Getting married was one of the most exciting and stressful times of my life. There was so much to do and so much I wanted to make sure we did for our big day. The details pilled up and didn’t get done until last minute (not a surprise for me), my dress alterations were late, and the invitations were sent much later than they should have been. But you know what was perfect? My timeline for the day. As a wedding photographer, i’ve seen all sort of timelines. From mishaps, to late events, to things getting pushed aside all together – that was the last thing I wanted to have happen on the most joyful day of my life. The wedding timeline process was simple for me and I want it to be simple for you, too. Other than have a kickbutt wedding planner like I did (Shout out to my girl Sara Reynolds), there’s one thing that really makes a difference when it comes to planning out the day – The sunset!
I know what you’re thinking – Meg, you’re crazy. Trust me, it works! Unless there are obvious time restrictions with your venue, you should factor in the time the sun sets, big time! For me, I took the time the sunset on my wedding day, 6:19pm and thought – what do I want to be doing during that time? Obviously, I wanted sunset portraits! Who wouldn’t?!? They’re stunning! Then I thought, if i’m taking sunset portraits, what should my guests be doing? For you, that could be dancing, cocktail hour, or dinner. I really appreciate golden light and wanted my guests to enjoy that while they were eating dinner with their families. So I made dinner time 5:45pm and worked my way from there! We put sunset portraits down for 6pm, which gave us 15 minutes, more than enough time to capture some golden light! With the guidance of my wedding planner, we were able to work our way down to when the ceremony should start, when I should start getting ready, and when the night should end.
A lot of people tend to find a ceremony time they think is appropriate and go from there. That is a great method, but realistically, it leaves you pushing things like sunset portraits into times that are inappropriate. Then, you’re moving things around last minute during the reception, like bouquet toss or speeches – which leads to a confusion for all the vendors during the event. Trust me, I’ve seen it happen too many times! Worst case scenario, the dj lines up everyone for the bouquet toss and you’re out getting your portraits taken because the light looks amazing (don’t blame you!). We just need to avoid that embarrassment all together and pray you don’t have a dj that is that clueless…
Here is our timeline from our wedding day – I hope this helps to explain a little more about how we did this. You guys – the sunset is LITERALLY in my timeline!
I want you to have what I had – no rushing, no fussing, and no stress. We could go on and on about how important a wedding planner is, but I understand that some people aren’t able to hire one. If you aren’t, make sure to create a timeline that serves you and print that bad boy out for everybody! This is sort of embarrassing, but we made packets for all the parents, grandparents, siblings, etc for the day of and the days leading up to the wedding, explaining what they needed to do, where they needed to be, and what was happening on those days. That way no one could say, “you didn’t tell me I was supposed to be at the rehearsal” 😉
With this timeline, we were able to maximize the time from the day to get the most portraits possible! We pushed for as much portrait time as possible and I insisted we have a first look just for this reason! I will share more about a first look later on, but for now keep in mind what you want to get the most of out of your day and make it happen! Maybe it’s time with out of town guests? Maybe is a lot of time spent at dinner with your bridal party? Maybe its a lot of partying? If you’re my bride, I really hope it’s your wedding portraits!
BRIDES : I really hope this post helps you! It can be so overwhelming. Don’t stress and communicate with your photographer, we are there to help you! We want you to have images like these!
January 24, 2019