Top 10 Wedding Timeline Tips

I’ve been doing this long enough to figure out what goes wrong and what goes right with wedding days. Weddings are EXTREMELY packed-jam full of things to be done that it becomes very challenging to get the most out of your day. In an effort to make up for unforeseen circumstances, wedding pictures suffer (I literally just shivered). Nothing frustrates a photographer more than having to rush through wedding pictures in 10 minutes when a full hour was set aside originally ( yes this has happened before). Your wedding pictures are one of the ONLY tangible items to remind you of your wedding day. Don’t rob yourself of that! Set aside plenty of time! I recommend MINIMUMS of 30-60 min (depending on family size) for family pictures. 30-45 minutes for Bridal party and 30-45 minutes for bride/groom portraits with a bonus time of 20 minutes prior to sunset. All this of course NOT including travel time. As a former bride I set aside 2 hours for pictures of just my hubby and myself and it was the best decision ever and the ONLY on-on-one time I had with him which was mainly made possible due to a first look (I’ll have to blog about it sometime)

I’ve heard a ton of people regret that they didn’t set aside more time! SOOOO… here are some recommendations to help plan accordingly so you don’t run into timing issues!

1. Plan more time for hair & makeup than you’ll think you’ll need. Right off the bat, this is where people lose the most amount of time. Brides should always have their hair done first during the day, that way the bridesmaids can stay behind if time is lost. If you have a hair trial, Time it… and then add extra time (maybe about an hour) just in case there are any hair mishaps ( which happens often!)

2. Get dressed early! As a girl, I know this can take some time – Introduce an entire bridal party and dressing time tends to take longer. Things break, rip, don’t fit, needs sewn, get dirty, needs ironed etc. Don’t wait until last minute

3. Don’t forget travel time. How long does it take to get from the salon to the getting ready location, from the getting ready location to the church, from the church to the picture locations and from the picture locations to the reception.

4. Add “Cushion time” just in case something runs over. You’ll be glad you did this!

5. If it didn’t get done the day before the wedding, don’t plan on it getting done! Enjoy your wedding day! Are those silk ribbons on the favors going to really be noticed anyways? Even better, hire a day-of-coordinator! They do an awesome job of managing these details!

6. Don’t forget time to relax! Like I said, there are so many things to do on this single
day that you don’t have time to breathe and take in what is happening! It goes by so fast. Take time just to simply absorb it (and snuggle with your hubby a little too).

7. Type out a timeline – and then share it with the entire wedding party! Keep everyone in the know to prevent questions and confusion about the where, when’s and why’s.

8. The bigger your family, the more time you will need! Want a picture with your entire immediate and extended family that consists of 30 people? That’s going to take A LOT of time JUST to gather people…. Let alone POSE them all! Prepare for it!

9. Designate 1 person to make sure everyone is where they need to be during pictures. Half the battle is finding people. As a photographer it’s to hard to know who EVEYONE is and I don’t want the important people of your day to be left out. Having someone who generally knows the people involved with your wedding pictures will help keep photography flow moving swiftly. While we are taking one picture, this designated person can start rounding up the next group of people

10.Consider a “first-look” – this is controversial. But coming from someone who chose this route, I would do it again! All pictures are done before the ceremony and reception. Bada-bing, bada-boom. Then it’s off to the reception to dance and party the night away! First looks typically result in a TON more pictures! If any pictures are not done prior to the ceremony, you can always steal away for a few after the ceremony. On another note, I just wrote on my to-do list “ blog” about the most special moment of my very own wedding day!)

*Bonus* set time (maybe 15-20 minutes) an hour before sunset to get some beautiful glowy pictures outdoors! These pictures can be with the entire wedding party or just the 2 of you and are usually client favorites. By this time all the formal activities are done, so we can be slightly more daring with our posing! Here a few examples of the beautifully glowy light that we get before sunset!



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