Category Archives: Tim’s Thoughts

Wedding Day Timeline & Timetable For A Stress Free Wedding

Wedding day timeline CT PhotographersYour wedding day timeline & timetable for a stress free wedding is key. Without it, your stress level will go thru the roof and everyone will be running around and while it will feel like things are getting done, time will be slipping away and your day will be over before you know it and chances are good that you never got to eat.

While I am writing about the timeline of your day from a photographers stand point, I am doing so from the one person (outside of a wedding planner if you hired one, such as :: :: ) who is part of your entire day from start to finish. Not just a few hours. In other words, we see it all.

With that being said, this isn’t going to be a post that gives you a perfect description of a wedding day timeline such as the below (which actually isn’t too bad) where everything is broken down by half hour increments. Instead it will be the straight up truth for the best photos and a stress free flow. And while you will have a general timetable such as the below, for you list makers and super A types. Remember that when you create your spread sheets that have everything down to the minute, it will be about 45 minutes into your day before everything is thrown off because here’s your reality, EVERYTHING ON YOUR WEDDING DAY WILL BE SLOWER THAN YOU THINK!


9:00 a.m.—Hair and makeup / Getting ready
9:30 a.m.—Vendors arrive / Setup starts
10:30 a.m.—Getting ready photos start
11:00 a.m.—First look and couple’s portraits
11:45 a.m.—Family pictures
12:30 p.m.—Doors open / Room ready for guests / Pre-ceremony music starts
1:00 p.m.—Invite time
1:15 p.m.—Ceremony starts
1:35 p.m.—Ceremony concludes
1:40 p.m.—Cocktail “hour” starts / Additional family photos
2:30 p.m.—Lunch starts
3:00 p.m.—Toasts
3:30 p.m.—First dance
5:00 p.m.—Cake cutting / Dessert
6:15 p.m.—Couple departs
6:30 p.m.—Guests depart
6:30 p.m.—Breakdown commences
7:30 p.m.—All vendors out

2018-12-02_0021Anyway, let’s have a couple quick pointers to help make your photos awesome and take a little stress from your day. Keep in mind, these thoughts are from us here at TAB Photographic which may not always work for other photographers because of strict timeline and set packages.

First thing first, we want to start with enough time to tell you story and getting ready photos. So if you’re not doing a first look, we will start roughly 2 hours pre-ceremeony. What we like to do is capture the final prep shots and allow us to capture some bridal party shots. The girls and guys separately before the ceremony. By doing this, we can subtract some of the rushing around that happens after the ceremony. So with no first look, our preference would be something like this. With 2:00 ceremony time.

wedding day timetablePhotographers show up at 11:30ish – Final prep shots – Bridesmaids and bride go rock out their photos – groomsmen and groom go rock out their photos then off to the ceremony everyone goes.

Then after the ceremony, family photos (parents grand parents and siblings), full bridal party shots and then photos of bride and groom. Then, THEN PARTY TIME!!!

Now, let’s step that up to one other option (and yes, we are pretty much saying there are two options here haha). Opt in for doing the first look. With a 2:00 ceremony time, we would start shooting about 3 hours pre-ceremony.

So, 2:00 ceremony. Photographers show up at 11:00. Final prep shots, first look happens at about 12:15. Then bridal party shots, shots of bride and groom and bridal portraits. This means after the ceremony it goes to family photos and YOU and YOUR PERSON get to go enjoy the cocktail hour you invested money into.

wedding day timeline tips and helpThe main goal with these two options is simple. To make it so your day is less stressful. And more so, your photos are awesome. And in a worse case scenario, a situation arises that puts the timeline way behind, we just adjust photo times so that the day can still be put back on schedule. (tho that’s a worse case scenario)

No matter what direction you go, our goal is to create a timeline around your needs in a way that will benefit your day, your love and your photos. Some things to think about with all of this and work with us on would be. Locations, getting ready to photos to ceremony. For hair and make up, have the bride finish up last (most make up and hair teams like make sure that’s how they roll ). Have key items like the rings, shoes and special jewelry put aside for the photographer to grab shots of before the day gets rolling too fast. Keep your bridal party in check. Let them know the plan with the goal being awesome photos and more party time for them. And last but not least, if you feel like something isn’t going to work or is throwing a hitch in your day, communicate that with the professional wedding vendors you brought into your day. We are here for you!

So while this was really just pointing out two simple ways to take some stress out of your day and create great photos without making that hour of time between the ceremony and reception completely crazy. There is one other option that some take advantage of. And while I won’t go into a ton of detail with that, it’s a gap between your ceremony and reception. This is actually one more way to alleviate stress and rushing around from your day.

Wedding day scheduleAgain, let’s say your ceremony is at 2. Photographers would show up at 12. Prep shots happen. Everyone heads off to the ceremony. People kiss, say their “I do’s”. Then you would have, say a 2 hour gap before the reception. In that two hours, family photos happen, all bridal party shots happen, bride and groom shots and all that. By rolling with this option you get to enjoy all of your cocktail hour. Go to one or two different locations for photos and in that time, everyone get’s to have some added fun and just relax. The two things to keep in mind with this gap is if you’re choosing to have a receiving line (figure in 6-10 seconds for every guest at the wedding) that will eat up A LOT of time and also travel time between locations. If you have a two hour gap but your church is an hour from your reception location and you do a receiving line, your two hour gap isn’t a gap at all and you’re going to be surprised that two hours magically disappeared.

EVERYTHING on your wedding day will go slower than you think (except for the day itself). Make sure you eat, enjoy the food you put time and efro

There could be so much detail put into all these scenarios but the main goal here is to just give a few thoughts and options to consider. Most importantly tho, it’s your day. And your schedule and your timeline. You need to love your day and remember it for being perfect.

To close this ramble, here’s what I will say. Work with your photographer and DJ to come up with the timeline that will fit your needs and your dream because we are here for you!



Here are some engagement session tips


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Sometimes being a dad sucks…

IMG_5249Last week I got in my car and drove away, watching her car fall into the distance and knowing I just left my daughter, crying, as she closed the door.

Leaving your child in tears, is without question, one of the hardest things you can do. Especially when you have no choice. I couldn’t stay there, I couldn’t have her within reach any longer. It was time for her to spread her wings, to grow and to thrive in this next chapter in life. So I drove away. With her in tears, while my eyes too, couldn’t hold the flood gates closed anymore. Actually, right now, just thinking about it, the goosebumps rise and the tears well up. My girl, 14 hours away, having some hard days, some good days… She’s not gone. She’s just not here.

It was a week ago today that I left her at college. Marian University where she will be a Knight. The Marian Knights cycling team is actually one of, (really the) best cycling teams in the country. And I’m so proud that of her, and so happy for her, that she gets to be part of that success. The girl moves on and will now do her thing.

That’s also why there haven’t been many posts here. My time, while not shooting has been revolving around her and her needs. Making sure all the needs were met, making sure we got our time in before she was off doing her thing. All the while.

There have have been shoots and editing and business creating and branding. It’s just been on the down-low while this new chapter begins.

Like the engagement session for Meg and Chris.

These two are great and we did a mini session as the storms were rolling in and the humidity was like 10029209%!!


Or the wedding for Kira and Adam at The Barns of Wesleyan Hills.

Wedding photos for Kira and adam from the Barns At wesleyan hills by TAB Photographic

The engagement session also happened for Brittany & Houston!


And the wedding for Emily and Tony!

CT Wedding Photographers Riverview Simsbury Photos

Or maybe the engagement session for Lisa & Ed!


Or maybe the wedding for Dan and Elizabeth


Really, there’s even more, I am still alive and the new rebranding and business direction will be coming to you soon! In the mean time, we keep plugging forward and making awesome happen!!!

For now though, let’s keep enjoying summer lovin’ and making awesome happen!

And if you need more reading, picture viewing and the likes. Check out these….

A Beach Engagement Session for Kasey and Ben..

Or the Lord Thompson Manor Wedding for Rachel & Steve…

Or maybe the wedding for Sarah & Bert

Now go get outside and enjoy this weather before 10 degree winter days get here!!!!

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The Normal Questions and Who I Am…. Questions you should ask your wedding photographer

Questions to ask your wedding photographerIt’s really quite easy to hide behind all the posts, all the weddings, the love, our TAB Photographic couples and more. Hide no more though! This is me!!! haha. This post really is going to be multi faceted. Partially, answers to some general questions you should ask your wedding photographer, and partially (a very small part), who I am. Reality is, you should know your wedding photographer just as much as you know their work….

Where do I begin with a post like this, I really just want to post the next wedding, and then the wedding after that… Questions, that’s where I will start. Then it’s not about me. Who really like talking about themselves? Well, narcissists to, but that’s surely not me, this I know for fact.

Sooooo, questions… Let’s do this! (some are definitely more important than others…)

Questions to ask your CT wedding photographersQuestion 1: Availability…. Are you available and will you be the one photographing my wedding. That’s a question I will answer in my first response, always. One thing I know for sure is that I will. If I’m not available, we can chat about a lead photographer capturing your day as well. 1a: How many weddings will you work that weekend, it’s usually 1 or 2. I used to capture more per weekend but I really want to put all my energy into making each wedding the best, and I realized that more than 2, quality can sometimes slip a little. And we don’t want that!

Question 2: Background Check – I’m not an axe murdered, so you’re all good. Really though, it’s the photography background. How many weddings have you shot and how long have you been doing this. Well, I’ve been photographing weddings for 11 years now and each year I am lucky enough to be invited into roughly 40-45 weddings each year. Tip: You want to make sure your photographer knows more than just how to photograph but also how a wedding rolls along. As a photographer, we, along with your DJ and if you hire one, your planner, make sure that your wedding goes off as perfectly as possible and we all work together to help make your day magic.

What do I ask my wedding vendor photographersQuestion 3: Are you insured? Yes, yes and YES. Any photographer or business owner who’s not insured should be nowhere near a wedding. That may sound harsh but it’s true. 

Question 4: Style? While you will hear some photographers talk about “photojournalistic” “natural light photographer” “formal photographer” etc… I don’t believe you can honestly capture a wedding in just one style. For me, I want to encompass every aspect of every style. Some pieces of the day need to be captured in a photojournalistic way, some other pieces artistically and yes, some photos need to be captured in a formal way. The reality is, your day deserves the style that it calls for in that moment and from that single moment onto the next, because that’s what your day is and will be. One moment after the other…. Your love. Your family. Your Future.

Hammonasset Engagement Session Photos Madison, CT Wedding Photographers TAB PhotographicQuestion 5: Logistical Stuff (I wanted to use a different word, but I didn’t) When will we receive the contract? Everything I now do is digitally worked up, from invoices to contracts to questionnaires. So once we work up your wedding day questionnaire, I get the contract put together and zapped over your way for initials and signatures. How much of a deposit do you require? There are two ways to cover the financial side. 1: a 25-30% deposit with the remaining due 3-4 weeks pre-wedding day or there’s a small discount if the entire balance is paid in full with the contract signing. Do you accept payments in installations? You can always pay everything earlier if you want, just give me a heads up so I can make sure everything is noted properly. What is your refund or cancellation policy? That’s in the contract, but if you do cancel for some reason, if it’s more than 60 days out, you will receive your deposit when I book your day with another wedding. If it’s with in 60 days, there is no credit back. Do you carry backup equipment? Always. Backup equipment is key, whether something malfunctions or I drop it. Better have another way to make sure I do what needs to be done!

Candlewood Inn Wedding Photos for Matt and Janet by CT Wedding Photographers TAB Photographic www.tabphotographic.comQuestion 6: How and when will I receive my photos. I always work around 4-6 week timetable. So all of your edited photos will be online in their private gallery in 4-6 weeks. (though I actually aim to have it done much sooner). From there your USB is ordered, once it arrives I load them up and send them your way. When I send a link to the gallery, I will also send links to download your photos instantly as well. However for printing, I would wait for the USB as quality will be slightly crisper. 

Question 7: Will you edit my photos? Totally, nothing leaves my hands until it’s ready for the world Simple as that. And once you receive the above mentioned USB, you get to print any photo you want or share in any way you want. No water marks, full resolution. They’re your images and they shouldn’t be held ransom. 

Question 8: Is this all you do? Actually yes, even more so than many other photographers. Lots of other photographers either have photography as a part time gig or they photograph as many different things as they can. And those options are all good. For me though, I actually photograph weddings and weddings alone. Engagement sessions are part of that and while I do some family portrait and other portrait work, it’s for my clients only. So if a past couple wants to have a family session, I hope they invite me to also capture that. But if a random family contacts me, I refer them in another direction. 

CT wedding photographers questions to askQuestion 9: Can I give you a shot list? You can, for sure. Especially when it comes to people who are special to you, god parents who are very close to you, high school or college friend shot. Or something unique like a grandmothers watch or something special. Those are some things I wouldn’t know coming into your day. The reality for everything else, while you can totally share a list with me, I ask that you keep in mind why you hired me or the photographer you hired. Because you like their work and who they are as an individual. My reality is that we will follow any shot list but I want to create shots that are unique to you. So if that means you like a certain shot on Pinterest, totally share away, but I want to work your own unique shot off of it. You deserve special. 

Question 10: Do you have anything else to share as a wedding photographer? Quite simply, I love what I do and moving forward, my goal is to capture weddings for the couples that want to showcase their love, their day and their story. Every bride, groom and couple deserves to have their day highlighted and captured as their story. For their day. Beyond that, we can move forward into a little about me, so you know what you’re getting into. haha. 



21543794_10155633361343665_1979311741668460519_oNow onto what you really want to know (I actually hope that isn’t a true statement), who am I… As I said above, who really wants to talk about themselves??? Definitely not me. I guess though, you should know more about who I am. One of the keys to your days photography isn’t just someone who knows what they’re doing with the camera, but also someone who you want as part of your day. That being said, I’m sarcastic and want to enjoy your day just as much as you do. It’s rare that this seems like work to me, it’s a passion, it’s fun and it’s always new. And for 2018 and beyond, my goal is to continue on with that passion and working with couples who truly believe their day should be special. I’ve been told more times than I can count that I should charge much more than I do. The reality is, while I need to make a living and support my kids, I want to do what I do for couples that will appreciate me and in turn, their photos. And kids, yes, I have kids. 7 of them to be exact!!!

12697402_10153921627538665_6177188626053437176_oHAH! Okay, I don’t have 7 of them. I do have three. Two of them humans, one of them furry. I started early in life so I’m lucky enough to be on the younger side with the ability to still do so many awesome things with them. Though it seems as if this fall, will have me in this home with just the furry one still under the roof… What will I do!?!?! Other than being their father, I’m a cyclist, adventurer, and lover of life. Traveling in the RV that I recently purchased when ever I’m not out on the wedding scene. My daughter races on a National BMX team and I to race. I’m a whiskey enthusiast (last year I think about 25 of the bottles I have came from my couples. haha) and I would rather enjoy my porch as the sun goes down than the bar. Right now, I’m going to stop because really, this whole about me thing, well, I thought it would be cool, instead it sounds like I’m on a dating site. And while I want you to like me, that’s definitely not why we’re here. haha… So instead, let me just say that I want you and your bridal party / family to have just as good of a day as you, I don’t want to drag out the photos but instead use our time the best way we can. And the truth of the matter, more than the best photos the world could ask for, more than the best photographer you can have in your day, if there’s one thing I truly wish, from the depths of me, is that you and your partner, your lover and your best friend have the kind of love as Roo Panes talks about in the song above.

Well I’ve been everywhere, but I’ve been nowhere,
It was all viridian in vermillion blood.
There was a void before me; it was as deep as truth,
Because all the world couldn’t hide the view of you.

Stay with me! Oh stay with me; you’re right where you are supposed to be!
Stay with me! Oh stay with me; you’re right where you are supposed to be!

You’re my Eldorado; you’re my holy grail,
I found my treasure through the rain and hail,
Knowing I was taller when upon my knees,
Knowing you’d back to me if I just said please! Please! Please!

Stay with me! Oh stay with me; you’re right where you are supposed to be!

Oh you take me back to the morning light,
You take me back to the morning light,
The very moment that I found my sight,
You’re forever by my side.
You take me back to the morning light,
You take me back to the morning light,
The very moment that I found my sight,
I’m forever by your side.

So let’s just do this and make it awesome. (side note, I say awesome way too much)





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No Wedding Photo Will Ever Compare….

In Memory of Edmond Searles

This past weekend I captured, what is and will always be, “THE” photo from a wedding day. Really, there are two. In 11 years, I have never taken a photo that was a moment like no other, of a love like no other, and one that brought back so many feelings, like no other…. A photo that brought back such emotion and thoughts as to how I got into this entire industry. When my father passed away and I got into the photography world to keep that part of him with me, as he was a professional photographer.

Anyway, the week or two prior went like this. (I’m recapping and keeping some of this story private for reasons that are somewhat obvious”…)

Hey there, a mutual bride used you for her her wedding and I was on the hair and make up team that morning. You had a great energy and I’m curious on your fees. My boyfriend and I are throwing a super spontaneous wedding together. My fathers health is deteriorating quicker than anticipated. 

Right away, I knew I would be there, I would help out and I would do what I could do to make sure one more piece of the day was off her plate. Fast forward two weeks and we were at her wedding day.

Smiles abundant, tears sneaking in from time to time. Her father on the way to the house to get dressed so he would walk or if need be, roll his daughter down the aisle. (Not litterally roll HER, just maybe he would need to be in a wheel chair)… Unfortunately this didn’t play out as hoped, he did make it to the house but wouldn’t make it to the wedding ceremony as he had to get to the hospital. Energies were in turmoil and everyone was doing what ever we could for him, for her and for all of the family. Really, let’s just call it like it was, and that’s a pretty sucky situation.

So, we run around outside and do a few bridal portraits. The wind was high, the temps where low, but we ran around and laughed and got Emily to her ceremony and her now husband. The ceremony was emotional, certain pieces a miss, but the love, the love was strong. Family photos, a handful of photos of the now husband and wife and the decision had been made, we will go to the hospital so Emily and her father could spend some wedding day moments together. And well, this moment, this time, I don’t believe any other wedding in the past or the future will ever compare to this moment. When we entered the hospital, walked down the hall and turned the corner into his room. The smile that snuck onto his face, the softness of their hands holding the others. The quiet words spoken. I stepped out after a few quick photos because this wasn’t my moment. This was theirs and I felt as though I captured it in the best way I knew how.

And in that next moment, walking down the hall, back to the car, the tears, the memories of my past, and that moment. Emily and her father and his new son now welcomed to the family. It was that moment, right there, that no other wedding moment will ever compare to….

And it was these… Right here. These will always be two of my “strongest” images…. Without question…

And yes, unfortunately I write this post in memory of this incredible man, Edmond Searles, Emily’s father. He passed away less than 12 hours later, no longer in pain or fighting the struggle. He’s at peace knowing that his daughter is safe in the arms of her husband. Wrapped in love, from the memories of her father and the future with her husband. More than anything, I want to thank the entire family for trusting me with this day, this love and this moment… Right here.

I am always reminded of how lucky I am to do what I do…..


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Thank you to my TAB Photographic couples for making this possible…

Some of my friends and even some of my couples know that I have two awesome pups. If you follow me on instagram at either @tabphotographic or @theadventuretab you will see photos of them pop up…

Anyway, Banksy, the guy pictured here, while he may only be 21 months old has had a tough go of it. He was rescued from a local rescue and shortly there after, his brother Blue came home. I don’t really want to get to deep into details here but things weren’t going to smoothly for a while and effected many pieces of life in this household. Now though, these two guys are such loves together and always look up at me as though there’s no one better in the world……

They’re not really what this post is about though, this post is actually about giving back. And it’s because of all the TAB Photographic couples that come this way which make giving back possible. As April wraps up, this months donation went to the ASPCA ( you can donate here as well ) with a donation of $200.00…. I do wish I could give more, but some is better than nothing. And even if you donated $10.00, that’s awesome. For this year, at the end of each month I will donate a certain amount of proceeds to causes which combat animal neglect, cruelty and more. If there’s a non-profit you believe I should know about which revolves around that, feel free to comment or email me and I will add it to the future list…

Anyway, for now, I just wanted to thank all the couples from this month which made the donation possible….. I can’t wait till the months really start rolling and I’m able to do more for every animals future…..



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Couples & Lovers – Wedding Photography Tips and Inspiration

TylerAndShanaWedding_0628So wedding season is upon us. Well, at least it’s beginning…. And one thing I SOOOO love with each and every wedding is when we have time to create images that are all yours. When we can slow our roll and put the best possible energy and love into the best possible, and unique to your day, photography… Here’s the thing, no matter what, we will make sure your photos are spot on. You’ll get photos that you’ll love, photos that will tell the story of your day and photos you will love sharing with pretty much, anyone who will slow down to look at them…. But, BUT, what if we could make the time to create photos that will stop anyone who sees them instead of just slowing them down. What if we can make photos happen that will be all yours, photos that are more your own personal pieces of art work. That you may indeed just want to frame and hang on the wall in a 24″X30″ size. And not so you just have a big photo of your wedding on your walls. More so you have a photo on the walls that can pull the eyes of guests in who may not even know it’s you at first??? If you’re in, read on. If you just want to make sure your photos are awesome and the day cruises by super quick like… Close this window and go back to work. :)….

instaTAA_7878So… Did you leave or do I still have ya’???

Okay, assuming you’re still here, and well, hopefully you’re a piece of or both parts of a TAB Photographic couple (and if you’re not, no matter where in the country or even world you are, we can work to make some awesome happen, just reach out using the contact button…)… Anyway, as I was saying, assuming you’re still here, if you want to really make images that will be all your own, if a part of your day would be better spent with a handful of unique quality photos over quantity then it’s time we talk about timing. ( there’s another post I recently wrote about tips for your day here as well ) Timing is, with out a doubt, one of the most important pieces of your day. And no matter what, we will work to make sure the day goes seamlessly between all of the professionals you bring into your day. That we will do our best with no matter what….

LauraAndIanWeddingPhotos_0477Here’s what I’m asking though, can we steal 30 minutes of your day to create stunning unique images? Images that convey love but will stay fresh? Images that will be all yours??? Maybe it will be tough to do with both of you together because a first look isn’t an option you want to work into your day. If that’s the case, it’s fine. But can we have 30 minutes of time for bridal portraits alone??? Ya see, here’s the thing, because I don’t work off those “normal” set timeframes that most photographers do, this won’t cost you more, it won’t steal away from another piece of your day. What this will also do, is give some quiet time where we can slow down for the first time all day… Where we can work to create a handful of photos that will be a million percent…. Special to your day…….

Okay, I’m going to be honest here, this post is me being totally selfish. haha… I just want to create, and I want to create images that are all yours. It’s really that simple. And with a wedding day where this time is slotted in, we will still create, the photos will still be all yours, but just imagine what could be possible if we could slow down, even just for 20-30 minutes?????? Let’s chat about making some awesome… You in?????

Lord Thompson Manor Wedding Photos by Ct. Boston NYC Wedding Photographer TAB Photographic

Port Hampton Marina at Saint Clements Castle Wedding Photography Photos TAB Photographic Ct.


Mason's Island Yacht Club Mystic Ct. Wedding Photographer TAB Photographic

Oceancliff Newport RI wedding photographers TAB Photographic





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