for detail shots and getting to know everyone, 30 minutes getting ready {and yes guys, it can take that long. I've seen groomsmen wrestle with suspenders for longer than that...} and then 30 minutes of portraits of the groom and groomsmen.


We get this question a lot and I understand why. We've shot over 1000 weddings together and this is the best way to do it. I hate having my grooms feel like they are going from one photo session to the next. When we do the groom photos first thing in the day, it's done and they get to relax until chapel. I also find that the groom is the main contact point for guests before the ceremony and that doesn't leave us with much time or opportunity to do photos between greeting guests, nerves, and all the last-minute questions.


  1. You don't need to be dressed when we get there but there are extra points for having all your details {shoes, watch, cuff links, vows, tie, etc} ready for me to photograph. We recommend being groomed and showered though.
  2. We highly recommend getting a second shirt as a backup to wear during your reception, especially in the summer. After a warm and stressful day, the comfort to change into a fresh shirt at the start of your reception will be very welcome. You will feel fresh and ready for the next part of your day.
  3. This might sound obvious but walk in your shoes. I do around 12-20km of walking on a wedding day. You will do less but make sure you will be comfortable for at least a 5km walk. Trust me.
  4. Photos will be painless, it might even be fun :) Please don't stress about it! We will guide you through everything.

Detail Photo's

I love doing reception details. It gives me a full picture of your style and the mood of your wedding. At this time we document your table setups and little details that you have in your reception area.


  1. We love documenting your stationery. Please print an extra set for me to photograph if you want to include it in your photo gallery.
  2. Communicate with your stylist and florist the time on your schedule that we will photograph the venue.

Bride Getting Ready

We usually allocate around 120 minutes/2 hours for the bride getting ready photos. This is roughly divided into 30 minutes for detail shots and getting to know everyone, 15 minutes for champagne shots in gowns with your bridesmaids, 30 minutes for getting ready, another 15 minutes for revealing your dress to your dad, and then 30 minutes of portraits of the bride and bridesmaids.

Your Location

Things that help:

  • if you are able to go outside for photos
  • light and airy spaces
  • tidy room or area to get ready
  • keep in mind the size of the space and how many people will be in it.

If you are considering renting an Airbnb for getting ready, try to pick a location with lots of natural light/big windows. I am always happy to weigh in if you are unsure or between locations.


  • Warm things! There is always a cold spell from September to November. Try to have a cardigan or something warm to wear during your reception. Also, tights are a great way to keep your legs warm under your dress. Nobody will ever see them or know that you are wearing them but you will be way more comfortable.


  1. Ask your Makeup artist to be done or almost done 2 hours before the ceremony, this allows a pocket of time if you run late. I see so many brides with almost no bridal portraits because their hair and makeup were behind schedule.
  2. Pick the people you surround yourself with while getting ready. A room filled to the brim with family and flower girls can become very stressful very quickly.
  3. Try to be on time so that you don't feel rushed on your wedding day.

Ceremony | Chapel

We are heading to the Chapel of LOOOOVVVVEEE! This is one of my favorite times of the day. I love the anticipation in the air and the look when the groom sees his bride for the first time. The walk down the aisle feels slow and fast at the same time and it is such a privilege to witness it every time.

Take a deep breath and feel every emotion. This is how you will create the memories that you will relive every time you look at your photos.


Yes, you do, you really need an hour. Even if your ceremony is just 30 minutes, add to that 5 minutes before you can walk down the aisle to allow the last guest to move in, 10 minutes after the ceremony for guests to move out, grab confetti, and for you to sign the register, another 5 minutes for good wishes from your closest family after you've signed the register and then 10 minutes to enjoy confetti and congratulations from your guest outside. It quickly becomes an hour. Not allowing enough time for your ceremony is the first thing that can make your wedding day feel like it's rushed and that you're trying to play catch up to your timeline.


  1. Allow an aisle length between every bridesmaid as they make their way into your ceremony area.
  2. Slow is the name of the game. When in doubt, slow down. This is the rule for walking down the aisle, vows, and exchanging rings, and definitely double counts for your first kiss.
  3. You are allowed to hold hands and to be close together during your ceremony. Every now and again we get a couple that is so nervous they stand a good 1.5 m away from each other. Remember to look at the person you love next to you and move in a little closer if you feel they are too far away.
  4. SPACING: Try to create an area where you stand in the front that has enough space. Don't stand on top of your officiant. It is the saddest thing when I edit images and the couple is so close to the officiant that I can not crop out the microphone stand or brightly colored iPad case. In this regard, space is your friend, use it.
  5. Ask your bridesmaids not to fluff your gown immediately when you are in position next to your groom. This is usually a very emotional moment and a really good photo opportunity to capture you and the people around you. When everyone is seated and the officiant starts, that is a good time for them to discretely fluff your gown and take your flowers.

Cocktails & Mingle time

Don't skip this time. It really is the best! We always try to allocate time in the timeline for our couples to have a drink and something to eat during cocktail hour. It makes for beautiful mingling images and happy memories!


  • Lawn games
  • Personalized Bride and Groom cocktails
  • Ice cream vendor
  • Champagne tower
  • Instax/Polaroid guest book
  • Live music
  • Lounge pockets

Your Photo's


  1. Have fun! Don't stress about this part. We will guide you through every aspect.
  2. There is a simple equation: The more time we have = More photos
  3. Sunset time is always the best light for your photographs. The golden soft light is what will give your photos that soft glowy feel.


This is a paragraph. Click edit and enter your own text. You can make changes like making the text bold, underline or italic. This is a great place for you to tell your clients more about your story and to describe the type of photographer you are. You can come back at any time to make more changes.

Reception Lighting

Light is your friend. I really can not highlight this enough. Create ambiance and a festive mood in your reception by adding light. Candles and bistro light/naked globes are a really great way to get this mood going. Small fairy lights tend to absorb light and give off a cold light more than they add to a warm inviting feel.

We sometimes request that the lights be kept on for speeches and formalities. The more light we have to work with during this section of your reception creates more candid photographs of your guests and formalities.

It's all in the details...


  1. Clear away plates before you start your speeches. Nobody, absolutely nobody wants to be photographed while eating or having half a plate of food in front of them.
  2. Table photos: Most of our clients opt not to do this at their weddings. For most, it is an old-fashioned and outdated practice that ends up taking a lot of time and breaking up dinner festivities and chatter. If the wedding couple is present, they tend to miss dinner hour {and their own food} and precious time to chat and mingle with guests. It also delays food service and is the biggest cause for timelines running late and ruffling guest feathers who would rather eat and chat with the table guests. In our experience, these photo's rarely if ever land in photo albums and are forgotten as soon as they are taken. The most important people are photographed during family photographs and entourage photos.
  3. Opening Dance: Please alert us if you are doing lifts and big spins so that we are ready for them. If you have a smoke machine, opt for the one that blows smoke on the ground level that stays lower than the ones that fill the air with white smoke making you almost invisible in it.
  4. Garter and Bouquet toss
  5. Sparkler Photo's


  • Midnight Snacks: Think french fries, grilled cheese sandwiches, or pizza. What do you crave around 11:00 when you are out having a good time?

Really nice to have's

I highly recommend adding an emergency kit to your venue bathrooms. It is one of the nicest things you, as a host can do for your guests.


  • Pain killers, nausea tablets, tums
  • Safety pins, needle and thread
  • Dry shampoo and a comb
  • Plasters and some more plasters - they really are life savers!
  • Sanitary products
  • Wet Wipes & ear buds
  • Gum

Pre Wedding Dinner

We are available for pre-wedding celebrations. We love doing them and it is such a special part of your wedding celebration. Please let us know if you have a special pre-wedding dinner, safari, or cocktail hour planned, we would love to share and capture this part of your celebration.

You've made it!

Well done! You've made it to the end! We really hope this helps with your planning and that it takes some of the stress and uncertainty away!

We are so excited to share your wedding day and we can't wait to capture all your memories!

Much love!