the Wedding day

Once you reserve your date with us, Francine will send you a questionnaire and that is to help us to build a Photography Timeline for your special day. We ask you to PLEASE to write every single detail, restrictions, etc. you can take your time answering these questions. Once you finish all the questions,  we’ll then prepare a Timeline for the day of your wedding, that will be very specific with all the details like:

  •  When, where and at what time we will be photographing;
  • At what time we will need your hair and makeup ready by;
  •  What time we’ll need the groom ready;
  •  If you have first look, what time and where;
  •  Ceremony time;
  • What time we’ll do your formal family photos;
  •  List of your family photos;
  • When and where we’ll do sunset photos (Bride and groom + Bridal party);
  •  What time will be introduction to the Reception.


After the ceremony, have your officant make an annoucement asking family to stay in the ceremony location. Have an appointed friend help facilitate the different groups you would like to have photographed. This means that they have the list of family members and they are gathering people either with an extra loud voice. Keep your list of group short. Please note that each group shot can take 2-3 minutes.




When we arrive with the bride, we will start to photograph the dress, shoes, rings (please keep both rings in the bride’s room), wedding invites + save the dates, jewelry accessories, something blue etc. which you feel you would like photographed in the same area so we can work on these details without disturbing your bridal party too much! Our coverage starts 3 hours before the wedding so hopefully you can let your makeup artist know that you would like to be getting your makeup done around that time, so we can be there to get those beautiful shots. You might not be the first one to get your makeup done, but don’t be the last either. Plus, it means you wont mind us taking natural photos in the morning because you’ll be already looking glamurous! Do leave yourself lots of time so you’re not the one being rushed at the end. It’s a good idea to tell the hair and makeyp stylists what time you’d like them to be finished rather than just the starting time. Remembering that we will provide the finalized timeline, so you’ll know the exact time you’ll have to be ready by, PLEASE SEND OUR TIMELINE TO YOUR MAKEUP AND HAIR STYLIST, this is VERY important! Bridesmaids and the mother of the bride should be getting into the dress well before the bride so they can help you into your dress and it will look better in photos. It might seem really early to them, but it can take quite a bit of time to get those dresses on too so they need to go by your timings. It’s a good idea to plan be in your dress at least ONE HOUR before you YOU LEAVE for the ceremony. We will also have time to capture this lovely stage! It can be a really special time for you with your parents when they see you in the dress ready to go. Have a clear, tidy space in the room where you are getting ready. A room with a good window light and gentle soft-coloured/light walls will make such a big difference when it comes to photography.


While Francine is shooting the details, Lionel will capture the groom’s getting ready. This will be possible if bride and groom are getting ready at the same location. It is better if the groom let us know of any special activities going on and the timings for them, so they don’t waist time waiting. They really want the most photogenic moments here. Sometimes the photographer arrives and the groom is in the shower, at breakfast or just not quite ready for photos. The best thing is follow our timeline, it will say the exact time we need the groom ready by.

Getting Ready Tips - Francine & Lionel Photography -



The First Look allows you to spend a larger portion of your wedding day with your future spouse by taking portraits together before the ceremony. It allows for your wedding Timeline to be a bit more relaxed and you’ll have more time to mingle with your guests during the party. The First Look is a personal time for you to see each other privately without pressure and truly enjoy each other in those moments. All of our brides and grooms have said that they still feel all the expected butterflies before the ceremony begins. We HIGHLY suggest do the first look if you book the ceremony less than 2 hours before sunset.



The arrival of the bride to the ceremony can all happen very quickly. We won’t stop you too much for photos but to take everything in really slowly and the natural documentary shot will unfold. Make sure your bridesmaids know to help you out of the car, specially if you have long veil or train. Let your bridesmaids go up the aisle before you and wait a bit before you start walk. WALK VERY SLOW, That’s the key, enjoy the moment, breath 🙂 Take in that lovely moment and enjoy it. There’s no rush and it all adds to the excitement. IMPORTANT: Please check out beforehand with your officiant and/or church about the restrictions as far as photography.



Ceremony - Francine & Lionel Photography -



If you do decide you would like some family groupings photographed there is no reason why they have to be stressful or tedious as long as you plan ahead. The family portraits will usually happen on site after the ceremony, as everyone is there and present. We ask please to have someone that knows your family members well, whoever has the people skills and a big voice, best in your bridal party, if not, a groomesmen (for the groom’s side) and a bridesmaid (for the bride’s side) that is to help them gathering everyone together. It is a enormous help and things will run much quicker this way. Give them a list of people needed, so they know this is their job on the day. They’re usually more than happy to help you out and you’ll thank them for it. We recommend these photos for the immediate family members only, extended family they can do at the Reception. We like to do formal family photos and right after they do bridal party photos, so the bridal party can go to the cocktail hour and we can have some time with just the two of you after. It’s also important to do these first if there are any small children as they get tired very quickly. It is not always possible at the venues, but if you guys can do these photos away from the rest of the guests with cameras will be amazing, because your family members will focusing on our cameras only. Remember to keep the list only for immediate family at this time.


wedding party

Wedding Party Photos should be around 45 minutes to 1 hour. During this time, we get a variety of shots in a variety of poses. We start off with the basic, classic photos focused on great expressions and lighting. Then we move into 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.

Wedding Party - Francine & Lionel Photography -




After the group photos we will usually spend time with you, the wedding couple alone. People normally ask how long do we need for photos? It really depends how much time you have between ceremony and reception, and how much time you allow us to have. We will spend as much time as you would like. The more time you give it to them the more photos you’ll have 🙂 It can take a little while for both of you to truly relax, to trust and be present and for us to find the best light and setting. There will be standart spots in mind where everyone goes for photos at your chosen venue, but those are necessary the most amazing places for photos. We are so fortunate that their clients love and really want to take the time to enjoy this part of the day and create something magical. Don’t worry too much about your dress. It was made to be worn and enjoyed for this special day. While it’s packed away in a suitcase somewhere you will always have your photos to treasure. Our favourite photos of couples are the relaxed, happy and carefree ones so have a good time, laugh, snnugle and enjoy the portraits which will only last short while on your day. 🙂

Sunset (Bride & Groom) - Francine & Lionel Photography -




After photographing the portraits, if the cocktail hour it is not at the same location as your Reception, while Lionel sets up the external flashes on the dance floor, Francine will capture all the details in your room, cake, floral and any decorative details you might have before guests are called in. Please let us know if there are any special things you have crafted or organized for your day so Francine can look out for them.

LIGHT IT UP… If your evening reception is in a very dark venue, consider adding your own string lighting or even lots of candles in among the flowers along the tables and on shelves to light your faces. For very little expense it can really make a big difference to the mood and atmsphere of the room, plus they look really pretty in photos! Also for speeches it is best if flower arrangements, candlebras etc. aren’t too tall, – we need to see your faces 🙂




Table Shots – Table shots are when you go around visiting tables. There are two options for photography during this time. (1) You can take formal pictures with each of these tables or (2) we can simply focus on photojournalism, 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 3-5 minutes per table.  For example 20 tables would require 60-100 minutes of time.