Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Creating a successful wedding day timeline

Absent a wedding coordinator, your photographer is the next best person to help you construct a successful wedding day timeline. A successful wedding day timeline will help you accomplish everything you're hoping for with enough time built in to actually enjoy what's happening.

The easiest way to begin building the timeline is to start with the items that have inflexible start times, such as the ceremony and/or reception, and work backward from there, incorporating all of the things you want to do with a little extra time added to each so you don't feel rushed. On the other hand, you don't want to pad in so much time that you're sitting around for hours in full hair and make-up and a big ball gown when it's 90 degrees outside. A successful timeline will give you enough time to move from one thing to the next seamlessly, without either rushing or waiting around, both of which can be stressful.

Here are a few timing tidbits I've accumulated over the many many weddings I've photographed:

If you have one stylist working on the entire wedding party, schedule your appointment last so you're freshest.

Everything - and I mean EVERYthing - takes longer in a 20-pound dress, in addition to requiring an entourage of helpers.

People will run late, so padding start times to accommodate for that usually means you'll start on time.

Receiving lines and/or greeting/dismissing guests by row always takes longer than having the ushers shoo out the guests.

Limos drive slower than regular cars.

I'm always happy to help my clients create a timeline that is both realistic and accomplishes everything their hearts desire so that the wedding day runs smoothly and without stress, so always feel free to pick my brain about timing!

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