One of the most stressful parts about wedding planning (despite the whole process being incredibly overwhelming) is creating a wedding day timeline! It is not only essential, but it is crucial to have to eliminate day-of stress and any type of scheduling conflicts. This will allow everyone - and I mean, everyone, from the make-up/hair vendors, to your mother-in-law, to the DJ, and everyone in-between - to be on the same page. It is your wedding and you have some sort of vision to exactly how you want your day to go but scheduling too much or too little time for certain things can cause lags, boredom, or even straight-up chaos.
We definitely recommend building a rough wedding day timeline in the start of the planning process, rather than waiting until the very end. As you continue to hire more vendors, you will be able to start envisioning your day - and can often spot timing mishaps early on.
Plan with your vendors
specifically your photographer and planner. You need collaboration between vendors to give input so you are able to build a realistic wedding day timeline. As a wedding photographer myself, I always encourage my couples to allow thirty to forty minutes for golden hour bridal portraits (this will create the warm, romantic, glowy portraits I am known for!). If you do not have a planner, talk to your venue! They are definitely a great resource since they are consistently hosting weddings and know, from experience, what timelines typically work best.
START with your ceremony. Usually the venue gives you a rough time for the start of your ceremony. Start with this and work backwards. Creating a simple timeline gives you an idea of where to add more detail. While working backward, go all the way to the time you wake up, go back to your ceremony and work towards the end of the night starting with major events - grand entrances, toasts, dances, cake cutting, etc - then add all the additional details around these events.
Transportation also takes time.
Taking time to figure out traveling time is super important for creating a timeline for photography. If you are not sticking to the same location from hair and makeup all the way to the end of reception, it might knock off a decent chunk of time between locations in transit. Also take in consideration that there might be guests that are NOT familiar with the area and unsure of traffic patterns or differences between locations. When creating a timeline, hop on google and estimate the travel time is between locations and ADD a buffer; this way your timeline is realistic (when is teleportation going to become a thing?). Things typically take longer than they are planned, so add a buffer so the day continues to go smoothly. Forgetting this detail will throw off your entire timeline for your wedding day.
SPEAKING OF BUFFERS
No matter what point of the timeline you are creating and how you are envisioning your day, add buffer time through out the day. For example, you're thinking that your ceremony is only going to last twenty minutes (pretty typically) then put on the timeline it is for thirty minutes. Google tells you it take eleven minutes to get from the first look to the ceremony, round up to fifteen. If you are doing a first look and have no traveling, finish up those photographs and allow thirty minutes of downtime before the ceremony. This will allow you to BREATHE, relax and to take your time enjoying your day. This will also protect the rest of your timeline if things are being delayed.
Also, I highly recommend scheduling about fifteen minutes of cocktail hour where you and your newly-announced spouse can soak up the moments. You did it, you're married and we want you to enjoy the day.
Sample of Day of Wedding Timeline:
Here is a wedding day timeline template that you can keep on your wedding Pinterest board!
Tips For Your Engagement Session (From A Photographer!)
First off all, congratulations on your engagement!! This is absolutely the most exciting time ever - and we are SO glad that you stopped here for some tips! We’ve photographed hundreds of couples from their engagement session, to a surprise boudoir session, to their wedding day, and all the way to any of their future events, so we hope that you stick around too! Here are our MOST important tips for your engagement session, from a professional standpoint:
1. Location, Location, Location
My biggest advice is to pick the location that screams YOU and YOUR love story. Do you love being outside? I’ll help you scout out the perfect location. Hate the outside? Think about the activities you both are into - we can go to a roller rink or arcade or anything in between! Still stumped? I always have a list of places I adore and will always create the most dreamy of photos.
2. Wear SOLID, neutral colors!
I know what you’re thinking! “But I saw this beautiful flower dress that I really wanted to wear!” or “my partner really wanted to wear matching plaid” and if that’s really what your heart desires, who are we to stop you. But let me explain why we highly suggest you take our advice! Prints, such as stripes, florals, animal print etc. tend to “warp” on our high tech cameras. Stripes can be extremely unflattering depending on the outfit, and florals will just about clash with every background. Why neutral colors? Our editing style is “earth tones” which focuses on greens, browns, yellows, etc. and a BRIGHT red or purple outfit might not match with the vibe that you were after. Neutrals allow you to blend in with the beauty of nature for a more cohesive, warm vibe.
3. Try to plan your session as close to sunset (or sunrise) as possible.
I cannot stress this enough! When you’re hiring a photographer, you hire them because you love their work and trust their artistic abilities. Every photographer’s dream is that EVERY session be photographed at sunset! Or for the early birds, even sunrise! This is the absolute best lighting of the day and we cannot stress enough how much lighting impacts your photos. If you’re looking for those dreamy, creamy, warm tone photos, trust us - sunset is the best time! Even if at first it may seem like you’re unsure, we definitely recommend it. We have the ability to make magic regardless of the time of day, but we promise the BEST lighting is about 45 minutes before sunset!
We ALL doubt ourselves. Some of us don’t like how we look in selfies, some are unsure of how poses will look on ourselves - but trust us!! We have spent hundreds of hours PERFECTING our personal posing style so that you look and FEEL amazing in every single photo! If you’re not feeling so sure, the camera may capture that! The best way to enjoy your engagement shoot is to let loose, have fun, smile, laugh and be yourself! Let us capture your beauty how the world sees it! Don't worry, we’ll be hyping you up every step of the way.
Engagement sessions are so much fun and an amazing way to get to know your photographer. We hope that you consider our advice when you schedule your engagement session! Either way we can’t wait to create magic with you and have the best time capturing your love in the best way possible. As long as we have a good time, you will love these photos for the rest of your lives.
This being said, so not worry about posing - do not worry about feeling awkward. My signature style is “romantic and candid” and I will have you both doing silly movements to loosen you up and capture the in between, goofy moments - then I will start bringing in the more classic poses, this way you get the best of both worlds!
5. Not sure? Ask your photographer.
If all else fails, ask your photographer for their opinion! We are constantly learning the new trends and styles as well as spend our free time scouting new locations, learning the latest and greatest in the photography world. We want to take time to make sure you have the absolute best experience as well as have amazing photos to show for it! We want to make it totally customizable for each and every client that it can represent you in the best way. This isn’t just my job or some type of side-hustle, it’s my art and career - both things that I absolute love and take pride in. Nothing is more rewarding for me than creating emotional, jaw dropping, art that captures you and your partner.