Murphy’s Law : “Everything that can go wrong, will go wrong.”
That’s a frightful thought! You spend months and months planning your perfect day and something can still go wrong. But that’s ok! Hey, we should be expecting the worst to go wrong so that we are prepared when it does. I know I sound as if we are preparing to go into battle, with war paint on and a shield on our arms. But if you aren’t taking this seriously yet, you obviously haven’t seen the absolute worst go down at a wedding, and kudos to you! It could happen though. It’s the inevitable that brides seem to think won’t happen to them until it does. So let me start by giving you a glimpse of hope. Us photographers can help! We can be your saving grace when all else seems to fail. That hand that yanks you out of the deep end of the swimming pool when you thought you could swim without floaties. [ok, I’m being dramatic at this point, but you get it by now I hope.]
So what’s so amazing about us that makes me believe that as a photographer I can help you?
Easy, I’ve seen plenty of different weddings with plenty of different scenarios and issues that I think I can almost see a problem coming before it even strikes! And what do I think is the number one problem that comes to surface on the day of a wedding? YOUR TIMELINE.
I work incredibly hard with my brides to contribute to their timeline. I get it, what bride is an expert at planning something that they have never done before. You don’t know what to expect or what to prepare for, but I do! Use me as your resource when creating your timeline. I absolutely love to help. I always give my own tips and advice for a timeline. Here are some:
You only have one day. I know. It’s hard to fit every single event that goes into a wedding, all in a 8-12 hour timeframe. There is just so much to do! It’s best to be realistic on what you believe can get done and when. Getting your hair and make up done with 5 other bridesmaids is of course going to happen, but not in 2 hours! Family photos are not going to take 15 minutes. [I would cry tears of joy if family photos ever got done in 15 minutes.] Pay attention to sunset times and rush hour if your ceremony and reception are in different locations. Your day is going to be chaos, but the goal is to keep it as an organized chaos.
Ideally everyone in your bridal party is focused and on time. Your vendors are punctual and set up is a breeze. Travel time goes as planned and everything goes smoothly. But just in case it doesn’t, cushion time is key. You can create the perfect timeline for the perfect day but if one event goes late, it’s good to have that extra given time. A ceremony can start late and then your entire day is running behind because an extra 15 minutes wasn’t added into your timeline just in case. This also relieves so much stress on the wedding day for brides. No one wants to be amped up and worried about making it on time to their own reception. Adding cushion time will give you room to breathe and take in the day with you new partner in life and enjoy it! I recommend adding cushion time in 2 key points of the day: Getting ready + Family photos. Family photos are my next point.
Be nice to your grandparents and let them get in and out of your photos! Keep your family photos as close as possible to where your ceremony was held so that your family members can arrive to their photo session conveniently. I give all of my brides some homework before their wedding day and a family list for me to have on the day of is included. Put your grandparents at the top of this list! This allows for them to arrive to the designated family photo area and be the first to leave and head to the reception. This saves so much time as well which is extremely helpful for your timeline. This small step can be very crucial to staying on time but in the end this also makes everyone happier.
These specific photos are most likely the ones that will be hung on the wall and savored the most for years to come. Just the two of you together looking all cute and happy on your wedding day. These photos are always extremely important to brides and grooms. Give yourself ample time to have them! They usually follow right after the family photo are all set and are right before the reception. See how I mentioned Family photos before Bride and Groom photos because if family photos take too long then it effects your own photos with just you and your new spouse. It’s important to take into account the lighting and when golden hour is going to happen in the day. If you are getting married in June, your time to shine is going to be a lot later than if you were getting married in November with a golden hour at 3pm in Michigan….[oh Winter….]. In addition, bride and groom photos are a great chance to be alone with your new spouse and breathe. You will be extremely busy the entire day so allow yourself to enjoy one-on-one time with your person when you have the chance.
There you have it! Some important tips/tricks that I love giving to my brides as they plan for their big day. As a photographer I’ve seen it all on a wedding day. I know how these days work and how to set yourself up for best case scenarios. Use your wedding photographer as you plan. We can be your greatest resource! Plus, hey, I do this all out of my absolute love for weddings so I definitely don’t mind being involved in any way I can even outside of photography.