Indian weddings are unlike any other type of wedding out there. The wedding will not only be filled to the brim with vibrant decor, cultural traditions, and beautiful celebrations, but there are so many moments and events throughout the day that you and your significant other hope become memories in your minds.
And that is where we come in! The wedding weekend is jam-packed with traditions and rituals and it is our job to capture all of that. But to do so means we, as the R.E.M. crew, need to plan and manage the time we have wisely. So that is why we came up with the ideal timeline and recommended times for each segment to ensure we can reproduce all of the important moments of the weekend. Because one day, you and your SO can look back, smile and appreciate your first day as husband and wife.
You may notice that when you are reading through this timeline you may think to yourself, "this takes way longer than X amount of time." We chose to organize the timeline based on the amount of time the R.E.M. team need, not necessarily the amount of time you and your SO need. So take into account that this timeline is for video and photography coverage and we suggest you work with your family or wedding planner to properly plan out you and your SO's day.
Pre-Wedding Day Rituals
The Mehndi / 2 hours
The Mendhi ceremony happens 2-3 days before the actual wedding day. At this time we take both candid and posed shots of the henna process, with our attention focused on the bride. Being that the Mendhi ceremony can take upwards of 4-6 hours, we arrive at the last hour which allows us to take photos and videos of the final touches and take portraits of the bride and her family members.
The Sangeet / 4-5 hours
The Sangeet is a long night of dancing, singing, and festivities which is why 4-5 hours is the best amount of time for our team. We take not only the action shots of the dancing and singing performances but also portraits of all the family members with the bride and groom.
The Graha Shanti / 3-4 hours
The Graha Shanti is a really special ceremony for the bride and groom and their families. It is typically done a day before the formal marriage ceremony. Being that it is customary for the bride and groom to be separated into their perspective homes and/or venues, it is recommended that you, your SO and your family members should plan to have two videographers and two photographers. That way, you can be assured that we are getting equal coverage at both locations.
The Wedding Day
The Details / 30 Minutes
It is all about the ornate details, especially for an Indian wedding. We want to capture all of the beauty in those things and so it is really important to have all of the details prepared from items like the Sari to the jewelry to the rings and so on.
Getting Ready / 30 Minutes
It isn’t really necessary to get photos or videos of the bride just starting her make-up or the groom just putting on his vestments. All that’s really important are the finishing touches from the last bobby pin going into the bride’s hair to the groom putting on his hat as well as capturing the time being spent with the bridal party and family. We recommend that there are two photographers so more time can be spent with the bride and the groom individually. This is also an intimate moment for the bride and groom separately. After an exchange of letters the bride and groom had written to one another, they spend some time privately from their friends and family to read their letters. This is a very tender moment for the bride and groom.
The Individual Portraits / 30 minutes
Hair, make-up, and clothing looks its best at the beginning of the day which makes perfect sense to take individual portraits at this time. Being that the session is strictly for you and your SO, only 30 minutes is necessary for this section.
The Immediate Family Portraits / 30 minutes
Right after the individual portraits are complete, we recommend getting a few immediate family portraits as well. Not only is it most convenient, but your family are also looking their best and so capturing that is significant. Being that it is the immediate family only, 30 minutes is more than enough to get some great portraits before the first look.
The First Look / 30 Minutes
This is when you have the opportunity to experience a very sweet and intimate time with you and your soon-to-be spouse. This is also when the majority of your photographs with just you and your SO will be taken. It is important to allow enough time to get not only great footage and photos but to also enjoy the last moments of being fiances to one another.
The Bridal Party Portraits / 30 Minutes
We know how important your bridal party is to the whole wedding day experience and that they are made up of some of the most important people in you and your SO’s lives. And with all of the individual, group and entertaining shots you want out of the session, allowing a lot of time is really key.
The Ceremony Details / 30 Minutes
Just before all of your friends and family come into the ceremony venue is the perfect time to capture all of the decorations and details of the venue in its most outstanding state.
The Baraat / Varies
At this time, the bride has snuck away and the groom and his family are celebrating in the Baraat procession. This is a very celebratory time for the groom and his guests to dance their way along the processional path and to the site of the Milini, the ceremony of the broom greeting the bride’s family. Capturing this celebration makes for amazingly entertaining photos and footage and having an ample amount of time for everything is key.
The Ceremony / Varies
Depending on your religion or your preferences, the length of the ceremony can vary. Some can be super short while others run upwards of two hours. So this is a conversation to be had with your SO and your two families. For the ceremony, we are there for the entire time. It is important for us to be there from the start to the end of the ceremony and having an estimate of the length of the ceremony is super important.
The Extended Family Formals / 1 Hour
While guests are enjoying lunch, it is time to take the family portraits with all of your immediate and extended family members. With all of the siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and other family members, this photo session can take, well, a long time and an hour for this session is plenty. Think 3 minutes per group of relatives.
The Vidai / Varies
At this emotional stage of the day, the bride is being escorted by her parents to her groom where her family and friends will bid her a final farewell.
The Evening Getting Ready / 30 minutes
At this point, you and your spouse are changing into your evening attire to get ready for the reception. Similarly to getting ready before the ceremony, we don't need too much coverage of this time of the day. 30 minutes is the perfect amount of time for us.
The Evening Couple’s Session / 30 Minutes
This is a great opportunity for us to get some more footage and photographs with you and, now, your spouse! We usually suggest 30 minutes but, honestly, it is up to you and your desires for the shoot.
The Reception Details / 30 Minutes
Once the reception venue is set with all of the table decor, this is the perfect time and allotment for us to come in and capture all of the great details.
The Family Formals Part 2 / 30 Minutes
Now that you and your family are in your formal, reception attire, this gives us another great opportunity to get great photographs of you and your family before cocktail hour!
The Cocktail Hour / 30 Minutes
So we don’t need a full hour like the term “cocktail hour” insists. Just 30 minutes of your friends and family mingling is perfect for us.
The Reception / Varies
The timing for the reception is also going to vary. This really depends on you and your SO's wishes. A Do you have 2 speeches or 10 speeches? How many first dances will there be? Any special performances occurring? This category should also be brought up in timing your special day.
The Night Portraits / 20 Minutes
Just after you and your spouse have finished dinner, we recommend you include a 20-minute photo and video session. Not only will you and your spouse be able to have an opportunity to have some non-traditional portraits taken, but this session makes for stunning and original photos. It is our goal to capture you and your SO at all different parts of the day so photographs and video footage have a lot of variance and unique ambiances. This is also a great time for you and your groom to provide us with your wedding bands so we can get some fabulous shots of them. However, this is a personal preference for you and your SO.
The Open Dancing / 30-45 Minutes
Probably the most fun part of the day is when all of the guests come together and celebrate with dancing and loud music! And why wouldn’t we want to capture all of the fun? We know dancing is going to take far longer than 30 minutes, however, we are not going to need more than that amount of time.
What an amazing day! And timely too. We know how important the wedding day experience is for every couple and we want to ensure the couple that all of the details and moments are captured and accounted for. The day is about celebration, love and fulfilling the wonderful traditions that Indian weddings bring to South Asian cultures.