Wedding Photography Tips: TIME TIME TIME – Plan in LOTS of TIME

It's the wedding day, which you've planned left and right - the best advice to take is to plan in lots and lots of extra time – for make-up, hair, gathering, partying, receiving lines, travel, and everything else. Party planners who follow this one simple rule are always on time and never rushed for the photo sessions (preparation photos of girls/boys and post ceremony group shots, wedding party shots, and couple shots). Almost 99.9% of the delays are due to not planning enough time for different events of the day. Delays = Rushing = Stress. Ask the florist to bring the bouquets early. Ask the limo driver to plan an extra ½ hour before and after just in case there are delays. And please please please plan enough time for photos.

Planning a Timeline - Establish an organized (and realistic) timeline for the day to play out with your bridal party and closest family, and especially with your photographer. Share it at the rehearsal dinner too. Share it with all of your service providers. This is YOUR day – do not let anyone pull you away from the moments you want to enjoy.

Make-Up & Hair - Brides, be sure to plan in more time than you think you'll need to have your make-up done. Make-up sessions often run over time especially when mothers and bridesmaids are included. I recommend banking on an extra half an hour to keep your time getting ready relaxed and fun.

The Arrival - There are people that are chronically late – expect that a selection of your guests will be arriving as you’re walking down the aisle. You could plan on giving it an extra 15 minutes, perhaps, if you don’t want anyone missing out and to avoid interruptions.

Sneaking Away - A receiving line can take forever. If you are planning to skip this tradition, speak to the venue coordinator to determine the best exit and place to gather. In other words, you need a hiding place. There are always a few stragglers that will find you and hold you up, but if you’re visible it’s likely many of the guests will flock your way and just suck up your time.

Group Shots - Most plans include time between the ceremony and reception for group photos. The larger the group, the more time you need. If the reception is at a different location, you need more time. If you want more combinations of group photos, you need more time. If you want creative photos, you need more time. It’s likely that you will need more time. Here’s some ways to help the cause:

  1. Make a list of all the group shot combinations you want. Have this available to your photographer and a couple of the closest family members and friends.
  2. Make sure anyone to be included in group shots knows where to gather.
  3. Whittle your way down to just the bride and groom and send people off to the reception as you finish with them. Less people watching makes it easier to get the job done quick and better. This private time is really important.
  4. If you’re worried your guests might get restless waiting for your entrance, plan out things to keep them busy, whether it be looking at photos of the bride and groom or writing words of advice. Look up more ideas on Google.
Reception Events - Older guests and little guests have bedtimes. Schedule your reception events keeping them in mind. Plan for the cake cutting, bouquet toss, and garter toss to take place right after or nearly after the entrance and first dances. That way you can get down to partying!

And to the Bride & Groom – are you worried about getting your photos finished in time to get to the rehearsal dinner? Are you worried about taking a break from the reception to take intimate portraits as the sun sets? Don’t bother! They can’t start the party without you. Don’t let anyone boss you around – it’s your day and you’ve invested time, money, and energy into it – YOU are the boss, so enjoy the day no matter what disasters may occur – you’ll be laughing about it not too long from now.

Sunday, August 23, 2009