Welcome to Wedding Wednesday Tips 🙂 *
*I will attempt to write a wedding related tip once a month on a “wedding wednesday”!*
If you missed it, check out the first post on how to choose a photographer here!!
So maybe you have word opened and you’re just kind of looking at the blank white page wishing it into completion. It’s a bit of a daunting task let me assure you. Here is the good news. Once you are started it’s actually REALLY easy. No seriously! It is. I promise.
A couple things right off the bat that you may be thinking – 1. Why is this chick concerned with my timeline and 2. Does she know what she’s yapping about?
So yes – I am concerned with your timeline for a few reasons. A well planned day causes less stress and more relaxation. Those two things make for a much better portrait of you and your hunk of burning love. And do I know what I am talking about? I’d like to think I do but really, who knows? HA. No really I feel like I have been around the proverbial “wedding block” a few times and am also having one myself so I do have some insight!
” All right – I get it now where do I start? ” you say.
First things first. Write down your concrete times. For example:
- Ceremony: 3pm -4pm
- Cocktail hour: 5pm-6pm
- Reception: 6pm-11pm
- Sunset Time: 9:05pm <<<< Make special note of this. It is WELL worth stepping out for 10 minutes for sunset photos. TRUST ME.
Now that you’ve got the unchangeable things the next step is how far apart things are and how much time it really takes to get there. THIS is potentially the most important part of your timeline planning. OKAY – SO. You need to drive between locations like you would on the day of at the same time of day to judge the traffic. So if your wedding is Saturday at 3 and you figure you’ll need 15 minutes to drive it, take a test run at 2:45 and see if it’s close. Once you get that time – PAD IT BY 15 MINUTES. (at least – more if it’s a busy road or construction prone) Do this same thing for every drive involved in the day. (So hair or makeup appointments, getting ready hotel, church, picture location, reception)
After we have that we do our initial sample timeline.
- 8am-8:45am – breakfast with the girls at the hotel
- 8:50am – hair and makeup arrive at hotel (120 minutes each girl x 4 stylists)
- 11am – photographer arrives for “details and getting ready” * Have invitation-program-shoes-jewlery-dress-accersories ready*
- 11:30- Bride and maids get dressed
- 11:40-12:00 – Bridal formal portraits with Bride and immediate family
- 12:05 – 12:45 Girls and Family Drive to “First Look” area
- 12:50pm-1:40 – First look with JUST the Bride & Groom
- 1:40-2:10 – Bridal Party and Immediate Family Formals
- 2:15-2:30 Drive Time to the ceremony
- 2:30 – 2:55 Downtime before the ceremony starts
- 3:00-4:00 Ceremony
- 4:15-4:40- Formal “Altar” Photos with Family and Bridal Party
- 4:40- 5:10 – Drive to reception and join the cocktail hour **** PARTY TIME!****
- 5:10-6:00pm Cocktail Hour
- 6:00-11am Reception time (Pick up here with the timeline from the DJ* Make sure all major events are 1st.)
* A few quick things to note – For family portraits I usually suggest budgeting 4 minutes per grouping. – So Me, Mom, Dad, Brother Charlie, Sister Rose – and so on – 4 minutes per picture. After you have made your list add up the time to give yourself a better idea of how long you will need!
See?! It’s not so bad! Once you’ve got it, print it out and make sure everything is accurate. After that send it over to the appropriate people- (your photog – planner – dj – caterer -bridal party etc.) they WILL thank you.
If you want to get all fancy you can make everything in excel spreadsheet with everyones addresses – your timeline – and other wedding related spreadsheets you may need to write down.
Be sure to come back to next months “Wedding Wednesday” where we talk about how to get the best quality for personal prints. (ones not made by your photographer) See ya real soon!