I get it. You want to make a timeline that works for all of your vendors, the venue, and of course your guests. If you have a great wedding planner or coordinator, you have nothing to worry about! They'll walk you through that whole process. They know weddings and they know what it takes to make your day perfect! However, if you don’t have a planner and the job falls solely on you, you may start to feel a little lost. My number one piece of advice is to check with your photographer! Here are a few reasons why…
Your photographer may be there for 4 hours or maybe up to 12. You know what’s in your contract. We need to make sure that whats most important for you can be documented in that window of tme. Do you want to have lots of getting ready candid moments? Are you planning a sparkler exit late into the night? Or do you really have your heart set on both. Having this in mind will help you to determine how you day should flow and if you need to plan for extra hours with your photographer.
This is your first wedding and you're probably guessing how long to plan for portions of the day. When it comes to Timelines, guessing gets you no where. Here are a few examples:
Bride getting into her gown
- You’d think this isn't something to allot much time for, right? Well it depends on a few things. Is it a lace-up, button-up, or zip-up gown? Will a veil need to be added after? Do we need to wait until mom is dressed and ready before you can begin the process?
The dreaded receiving line
- I know, I know. They can be great and you really want to show love to your guests. But, did you know that a receiving line can take up to 20 minutes for just 100 guests?! That can really cut into your family formals!
- This is also dependent on some things. The size of your family. The variation and number of individual portriats needed. What about extended family? Will your great aunt and uncle need to be included? Do they know to wait there for their turn before heading out to the reception?
Traveling between locations
- Will you need to travel to alternate locations for wedding party photos? Could there be traffic? What transportation will you use? How long does it take to get there and back? You’ll want to know all of this so you don’t end up late to your own reception!
Dinner, cake cuttings, money dance, sparkler exits, etc
- These can all end up taking longer than you are expecting. I recommend mapping out this portion of your timeline with your DJ or Band. They'll have great advice for you on how the reception timeline will likely look like.
Sun-light at various times in the day is another key part to photography. I know we don’t have control of when the ceremony starts but when I’m planning portraits, I know that noon is the worst time to go out for photos. When the mid-day sun is right over your head, you can expect dark shadows to show in your eyes, greenish color casts on your face, and don't forget squinting. It’s just all around a bad time to shoot! Talk to your photographer about what can be done. Off camera flash can be used, or maybe photos should be moved inside for a more even light. Either way, if you have your heart set on those warm glowy outdoor photos with amazing natural light, you’ll need to plan your timeline so that you are outside a little closer to sunset. We call it golden hour, you may call it magic.
In the end, before you make any major plans, just check with the pros. We want everything to run smoothly and we REALLY want you have the photos that you and your family will love. So, reach to your photographer. We’re happy to help!
Oh, and if you’re thinking this could all be easier with a planner... you’re right. I know some really amazing ladies that you'll be happy to have on your side! Shoot me a message and I’ll send you their info!