It sure isn't easy making your wedding day flow perfectly! There are tons of factors to consider when planning your big day! Here are a few tips that seem to open the eyes of brides who are struggling to compile the perfect wedding day schedule! I love to work along side of my couples to give them time estimates of each aspect of their day in terms of a photography standpoint. A lot of times people over or underestimate the time it takes to curate story telling images, so I love to offer my input. If you are struggling to create a smooth schedule, work with wedding professionals who are working weddings every weekend! These are the folks that have seen it all from start to finish and can help ensure that your day unfolds beautifully from start to finish! We understand you’ve likely never done this before and all of this may be new to you, so let us help you create a schedule that will allow you to breath and soak in the beautiful moments that will naturally occur on your wedding day!
1. Getting ready images should start when you're getting your make up applied:
Let’s face it, you don’t want everyone to see you fresh faced and straight out of bed. A lot of times ladies just need one or two images of the final preparations whether it is a final swipe of the mascara wand or applying lip gloss before your first look! Those things naturally occur so if you want to maximize your photography time, plan to do those last minute items prior to stepping into your dress for the first time!
2. It’s all in the details: we get it!
Organize any details you want photographed the night before. Include items such as: your shoes, jewelry, invitation suite, menu, veil, dress, rings, and any other items that you want to ensure are captured. Laying them out in one spot will help you see that you have everything you will need on your wedding day and it will allow the photographer to stage and photograph those items quickly upon arriving to your preparation suite.
3. Swing a first look if you are willing!
Not only does it give the two of you some private time together on your wedding day! It helps ease the pressure of time to get every image captured between the ceremony and reception. It will likely allow you to be at your cocktail hour mingling with guests, because you have taken the time to get your photos completed prior to the big aisle moment! Another bonus is you'll have full range of the gorgeous venue to take photos anywhere you'd like without being photobombed by wandering guests.
4. This isn’t a family portrait session
So don’t try to cram as many family photos in as you can. Keep it simple and stress free! Incorporate only the most important individuals into your family portrait time and communicate with everyone clearly ahead of time so they are present and ready. A lot of couples opt to only include: parents, siblings, and grandparents. It moves them along quickly and keeps it stress free…. No one wants to be rounding up uncle Bob and any unruly cousins!
5. Keep any special events at the top of the program
If you choose to do a garter and bouquet toss, ask the DJ to put it towards the top of the dancing festivities. Those tend to give guests an excuse to find a seat and the dance floor quickly becomes an empty space. Load any special events at the top of the festivities so that guests can enjoy uninterrupted dancing following the fun!
6. Make a game plan
Work with your wedding planner and photographer to create a game plan that will comfortably fit in all of the items you want on your wedding day while allowing some time to rest and relax. A lot of times schedules happen to run a bit late, leave a cushion of time so that no one has to worry on your wedding day! Most of all, have fun with it! It is one day and it flies on by, so enjoy every single moment and soak each and every precious thing in!
I hope this helps offer a little insight! After shooting weddings every weekend, I have realized what tends to work and what doesn’t work so well. At the end of the day I don’t want my couples to worry about documenting their day, I want them to be insanely present and enjoying each and every aspect of their day from getting ready to the final dance. I want them to enjoy the raw and authentic moments and a carefully crafted schedule can help ensure that everything runs smoothly for all involved! I work with each and every couple to talk through their wants and needs on their wedding day and to offer the best experience possible with tons of laughs, a few tears, and a million beautiful photos to prove it.