Priddis Green wedding venue

Helpful Wedding Timeline Photography Tips

The wedding timeline is something we get asked about a lot. With the wide variety of weddings that we photograph, it is difficult to have an exact timeline template. However, here are some time frames you should consider when planning your day. Some of these times may seem long on paper but keep in mind that 1) the day will fly by, 2) most weddings run slightly behind schedule, and 3) we’ll make these photo sessions fun, so it won’t seem like a long time.

Depending on your wedding and preferences, some of these sections may be longer or shorter than our suggestion. In some cases, some sections may be skipped altogether (ie: bride and groom first look)

DETAILS – RINGS, DRESS, AND SHOES

Ideal Time Allotment – 30 minutes
Ideal Location – Bridal Suite or Hotel Suite

Advice – Having at least 30 minutes for details ensures that we have plenty of time to get that perfect photo of the dress, rings, shoes, bouquets, and the other details of the day.

There are times when a hotel room is too crowded or simply unappealing; we have to take the dress all the way down to the lobby or even outside. This can take some time, but it’s well worth the additional work.

Close up of wedding rings
Close up of wedding rings
Dress at a Destination Wedding in Mexico
Wedding dress at a destination beach wedding in Mexico

BRIDE AND GROOM GETTING READY

Ideal Time Allotment – 60 minutes
Ideal Location – Bridal Suite or Hotel Suite

Advice – Having an hour of preparation is ideal for our style. During this time, we are getting close ups of the makeup and hair being applied as well as the candid moments and the bridesmaids and groomsmen get ready for the day. Keep in mind that these are some of the most emotional and fun times of the day, so you don’t want to cut it short.

Our female shooter will be with the bride while the male shooter will be with the groom. While it doesn’t take guys an hour to get dressed, there are still tons of great moments during this time between the groom and his family and friends.

Calgary bride and bridesmaids getting ready
Calgary bride and bridesmaids getting ready
Calgary groomsmen joking around
Calgary groomsmen joking around
Wedding Photography magic After image
Wedding Photography magic After image

INDIVIDUAL PORTRAITS

Ideal Time Allotment – 30 minutes
Ideal Location – Bridal Suite or Hotel Suite

Advice – Right after prep is the best time for individual portraits of the bride and groom (separately). Besides makeup and hair being completely fresh, the day hasn’t gotten hectic yet so we can take our time and get those perfect portraits.

Also, keep in mind that the window lighting in most hotel rooms creates a unique look that can’t be duplicated in any environment throughout the rest of the day.

Calgary bride wedding portrait
Calgary bride portrait

FIRST LOOK

Ideal Time Allotment – 20 minutes
Ideal Location – Outdoor garden, hallway or ballroom

Advice – The first look should be around 20 – 30 minutes. During this time, the bride and groom enjoy seeing each other for the first time on the wedding day. While the actual first look might only be 5-10 minutes, the rest of the time is spent on a few basic portraits of the bride and groom.

Ideally, we are saving the bulk of the couples session for later (see the “couples session” section below).

Saskatoon Farm wedding first look
Saskatoon Farm wedding first look
Calgary stampede wedding first look
Calgary stampede wedding first look

WEDDING PARTY PHOTOS

Ideal Time Allotment – 30-45 minutes
Ideal Location -Venue Lobby, Outside Garden, Park, Off-site Location

Advice – Wedding Party Photos should be around 30 – 45 minutes. During this time, we get a variety of shots in a variety of poses.

We will be sure to get a set of fun and creative shots. Finally, we know how much your wedding party means to you, so we are sure to get pictures with you and each one of your bridesmaids or groomsmen individually.

Calgary bridal party standing in park
Calgary bridal party standing in park
Calgary groomsmen at wedding in front of barn
Calgary groomsmen at wedding in front of barn

IMMEDIATE FAMILY, EXTENDED FAMILY, FRIENDS

Ideal Time Allotment – 30-45 minutes (1.5 min per combination)
Ideal Location -Venue Lobby, Garden, Park, Off-site Location

Advice – Immediate Family Photos should take another 30 – 45 minutes. It’s important to have additional images with your parents, grandparents, and siblings beyond the basic formal. We always try to take the large family photos immediately after the ceremony to ensure that everyone is still onsite.

Plan on 1.5 – 2 minutes per group on average.  For example, if you have 10 groups, schedule in a 15 – 20 minute time slot.

We all know how much weddings mean to the immediate family, and we want to make sure we’re capturing enough pictures with them. We will ask our couples for a list of all family photo combinations prior to the wedding. This list ensures that no one is missed and allows us to move quickly through the photo session.

CEREMONY DETAIL AND VENUE

Ideal Time Allotment – 15 minutes
Ideal Location – Venue

Advice – Please allow 15 minutes to take pictures of the ceremony site, completely set up with no guests or vendors in the area.

Before you have the guests seated,  it’s important that we are there to capture the complete set up of your ceremony site so we can capture the scene at its best.

Wedding at Banff Springs
Wedding at Banff Springs

COUPLES SESSION

Ideal Time Allotment – 1.5 to 2 hours
Ideal Location – Park, downtown, mountains

Advice – Couple sessions should be around 1.5 to 2 hours. Due to how we photograph images, using a combination of lighting and natural light, timing is not quite as important for us as other photographers. We always try to visit several locations to give our couples a variety of backgrounds and overall emotion. The more locations, then the longer a timeline is required. We also keep a close eye on weather so that we can have indoor options if the weather does not co-operate.

Bride and Groom photography in park
Bride and Groom photography in park
Calgary bride and groom at beautiful Fish Creek Park
Bride and groom at Fish Creek Park
Priddis bride and groom
Priddis bride and groom

RECEPTION DETAIL AND VENUE

Ideal Time Allotment – 15 minutes
Ideal Location – Reception Site

Advice – Please allow 15 minutes for us to take pictures of the reception room completely set up with no guests or vendors in the area. These 15 minutes also give the bride and groom a chance to relax for a couple of minutes as it will have been a whirlwind of a day.

Similar to the ceremony details, this is the only opportunity we have to capture the beauty of the reception room prior to guest arrival.

COUPLES SESSION – RECEPTION SNEAK OUT

Ideal Time Allotment – 20-30 minutes
Ideal Time of the Day – Dusk to Night Time
Ideal Location – Areas with interesting lights, fountains, city scapes and mirrors

Advice – During the reception, you may plan on sneaking out for a couple of night shots. We only need 20-30 minutes, as we understand the importance of being a good host. However, this time is important if you appreciate the night photography that we deliver. The ideal time for this is right after you grab a bite to eat or during the open floor dancing after you’ve danced a few songs and would like a break.

PARTY

Ideal Time Allotment – 30 minutes
Ideal Location – Reception Site

We always love to get some great shots of our bride and groom with the friends and family as they celebrate their wedding. We typically find that 20 – 30 minutes of the party is enough for the typical wedding. Often, the same people will be dancing, will be sat talking and….we like to be have the cameras put away before too much alcohol begins to flow.

This 20 – 30 minutes also gives us some flexibility if the wedding falls behind schedule a little…and weddings ALWAYS fall behind schedule a little.

Destination wedding Mexico wedding reception
Destination Mexico reception
DJ playing at incredible Valley Ridge Golf Club wedding
DJ playing at a Valley Ridge Golf Club wedding
Priddis wedding reception party
Priddis wedding reception party

ADDITIONAL WEDDING TIMELINE SUGGESTIONS

Table Shots – Table shots are when you go around visiting tables. There are two options for photography during this time. We typically focus on candid style, capturing the smiles and hugs as you mingle with each table. If you’re planning on doing formal table shots, please keep in mind that these will take about 3 minutes per table.  For example, 20 tables would require 60 minutes of time.

Bride and groom visiting the tables at reception
Visiting the tables

Our wedding timeline tips are meant to give you an idea of how long some aspects may take. Use these tips when planning your wedding timeline and adjust them as needed to fit your ideal schedule.

We hope that these wedding timeline suggestions are helpful to you in your planning. Have a wedding tip that you would like to share? Let us know, we would love to hear it.

Wedding timeline photography tips


Patton Photography is a professional photography studio based out of Calgary, Alberta. Our signature style offers a clean and modern look to your photographs while maintaining a look that is romantic and whimsical. Contact us anytime to sit down over coffee for a stress-free conversation.

Chinese wedding banquet

Chinese Wedding Timeline and Festive Traditions

He has proposed and you are getting married!!! Are of Chinese descent or simply looking to incorporate Chinese wedding traditions into your wedding day? Then this article is for you. We have compiled a small sample of Chinese wedding traditions as well as an example timeline and menu…all ten courses!!

Chinese wedding days are incredible, with a host of traditions, dress changes, games, and banquet. One of the most common traditions is the Chinese Tea Ceremony.

Chinese Tea Ceremony

Often, both families will perform the hairdressing and capping rituals for the bride and groom. The groom will then travel to the bride’s house, where he will be blocked from entering by the bridesmaids. After a series of tasks, he is allowed to enter the home

Both families are formally introduced through the Tea Ceremony, and often the couple will receive ornate red envelopes (lai see) which may contain money or sometimes jewelry.

Chinese Wedding Dress

It is Chinese tradition for the bride to wear a red dress, known as a qipao. In Chinese culture, red symbolizes happiness, prosperity, and good luck. In modern weddings, the bride will often change into a white wedding dress for the ceremony. As the banquet progresses, there will often be another dress change, and on some occasions, a fourth dress at the end of ceremonies to send off their guests.

Chinese Wedding Banquet

This is a very lavish and usually expensive affair. Once the dinner begins, the bride will change into a traditional red Chinese wedding dress. Many foods are considered symbolic in Chinese culture, such as the whole fish which symbolizes abundance.

Chinese wedding cake
Chinese wedding cake

Chinese Wedding Timeline

5:00 amMakeup and Hairstylist Arrive
Bridesmaids arrive to Bride’s house
8:40 amFamily Members arrive
9:00 amGroom Arrives at Tea Ceremony
Ceremony venue opens for set up
Reception venue open for set up
Tea Ceremony (until 11 am)
Ceremony decor delivery/set-up
Photography coverage begins (13-hour duration)
11:00 amTea Ceremony Ends
Lunch delivery arrives
12:00 pmBridal party departure for the ceremony
12:45 pmBridal party arrival to Ceremony location
1:00 pmAll ceremony details set for guest arrival
Bride gets dressed
1:30 pmEarliest guest arrival
Start instrumental background music
Officiant arrives
1:55 pmLine up the bridal party
2:00 pmCeremony begins
2:30 pmCeremony ends
Group Photo & Family Photos
3:00 pmCouple Photos
5:00 pmBridal party arrival at Reception
All details set for cocktail hour/early guest arrival
5:30 pmCake Delivery
Cocktail hour
Cocktail hour music begins and then moves into dinner music
6:55 pmEmcee asks guests to be seated
7:00 pmReception begins
Welcome Speech and introduction of emcee
Bridal Party Entrance
7:05 pmNewlywed Entrance & First Dance
7:15 pmFirst Course Served; BBQ Platter
7:25 pmToast by the Maid of Honor
7:30 pmSecond Course: Deep-fried stuffed Crab claws
7:35 pmToast by Bridesmaid
7:45 pmThird Course: Bird’s Nest with Scallops
7:50 pmToast by the Best Man
8:00 pmFourth Course: Fish Maw Soup
8:15 pmFifth Course: Lobster with Cream sauce
8:20 pmGames: 1
8:30 pmSixth Course: Crispy Chicken
8:35 pmGames: 2
8:45 pmSeventh Course: Braised Abalone Chinese Mushroom
8:50 pmGames: 3
9:00 pmEighth Course: Steamed Tilapia
Bride to go change to Chinese dress
9:10 pmThank you by the Newlyweds (Bride changed to Chinese dress)
9:15 pmBridal party will make their rounds
Ninth Course: Yee Min
9:30 pmTenth Course: Fried Rice
Bride to change to an evening gown
9:35 pmCake cutting (Bride in evening gown)
9:45 pmOpen dance floor
9:50 pmBouquet Toss/ Garter toss
10:00 pmPhotography Coverage Finishes
10:15 pmDinner service ends
12:55 amLast Dance
1:00 amNewlywed send-off
Breakdown Begins

Patton Photography is a professional photography studio based out of Calgary, Alberta. Our signature style offers a clean and modern look to your photographs while maintaining a look that is romantic and whimsical. Contact us anytime to sit down over coffee for a stress-free conversation.

Groom Boutonniere

Useful Tips on How to Pin a Boutonniere

The second most common question we get asked by guys on the wedding day, second only to how to fold a pocket square, is “How do we put on a boutonniere?” These small floral arrangements have been confusing to men the world over. Most men only wear these a few times in their lifetimes, so all it takes is one person to be an expert, and after this article, you’ll be that guy!! With these 3 easy steps, you’ll have the knowledge to successfully pin one on in less than 60 seconds.

Step 1: Location, Location, Location

The key to wearing a boutonniere is proper placement. They are always placed on the left lapel of your jacket. Almost all suit lapels will have a buttonhole which makes finding the right spot easy. Don’t have a buttonole? Check below for placement. Simply place the largest part of the flower, just over the hole with the base of the flower, the ribbon covered stem, laying on the lapel just below the hole. The stem of the boutonniere should be aligned with the sides of the lapel so it angles in the same direction.

The boutonniere should be lower than the knot in the tie, and above the top of the pocket square.

History Fact: Boutonniere is French for ‘buttonhole’ which was originally designed to let men stick single flowers through their lapel.

Step 2: Fold The Lapel Over the Boutonniere

After you’ve correctly positioned the boutonniere, form a taco shape by folding the material over the flower and that should allow you to see the back of the lapel. Be sure to have a good grip on the boutonniere as you prepare to stick the pin into it

Step 3: Slide The Needle Down Through the Lapel

Insert the needle at a downward angle making sure it runs through the lapel. Be sure to stick the needle through the thickest part of the boutonniere, the flower stem, typically at the top of the ribbon covered section. It’s important to insert the needle at a downward angle to ensure that the boutonniere stays in place throughout the event.

After you’ve pinned the boutonniere, check and see that the needle is not visible from the front and the boutonniere is secure. You could also use two pins for more stability.

Wedding boutonniere on groom

Common Questions

What if you don’t have a button hole?

Because tuxedos have a satin lapel, they don’t have this helpful landmark. For notch lapel tuxedos, you can use the bottom edge of the notch as a guide. Simply place the widest part of the boutonniere flower just below this and approximately 1.5″ in from the edge

For shawl lapel tuxedos, use the shirt buttons as a guide. These are a bit more difficult because they are one continuous piece of satin. Look to the buttons on the shirt to help placement, specifically the second button from the top of the shirt. This will be the highest fully exposed button. On a shawl lapel, the boutonniere should be placed with the base of the flower even to this button. Next, align the stem aligned with the lapel edges.

Does it matter if you don’t pin it toward the top of the stem? 

Yes, it does matter. Pinning it in the middle of the stem is not a secure placement. This type of placement will cause the flower to flop around. Putting the pin through the top of the stem where the ribbon begins. This is where the stems are thickest and is the most secure position.

What is the right size? 

The flowers used in the boutonnieres should complement the bridal bouquets. Also, be sure to compliment the size of the gentleman wearing them. For example, a small rose on its own may not look fitting on a larger groomsman. This however may be perfect for the ring bearer.

How do we incorporate the colors of wedding? 

There are so many ways to incorporate wedding colors into your florals. Flowers vary by season and you have probably chosen your wedding colors based on the time of year and formality of your event. For example, burgundy bridesmaids’ dresses are stunning next to a groomsman in a black suit with a burgundy calla lily boutonniere. Color can also be added to the ribbon choice.

How do I care for my boutonniere before the wedding? 

Ideally, your florist will deliver your boutonnieres and other flowers the day of, right before they are ready to be attached to your jacket. If they are in your possession the night before, store them gently in the refrigerator close to the door. If you need to freshen them up the day of, use a spray bottle to spray cool water on the stem and gently dry on a tissue before placing it on your suit or tuxedo.

Can a boutonniere be worn along with a pocket square?

Yes. Although many couples choose one or the other, there is no reason a boutonniere and a pocket square can’t complement one another.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4pvo1GhmK_/

Patton Photography is a professional photography studio based out of Calgary, Alberta. Our signature style offers a clean and modern look to your photographs while maintaining a look that is romantic and whimsical. Contact us anytime to sit down over coffee for a stress-free conversation.

Photography and hiking equipment

Our Fantastic Photography Toolbox

Photo via Good Free Photos

Ever wondered what equipment a photographer carries with them? Our photography toolbox list hopefully offers some insight into what it takes to be a professional photographer. As with anything, it takes a lot more than expensive equipment to produce beautiful wedding photographs.  However, having that professional equipment offers a level of performance and capabilities that lower-level gear does not.  Here is our list of professional equipment.  Besides the equipment listed, we have a full set of backdrop stands, backdrops, and miscellaneous equipment.

OUR CAMERA SYSTEMS

Our list starts with camera bodies. We only use high-performing camera bodies that are ideally suited for top of the line photographs.  The Canon 5D line is the workhorse of photographers across the world.  Recording to two separate cards, the Mark III ensures that no matter what happens on one card, all your images are safe as they also exist on the backup card.

  • Primary camera body:  Canon 5D Mark III
  • Backup camera body: Canon 5D Mark II
  • Photobooth camera body: Canon Rebel XSi

OUR LENSES

Our lens collection consists of high-end lens all designed for working in low light conditions, perfect for a wedding ceremony or corporate speaking session.  The use of telephoto lenses also means that we can stay stationary and zoom in or out for the ideal shot.  This is one of the ways we ensure that we are not disruptive during your event. 

  • Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM Telephoto Lens
  • Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L USM Telephoto Lens
  • Canon 50mm f/1.8 ‘Prime’ Portrait Lens

OUR LIGHTING

We are equipped with a full array of lighting equipment and remote triggering systems.  The majority of our systems are battery powered to eliminate power cords running across your floor. They are also remote-controlled…to keep us from running across your floor. 

  • Godox AD200 Pro
  • Godox TT685C Speedlight
  • Godox XPRO-C Multi-Channel Radio Trigger
  • Yongnuo YN600EX-RT II Speedlight
  • Yongnuo YN-E3-RT Multi-Channel Radio Trigger
  • An assortment of studio lights as well as handheld lights

OUR PHOTOGRAPHY ACCESSORIES

We have a wide variety of gear designed to help bring out the best of our camera and lighting systems.  From light meters, which help ensure lights are calibrated perfectly for your space, to specially designed filters that control how much light enters the camera.

  • Sekonic L-358 Flash Light Meter
  • Evecase extra-large gear backpack
  • Macro-tubes of varying lengths
  • Tiffen Neutral Density 0.9 Filters
  • Tiffen Ultra-Violet Filters
  • Geekoto Professional 77” ball-head Tripod
  • Multiple light-stands ranging from 7 feet to 10 feet
  • 5 in 1 portable reflector
  • Rapid Pro Parabolic Softbox
  • Rapid Speedlight Softbox
  • MagMod Light Modifier System

OUR WORKSTATIONS

Once your images have been captured, we ensure that they are treated with the utmost respect and protection.  Our dual-drive laptop ensures that we can work quickly as we edit each photo.  Likewise, our 18 button mouse ensures that the common keyboard shortcuts are accessed even quicker with the press of a button.  Finally, our NAS storage system ensures that there is always a backup of your images. 

  • ASUS Vivobook Pro 17 Dual Drive Laptop
  • Red Dragon M908 – 18 Button Mouse
  • DataColor Spyder Screen Calibration System
  • Synology 2 Bay Network Attached Storage System

OUR PHOTOGRAPHY SOFTWARE

We utilize business subscriptions to the world’s leading photo management and editing software programs.  Having the subscription ensures that we always have the latest versions of the software.

  • Adobe Lightroom (Business Subscription)
  • Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud (Business Subscription)
  • ShootProof Gallery Hosting and Protection

As you can see, it takes more than just having a nice camera to offer a professional level of service. Our photography toolbox section is a rough list of the equipment each of our photographers has. While the list will differ as to the brands and quantities, our photographers all utilize professional equipment to ensure the best of service.

So, which vendors do we use when we are in need of equipment? If you are in need of camera gear, we highly recommend these great vendors


Patton Photography is a professional photography studio based out of Calgary, Alberta. Our signature style offers a clean and modern look to your photographs while maintaining a look that is romantic and whimsical. Contact us anytime to sit down over coffee for a stress-free conversation.

Wedding Photography magic After image

Wedding Photography Magic

On occasion, we have locations that may not photograph how we prefer, this is where our wedding photography magic comes in.

It’s been a little while since we last posted, unfortunately the downside of having a business is trying to get ready for tax season…as much work as wedding season but without the awesome caterers and DJs ). However we are starting a new social media push so be sure to watch here and our Instagram feed. Myself and Erin will be starting a regular viewing party for all of you showing the details and magic.

How we deal with ‘small rooms’ or ‘ugly rooms’, etc. when doing wedding photography is a common question. We have some great techniques, one of which we are going to show you here. Roni was getting ready in an awesome room downtown however the bathroom didn’t have quite the pop I wanted. The mirror was great with a super cool backlight, however it was BRIGHT white. The bright white light just didn’t fit my idea for the photo.


The Wedding Photography Magic


To get around this, I adjusted settings in the camera to really darken the room down. I then placed a flash pointed at our groom, with a tight focus to only light him up. To tone down the bright white light I actually placed a blue gel over the flash pointed at our groom. I took the picture of our white mirror light and now blue groom and brought it into our software. By simply adjusting the color temperature, our blue flash became white. The color shift brought our groom back to the proper color.

This shift also pushed our mirror light to a much nicer yellow / orange. The tightly focused beam also kept the room dark to keep our groom the center of attention. You can see the final photo followed by the ‘blue’ original with the white mirror light in the photo following.

Having an understanding of color shifting as well as off camera flash allows us to take an otherwise ordinary photo and give it a great edge.


Patton Photography is a professional photography studio based out of Calgary, Alberta. Our signature style offers a clean and modern look to your photographs while maintaining a look that is romantic and whimsical. Contact us anytime to sit down over coffee for a stress-free conversation.