Wedding Day Timeline 101

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Okay let’s talk about lighting conditions and weather on your wedding day. We know that you cannot control the weather, but you can prepare for the best results. What do I mean? lighting is very important. How can you make sure that you have optimal lighting it starts with your timeline.

I will describe to you the ideal timeline for a wedding. In my experience the earlier you start the day the better. Last thing you want is to run out of time and be rushing around. Trust me I have seen it all. Brides sometimes plan plan plan and do not consult their vendors. Then wedding day comes and things do not go as she planned. Remember although its up to when things happen you want to consult with the vendors and be sure everyone is on the same page but also that you are getting their feedback.

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Let’s go over a time line that runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. this is with two photographers multiple locations and everything gets beautifully photographed in 8 hours.  

Getting Ready

11am- It starts with the lead photographer  arriving at 11 a.m. at the place where the bride is getting ready.  At the same time the second shooter is arriving at the place where the groom is getting ready.

Worcester MA Wedding Photographer Massachusetts New Hampshire Manchester Berkshires Marthas Vineyard wedding day timeline wedding planning
Let’s say that the bride is getting ready at the same location the reception is going to be. This is actually a very common scenario. In this situation it allows the photographer to be able to photograph the bride while she’s getting ready and details such as the wedding gown, the wedding shoes, the jewelry, the invitations, the bouquet and special momentos. During this time the photographer will be capturing those final hair and makeup touch-ups, those special moments between the mom and the bride, and the bride and her bridesmaids having moments of joy. During this time individual portraits of the the bride are done and photos of the bridesmaids with the bride.

Teranie Tirado Massachusetts, Berkshires, Boston, Worcester, Manchester, New Hampshire wedding photographer

New Hampshire wedding photographer Teranie Tirado bride getting ready timeline
Meanwhile at the same time the second shooter is working with the groom doing getting ready photos. Those fun shots that are candid with the groomsmen. We also Photograph the wedding details that will remind you of your wedding day from the groom’s perspective such as the shoes, the watch, the tie, the cufflinks, the cologne, and the boutonnieres. All these little things matter to each of you and tell the story of your wedding day in full. During this time the second shooter will also be able to capture group shots with the groomsmen and solo shots of the groom.

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First Look

12:30 noon- Once the getting ready part of your wedding day is done we move on to a first look if you choose to do a first look. You can read more about the first look and what it is in my blog about first looks and what all the options are. If you choose to do a first look you can do it with your groom, you can do it with your grandparents or you can do it with your parents. During this time both photographers will be present at the first look. In your timeline this would be around 12:30 noon. By both photographers being present you can get different angles capturing different reactions from both the bride and the groom or the person that is present.

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Following the first look which usually takes about 30 minutes, we can head to the ceremony site. Depending on the location of the ceremony site, travel must be considered (30min max), you should have a 30min break to be with yourself and be able to relax before the ceremony starts. This would bring us to 2 p.m.

2pm- most ceremonies are approximately 20 minutes depending on your religion or your preference this could range up to an hour or more.

Cocktail Hour & Formals

Following the ceremony your guest would head to cocktail hour while you are doing your family portraits with the groom and both of your families. This could be from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. which is also good lighting hour which is what you want for those amazing family portraits and your first pictures as husband and wife.

In New England the sunsets at these times (these are popular wedding months)

8:13pm in May

8:24pm in June

8:04pm in July

7:19pm in August

6:27pm in September

5:38pm in October

Teranie Tirado Worcester MA Wedding Photographer Massachusetts New Hampshire Manchester Berkshires Marthas Vineyard wedding day timeline wedding planning

Reception & Speeches

This brings us to 4 p.m. where the reception begins. This is the time for the grand entrance the first dance as husband and wife and the welcome toast. Speaking of toast you want to have a conversation with your bridal party and make sure that their speeches are no longer than five minutes. Five minutes might seem like just a little bit of time, but when you’re listening to somebody speak it can actually be a very long time. You also want to make sure that they have a speech planned or an idea of what they’re going to be talking about so that they’re not just rambling.  Another suggestion is You may want to keep the speeches to a healthy amount of two. Ideally this would be the maid of honor and the best man making the speeches. 

New Hampshire wedding photographer Teranie Tirado Massachusetts bohemian wedding first dance timeline white mountains

Teranie Tirado Worcester MA Wedding Photographer Massachusetts New Hampshire Manchester Berkshires Marthas Vineyard wedding day timeline wedding planning


4:30pm- Following the speeches dinner would begin around 4:30. This is an ideal time for dinner because this is also the normal time that most people have dinner. Furthermore, you as a bride probably have not had the chance to sit down and have a meal all day so by this point you’ll definitely be starving….and we definitely don’t want a hangry bride.  Make sure that you eat when dinner is served. it is very easy for people to keep coming up to you and for distractions to keep occurring. I have seen this so many times where the time will fly by and the bride will forget to eat. That’s not good.

Cake Cutting

During the dinner while people are sitting down eating this is the time that cake cutting also happens. Cake cutting usually takes about 10 minutes depending on how much fun you want to have with it and yes you are allowed to gently spread some frosting on your groom’s face.

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Parent Dances

This brings us to the end of dinner which would be 5:30pm. At this time you have a father daughter dance and/or a mother son dance.  After the dances this would be the time where the photographers would do table group photos so that you know who all the guests were that were present on your wedding day and celebrated with you and you have those memories. During this time you can either go around each table with the photographer and take photos with your guests or you can just have the photographer do the photos without you.  Honestly either way is perfectly fine I have seen it done both ways.

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Open Dancing

6pm- During this time is also when the Dance Floor opens. It usually takes people a little bit of time to warm up to slowly, start trickling on to the dance floor and getting ready to dance the night away.  Ideally this would happen around 6 p.m. this would give the photographers the last hour of your wedding capturing candid shots of your guests, of you having fun on the Dance Floor partying it up, and dancing with your groom.

Teranie Tirado Worcester MA Wedding Photographer Massachusetts New Hampshire Manchester Berkshires Marthas Vineyard wedding day timeline wedding planning
7pm- this is when the photographers would be done for the day. You want the best parts of your day highlighted and any messy stuff left out (insert cough…after a few drinks things get a little crazy sometimes on the dance floor). Which is why 7 p.m. is a great time to wrap it up with a photography. The truth is one to two hours of dancing photos is more than enough. Genuine fun moments get captured and that completes the story of your wedding day.

I hope this blog was very helpful to you and gives you insight into the best way to plan out your wedding day. Remember I am here anytime you need to talk just shoot me an email or give me a call and I will be happy to guide you through this process. Having a great timeline will give you the best chances at a smooth and stress-free wedding day.

With Love


Teranie Tirado Worcester MA Wedding Photographer Massachusetts New Hampshire Manchester Berkshires Marthas Vineyard wedding day timeline wedding planning

4 First Look options for modern brides| Ideas to make your life easier | New England Weddings


Lets chat about the First Look. This is a fairly modern idea that has been coming up more and more in wedding photography. The reason for a First Look came up because brides wanted more options when it came to formal pictures times. In the traditional wedding the groom sees the bride for the first time as she walks down the Isle. It’s romantic and epic right? 

Reasons for to consider First Look

You visualize yourself walking down the isle and locking eyes with Mr Groom. But because we live in the 21st century and everyone has a cell phone with a camera, guess what will happen. Yes you guessed right. Most people are inclined to grab their phone and want to take pictures of you at the ceremony. Sometimes people go even further and want to film your special whimsical moment with their cell phone. Yikes. Think of 100 guest doing this all at once. I have seen it and oh boy it is a not a pretty sight. Everyone’s hands up in front of their faces or even worse in the middle of the isle. This is one of the reasons why many brides have chosen to do a first look.

Another reason why brides opt for a first look is because they want to honor someone who is very special to them, on their wedding day. Some of these people include dad, grandpa and bridemaids.

Last reason for a First Look is that the timeline you have created needs some wiggle room. Meaning, you may want to go to your cocktail hour and skip doing formal photos during cocktail hour. When you do a first look formal photos can be scheduled after the first look.

Option #1 First Look with Groom

When you have a First look with your groom it becomes an exciting intimate moment between the both of you. A moment of gentleness, pure emotions and a reminder of why you are both making this commitment in front of friends and family. First Look options for the modern New England Bride by Manchester and Massachusetts wedding photographer Teranie Tirado

Option #2 First Look with Dad

A first look with your Dad is another special way to show someone you love how much they mean to you. In this scenario the groom will not be seeing you. But you can still have a tear filled and joyful moment with your hero and the person you admire… Dad. Brides that are very close to their fathers sometimes choose to do this as a way to honor their fathers in a special way on the wedding day. 

First Look options for the modern New England Bride by Manchester and Massachusetts wedding photographer Teranie Tirado

Option #3 First Look with Bridesmaids

The first look with bridesmaids is a fun way to celebrate with your girls. The tribe that has been with you through thick and thin. The girls that have your back and are celebrating with you this special day. Sometimes brides choose this option when they prefer to get ready by themselves or with only their moms help. This is a great way to incorporate your bridesmaids into the getting ready process while still honoring mom as she will be the one helping you get into your wedding dress. First Look options for the modern New England Bride by Manchester and Massachusetts wedding photographer Teranie Tirado

Option #4 First Look with Grandpa

The first look with grandpa is perfect for the bride that wants to honor her grandfather in a special way on the wedding day. If grandpa means the world to you and you want to make him feel special this is an idea you can incorporate in your wedding day. The photographs captured of grandpa and you will be for sure something you treasure for a lifetime. 

First Look options for the modern New England Bride by Manchester and Massachusetts wedding photographer Teranie Tirado


I hope this was helpful to you and makes your wedding planning process easier. If you love this article please leave me a comment below with what option you liked the most.




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5 Ways to calm your nerves the week of your wedding

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5 ways to calm your nerves the week of your wedding

First things first! Grab a cup of your favorite drink (mine is tea) and cozy up with a blanket, as I walk you through the best ways to calm your nerves on your wedding day. I will walk you step by step though this exercise. Now that you are free of distractions and the mood is set lets begin.

Step 1- Take 3 deep breaths. And I mean deep. Inhale and exhale. Feel your body relaxing. Rotate your head to relieve tension. Shake your shoulders and stretch your arms. Wiggle your toes. Okay you are good to go.

Step 2- Visualize everything you have planned and how it will go. Take it from the top. You waking up on your wedding day grabbing a cup of coffee or tea and having a moment of silence to yourself to prepare for the events ahead. Maybe you send your love a quick text telling him you love him. The proceed to Visualize the day step by step. Don’t allow yourself to get overwhelmed and do not think of everything at one. Think of it as a movie playing.

Step 3- Did you notice anything you forgot to plan or take care of? If you did then make a little to do list to tackle that or delegate. If you didn’t notice anything and your day went as planned great!

Step 4- This one can be scary but its necessary. Visualize the things that scare you might go wrong. Think of the fears you may have. Feel them and then let them go. Feel and let go. Feel and let go. Why do I say this? Because they are just fears and even if they do happen they are not likely to happen because you have done everything to plan for this big day. You have a team of professionals who have your back and are there for anything that comes up. That’s why you hired the best.

Step 5- Now Take a moment to remember why you are marrying your love. What is the most important thing to both of you? What is the point of the wedding? You will begin to see that at the end of the day the most important thing is your love and celebrating it with friends and family. Keep that in your mind any time you feel anxious. Keep in mind the love that you are celebrating is the most important aspect of your wedding day.

Lastly, I just want you to relax. Throughout your day I want you to be fully present and in the

moment. Take the time to stop together and soak it all in, it truly is surreal to see your friends and

family all in one place at one time celebrating the love you have for one another.


Sending you a big hug



3 Things you didn’t know about posing | Engagement session | Massachusetts Photographer

posing naturally for engagement photos

Posing can be tough if you are not used to being in front of the camera. A common concern for many people and the question that I get the most is how do I look natural in front of the camera? This is actually a very common concern. Whenever you are in front of a camera you get nervous and awkward and aren’t really sure how to stand or where to put your hands. This is why I have come up with a method that works and I teach it to my clients to help them be comfortable in front of the camera and pose very natural. Honestly it’s like not even posing at all.

Yellow flower field engagement session worcester ma wedding photographer teranie tirado

Step one. The first thing I do is pick a background. You always want to have a good background whether you’re out in nature or whether you’re taking a picture at home of your kids or a picture out in the city with friends you always want to pick the background first. So in order to pick the background you always want to make sure that there’s no distracting objects in the background or something that just doesn’t fit with the picture. The next thing you want to do is take a sample shots with your phone that will in sure that you know where you’re going to stand and that if it’s the vision that you have. It helps if you’re with someone and they stand in the place where you’re going to be standing may be with them or alone.

massachusetts wedding photographer teranie tirado

Step two. So maybe you have someone taking the picture for you and you are good to go. When I don’t, I ask a random stranger to take a picture of me or my family when I’m out somewhere and don’t have a tripod and I’m just simply using my phone. Wherever I am someone is always willing to just snap a quick picture of me. This is why its so important to have a game plan when you are getting ready for a photo. You don’t want to over extend the courtesy someone has given you by asking for more photos.

massachusetts wedding photographer teranie tirado

Step three. What I’ve learned to do is have go to poses that I can transition from so that I am moving in the place that I’m standing and this really makes a really huge difference in making photos look as natural as possible. So whenever you have to take a picture of yourself you never want to stand there stiff as a board, just staring at the camera. The best thing to do is get into the position that you’re thinking of and then move out of that position and move into a different one and keep moving around shifting from left to right front to back rotating and whoever snapping a ton of pictures of you is bound to get a good one and that you’ll fall in love with. The key is to keep moving but staying with the background.

massachusetts wedding photographer teranie tirado

OK just because you subscribed to my blog, I’m going to give you two bonus tips for posing. 1. You want to take the picture as soon as possible so you want to tell the person that’s napping those pictures for you to take it as soon as you get to the spot you’re going to be taking the picture that you don’t want to stand there more than a few minutes because you will get stiff and you will settle into a pose and it just won’t work. For example when I’m taking pictures of my kids I asked them to walk to a certain spot and is soon as they turn around and look at me I snap the picture. 2. If I want them to smile genuinely I simply crack a joke and snap a picture it gets the best genuine smiles. This works with my clients as well. Sometimes all you need to do is bust out with a joke and it gets everyone smiling genuinely and natural.

Yellow flower field engagement session worcester ma wedding photographer teranie tirado

So next time you’re out and about and you need a picture taken use these tips it will make it so much easier on you the person posing and the person taking the picture.

Yellow flower field engagement session worcester ma wedding photographer teranie tirado

Thank you guys for reading my blog I hope that was helpful for you if there’s anything that you want me to blog about please post in the comments. And if you have any posing tips that you would love to share I’d love to read them below.



Irma & Rolando | Engagement session | Boston Public Library | Boston Commons

Life is beautiful and it is grand. One of the most beautiful aspect of life is finding your mate. The one you prayed for and hoped you would some day find. You searched high and low for. That person that you were looking for one day walks right in to your life. Many times unexpectedly. When you were least looking. It is a beautiful thing to share your lives together and plan your journey in this place we call earth. It is beautiful to have some one to look you in the eyes and know they love you and want the best for you. In the good times and the bad times that person will stand by your side.

It was such an honor being a part of the journey of Irma and Rolando. From the day we started planning their engagement session, I knew their engagement session would be one of my favorites. They are so in love that their connection was easily captured by my camera. Their love is one of a kind.

Their engagement session took place at the Boston Commons in Boston, MA. Their flowers were provided by compliments of Herbert E. Berg florist in Worcester, MA. Their wardrobe was coordinated and styled by me. After the Boston Public Library we headed to the Boston Commons for the second half of their session. Surrounded by the beautiful city we began our session as pedestrians watched and congratulated the couple. The bridge located inside the commons made the perfect backdrop. As we wrapped up our session,  the couple danced on the bridge for my camera and enjoyed music played by a local artist.

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Red wedding colors | Garden Ceremony | New Hampshire Wedding Photographer | Laura and Bobbie

red wedding colors roses portsmouth New Hampshire

New Hampshire Garden Wedding

Laura and Robert met through a charity cruise with a Subaru enthusiast group. How cool is that. You never know when and where you’ll meet your groom to be. He romantically proposed to her on Christmas morning in front of the brides family.  Now that’s the best Christmas gift any girl can ask for.

Laura and Bobbie said I do in a beautiful garden by the sea in New Hampshire. Their wedding was intimate and classic. The red bridesmaids dresses matched perfectly with the hints of red and green on the brides bouquet. The groom wore red rose boutonniere which perfectly matched his red tie. The bride added a pop of color to the traditional white gown by wearing a red lipstick. Nails prettied up with a traditional french manicure and eyes glammed up with a soft bridal look. Bridesmaids and bride had similar hair styles rocking their hair down with soft curls. The look was perfect for a garden wedding.

This couple loves to have fun with their family. Guess what they did to incorporate that into their wedding day. You guessed it! A trolley. The ride was a blast for the whole family as they went from the venue to the ceremony via a scenic ocean side ride on the trolley. What a perfect way to host a wedding!

Thank you to the creative time aka the wedding vendors that made this day possible!

Reception & Food: Atlantic Grill in Rye, NH | Venue: Prescott Park in Portsmouth, NH | Invitations: Elegant Wedding Invites | Dress: Davids Bridal | Men Suits: Mens Warehouse | Transportation: Seacoast Trolley Co


red wedding colors roses portsmouth New Hampshire

Tracey & Quinn | Sturbridge MA Wedding | The Barn at Wight

Tracey & Quinn

Sturbridge, MA Wedding

Thank you to the wedding vendors that made this day possible:

Photography: Teranie at New Life Photography| Venue & Catering: The Barn at Wight Farm and 3 Ts Chefs| Florist: Herbert E. Berg Florist| Gown: Davids Bridal| Cake: Francescos Italian Bakery| Suits: Bonardis Formal Wear| Videography: Timeless Cinema

The day was filled with love and happiness. I too shed a few tears behind the lens. Especially when Tracey gifted Quinn a brooch with a picture of her belated grandmother. There were many details that were handcrafted by the couple such as the wood where the cake stood. Tracey also carried a heart necklace on her bouquet, that was originally the two rings belonging to her grandparents that passed. Every detail of the day was perfect. Their fall New England wedding was nothing short of gorgeous. It was an honor to document their love story.

Here is the story from the couple:

We met online 2013. Emails turned to texts and then to phone calls. The first time we met in person was at a tea dance at Blackstone Tap. October 12th, we consider this day our “Dating Anniversary”. We sat and talked for 4 hours that night about everything under the sun. It was like we had known each other forever. Turns out that we have many friends in common and new coincidences kept popping up. Since then we have been on many adventures together, beach days, hikes, day trips to Boston, river tubing, concerts and many more. Always finding new places to explore together.


In December 2015 we celebrated Carrie’s Birthday with a great dinner and a homemade cake. It was a great night and afterwards we were dancing in the bedroom. It is not uncommon for Carrie to start dancing with me in random places. Usually it’s the kitchen or other areas of the house at random moments. Even in line at the deli counter or the frozen food section of the supermarket. She even sings things to me in the car to the radio, changing all the words to fit our conversation or her mood. Always making me laugh.

On this day I was instructed to sit down and close my eyes while she retrieved a surprise for me. Surprise??? Hey wait it’s your birthday I am not supposed to get anything!! When I was instructed to open my eyes there was Carrie propped on one knee with a beautiful open box poised in front of me containing a beautiful ring. She said all I want for my birthday is to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me? Of course I said yes!!

I found out later that the original plan was to propose on New Year’s Eve but she just could not wait. Like a kid with a quarter burning a hole in her pocket. The first person to know was my son. She had asked him for his blessing and I thought that was the sweetest thing ever. He had known for at least a month before hand and believe it or not my son actually kept a secret!!



Roxy & Eddy City style and Baseball Engagement session | Worcester Wedding Photographer

Roxy and Eddy

City Style & Baseball Engagement session

These two love birds are set to get married in 2018. He asked and she said yes. With their engagement session complete now the real planning begins as they send off their save the date cards to friends and family. We had a blast shooting their city style session followed by some good old american fun at the baseball field. Here is a view at their photoshoot in Worcester, MA.

xoxo Teranie



Cindy & Silvestre Wedding | Venus De Milo Swansea, Massachusetts Wedding Photographer

Venus de Milo Wedding

Swansea, MA | Boston Wedding Photographer

Silvester & Cindy have a bond that pours from their hearts. From the moment I met them they could not stop gazing at eachother. All the way to the moment he watched her as she glided down the isle. He barely blinked. Their 300 guest wedding was nothing short of gorgeous. The love that poured from the hearts of all the guest was shared during the reception as friends and family gave their toast to the bride and groom. The first dance with dad brought tears to Cindys eyes as they shared in a once in a lifetime moment. It was such an honor to photograph this elegant dream wedding.

Here is a little back story of the bride and groom as told by Cindy.

The Proposal: On our first date, when Silvestre brought me home, we sat on a bench that my father built for my sister’s wedding over 10 years ago. The bench was near a stream that runs through my back yard and it was here that we shared our first kiss and he told me, I know this sounds crazy but I am sure we are going to get married someday. On this very same bench, around the exact same time of year my father built that bench years ago, Silvestre asked for my hand in marriage in July of 2016.  I was in running shorts and a t-shirt, just the way he liked me, with no make-up and my hair looking crazy.  He got down on one knee and said a lot of things and all I could remember is that his mouth was moving and my heart was stopping. We sat and talked about our relationship and our future as husband and wife on that bench, until the sun came up.

Thank you to the creative team that made this day possible!

Photography: Teranie Tirado- New Life Photography
Venue: Venus de Milo Restaurant & Banquet Facility
Videographer: Cody Rodriguez
Decorator: Aidil
DJ: Valentina Cafferky-Marianetti
Hair: Hair indulgence
Makeup: Marelin Vergara
Invitations: Etsy
Gown: David’s Bridal
Cake: Amanda Faria
Men Suits: Macy’s
Transportation: Hummer Night Out

Jen & Jon | Pleasant Valley Country Club Wedding | Sutton, MA

Jen & Jon Wedding

Thank you to the creative team:  Flowers by Herbert E. Berg Florist Venue | Food- Pleasant Valley Country Club | Band- Men In Black 2 | Hair & Makeup- Christina Mastro Invitations- Minted | Bridal Gown- Maggie Sottero Designs | Cake- Bean Counter Coffee Bar and Bakery | Mens suits- Men’s Wearhouse and Tux | Photobooth- PixelPod Photo Booth | Officiant- Tara Phillips

Bride tells the story: We met online. Our first date was going to be just a quick coffee date, which turned into a 7hr date in Boston (the coffee shop was not in Boston, we just decided to go there on a whim). Without an agenda, we walked all over the city and landed in Faneuil hall. We at dinner Anthem Kitchen and Bar and we go there on our anniversary. We also have a tradition of buying Christmas ornaments in Faneuil hall every time we go there. We both knew on our first date we were going to get married, but neither of us said it of course. He proposed at home, down on one knee.

Cheers to the newlyweds! It was an honor being your wedding photographer. – Teranie Tirado