Every time I sit and chat with a couple about their Wedding day, I listen intently about what their wants, hopes and desires for the day are. Mixed in there is always a few “what we don’t wants…” and there’s a great discussion about style and how they visualize the outcome and their Wedding photographs.
Most of the time, neither party has been married before and they don’t really know how things go and know even less about putting a realistic timeline together. Here is where I love to lend my assistance. This is definitely an important component of the day and not just for the photography portion.
Consider this for a moment… your photographer is the one person that’s with you for the longest time that day and should be able to offer valuable tips on how to stay on time.
Here are mine….
1. Make sure you (the bride) get your hair and make-up done FIRST.
- Your hairdresser will probably tell you to be last in the line…AFTER your bridesmaids and the mothers, so your freshest before the Ceremony. I disagree. From a photography perspective, if things get behind, which they almost always do…if you go first you’ll be finished and can get dressed to have bridal portraits taken. For me, it’s ok if the bridesmaids are still being styled, as long as I have you I can still photograph you and always get the bridesmaids with you later.
2. Ask your bridesmaids to be dressed and ready before you are.
So often I show up at the location where the ladies are getting ready and notice that the bridesmaids aren’t ready yet. This is fine if there’s time to relax but I find the getting ready part takes much longer than anyone anticipates. More often than not, the bridesmaids start preparing and things get behind. They’re job is to dress the bride and assist her with her preparation so they should be ready to go. If the timeline gets delayed here then there’s not enough time for photos of the bride.
3. Keep an uncluttered room at the hotel or at home for photos to be done in.
This can be a huge timesaver! Though I’m used to gathering up things and moving them to make an uncluttered area for myself…it can often take as long as 20 minutes to clear an area. To have an unused room at the hotel or to take some extra time to tidy the most well lit room at the house will be a huge benefit.
4. Choose a point person.
This should not be one of your Wedding party but a friend or family member you trust to be your right hand. I know it’s tough to let go of control but having a go-to person gives you some freedom to enjoy the day. Even the best laid plans are subject to change and require attention. You’ll have vendors approaching you all day about what you want done about this or that…having a point person to deal with these questions for you allows you and your hubby time to relax and enjoy the day. You can be gone having photos done and know that if anything needs to be looked after, it will be.
5. Make a list of your specific family for the photos you want.
Printing a list off the internet is great as a guideline but as your photographer I’ll already know a generic list of who should be photographed but I don’t know who your specific people are. It’s a huge help for me to have a list of real names and their relationship to you to guide us quickly through the family photo section of the Wedding day. It’s a great idea too, to review the list with your parents if you think they will have some input. It keeps the disagreements and back & forth to a minimum on the day.
6. Let your family know about the photos.
After your list is compiled, let your specific family members know that they’ll be needed for pictures on the Wedding day. Makes sure they know the where and when ahead of time to keep the delays to a minimum.
7. Plan for rain.
Nobody actually wants it to rain on their Wedding day but not making a plan for this can complicate everything. Make sure if it’s an outdoor Wedding that you have a covered place to perform the ceremony at the last minute if the weather starts to turn. You also need to secure a location for photos if it’s raining. I like to chat with my clients about this during the consultation and again closer to the Wedding day if it looks like rain is a possibility. I can offer suggestions on places to go but ultimately it is up to you to have a back-up.
8. Allow time for a receiving line.
This is especially important if the Wedding ceremony and photography are taking place at the same location. I see this time and time again where the couple is bombarded by friends and family after the ceremony. Your guests will want to congratulate you both after the ceremony and a receiving line will organically happen unless you head to an area with no access. Sometimes asking your officiant to announce there will be no receiving line will send the message that guests should wait until later or if you want to let it happen, work it into the timeline and enjoy! It’s a great time for candid photos.