Craft the Perfect Wedding Day Timeline with Super 8

July 21, 2023

As your wedding gets closer, people inevitably start asking about your wedding day timeline. There can be a lot of pressure around a timeline, and it’s easy to feel like it has to be a big, complicated spreadsheet. In my experience as a wedding photographer and Super 8 videographer, timelines work best when they’re treated as guidelines rather than strict schedules. It’s there to keep everyone, including your vendors, on the same page. In this post, I share a typical wedding day timeline along with tips for creating a fun, relaxed celebration that includes Super 8 video.

A Typical Wedding Day with Super 8

Getting Ready

To figure out when your photographer and videographer arrive, you’ll have to decide how much of your getting ready you want documented. In my experience, I only need to be present for the last hour of getting ready to get the photos and video everyone will love. That’s not necessarily the case if you want lots of photos of getting makeup done or wearing matching pajamas. I focus more on creatively capturing the morning’s energy.

First Look and Portraits

Next comes the first look (if you’re doing one) and couples portraits for about 30-45 minutes. I prefer to keep the portraits short because there will be times throughout the day that well take more portraits based on location and lighting. It’s better not to get worn out with photo and video upfront.   

After couples portraits, I suggest 30 minutes each for family and wedding party portraits. Typically, I finish those in a shorter amount of time, but it’s good to have time to gather everyone up and transition between groups.

Pre-ceremony Down Time

Your wedding day is about you and your partner. Design a wedding day timeline that lets you pause and bask in that relationship. I love to give couples 30 minutes before the ceremony to just relax with each other or a few close friends. Having time with no pressure before all your guests’ eyes are on you can make a big difference.

Ceremony, Cocktail Hour, and Reception

From there, your wedding day timeline will likely be pretty standard. Ceremonies typically take 20-30 minutes before guests head to cocktail hour. Your reception timeline will depend on how many formal events (dances, speeches, etc.) you want to incorporate. 

A Wedding Day on Super 8

At events where I’m strictly filming Super 8, I usually defer to the photographer when it comes to the wedding day timeline. I take more of an observer’s role during portraits and family photos. I get some footage, but I do most of my work during getting ready, ceremony, and cocktail hour. Those interactions tend to lend themselves best to Super 8 videography.

Tips for Creating Your Wedding Day Timeline

When you sit down to map out your wedding day timeline, there are a few things you can do to facilitate the kind of photography and videography that’s important to you. Most importantly, you can design it in a way that lets you be really present on this incredible day. I’ve gathered these tips from my own experience as a wedding videographer and photographer. 

Tip 1: Allot more time than you think you need.

It can be tempting to try and do all the things on your wedding day. Unfortunately, the tighter the timeline, the easier it is to fall behind schedule. If you give yourself some breathing room between events, you can adjust for things going a little differently than you planned. Your photographer and videographer also have extra time to follow any inspiration that strikes. Film and Super 8 require intentionality and a little more time than a fully digital wedding day.

If you really love those candid images, also remember that those moments often happen in the between times. Ceremony footage is great, but the bursts of laughter and spontaneous hugs often happen during downtime. So give yourself plenty of it! 

Tip 2: Communicate your priorities.

When you’re planning your wedding day timeline, include your photographer and videographer in the conversation. It’s the perfect time to tell them what matters to you so that you don’t waste your time taking photos you don’t need. If you don’t want an hour of formal portraits after your ceremony, skip it! Go to the cocktail hour with your guests and enjoy the delicious food and drinks you ordered. Just make sure you tell your vendors the plan ahead of time. By communicating with your photographer and videographer, you give them a better chance to document the moments you most want to preserve. 

Tip 3: Set it and forget it.

You put a lot of care into your wedding day timeline, so it might be counterintuitive to release it into someone else’s hands on your wedding day. That’s the perk of having a planner – or at least a very organized photographer. You actually can enjoy the day you’ve spent so much time preparing for. Leave it to the professionals you’re already investing in, and be with your people. You’ll love your photos and video all the more, too.

Your Super 8 Wedding Videographer

Like film photography, Super 8 has gotten more popular in recent years. Because it’s an older technology, though, the skill set required to document a wedding on Super 8 is very specific. Before hiring a Super 8 wedding videographer, make sure you ask for examples of their work and get to know their comfort levels in different environments. You want to hire a pro who understands their craft, not someone hopping on a trend. 

I’m an experienced Super 8 wedding videographer based in Philadelphia. Would you like me to preserve your day with a film that’s cinematic in its simplicity? Get in touch with me here!