You’ve picked the venue, chosen your gorgeous outfits, asked your team to be buy your sides all day & booked your suppliers. Time to relax and have a nice well deserved glass of wine
Now its time to work out how you want your day to flow, Ill try to help you here from a wedding photographers point of view. most folk think it will all just fall into place but there are a lot co things to consider if you want to have your day be as stress fre as possible. ill try to suggets things in this post that will let your day run as smoth as possible
When do you plan to have your wedding? an awesom autum wedding? a sizzeling summer shenanigans, whatever time of year you decide on the main consideration has to be light. Sunset times vary loads during the year from 3.30pm in winter to 10.30pm during summer. This can have a dramtic effect on ceremony timing. If you are planning on using natural daylight that alone can mean winter weddings have to be earlier in the day to allow you the time to get it all in. If you would love for amazing sunset portraits then you have to plan the meal to co inside, easy in summer harder in winter and you may find planning portraits before the meals works best. Just ensure you plan around the time of year.
No matter were you are getting ready, a hotel, your parents home or even your own home the distance and time taken to get to the ceremony location has to be the main consideration. I as a photographer will need to leave at least 20min befor the bride to be there in plenty of time to capture the arrivals. Your hair and make-up artists will guide you as to how long they will take with prep on the morning of your wedding day, you may choose to have trials of both which will also give you an idea as to how long it will all take. all in all its better to plan to have some extra time so you can relax, enjoy a glass of wine or a cuppa and enjoy your day. I’m going to be honest with you here…. there will be hicups on the day but just dont panic and enjoy the day as it will go by in a flash.
Your ceremony will last from 20-60 minutes depending on traditions & whoever is conducting it, they will give you an idea on the time frame and may also suggest a rehersal which is a great way to get an idea on how this part of the day wil go. As above I would always advise allowing extra time for this part of your day also.
In my experiance this is the part of the day you cant really plan for… its the part most likely to run over as family and friends congratulate you both and tell you how amazing you look & chat among themselves. I would advise you yo add 30minutes minimum for this part of the day. I as a photographer will mingle among everyone and capture moments that add to the story of your day.
FORMAL GROUP PHOTOS
For this part of the day I aim to work as quickly as possible and start as soon as we can get the bridal party all together. these photos are important to couples and family alike so the aim is to get them all captured before anyone has one too many or decides to take their tie off. My natural style is documentary so I capture the day as it happens but as you might expect these shots can take a bit of organising and you should allow at least 30 minutes, longer if you want larger group shots or shots with every family or friend at the wedding venue. This part of the day can easily take up a huge chunk of your time before the meal and can be pretty draining on the Bride & Groom so my recommendation would be to have a list of the main combinations you want and have a member of your family available that knows everyone there to help organise people into groups to get the images you want.
Bride & Groom PORTRAITS
This is the part of the day when you will finally get some time to be alone…. well with me tagging along of course. I would recommend around 45 minutes set aside for this, by now your probably getting hungry and if things have ran over at any other part of the day it can cut into these portraits but you would be amazed how many we can capture in a short period and if you’ve planned a wedding around a sunset we will always have some extra time for more portraits at sunset.
Can you believe it its time for the meal and I’ll bet your ready for it. This part of your wedding day will run longer than you plan I can almost guarantee it. Your venue or caterer will give you an idea of how long to plan for but the ods are by the time you even get to the meal something will have caused this part to be later than you have planned for but don’t worry they will also be the first to let you know this happens at most if not all weddings. Most venues will do the cake cutting during this time and when the speeches (my favourite part of the day) are included you can imagine why. the bigest issue with the meal over running is most venues will have to turn the room around to get ready for the evening do,
Now its time to get your party shoes on and dance the night away with everyone standing around watching. Your band or DJ will let you know how long it takes them to set up and most venues will let them in to set up during the turn around time. If its a summer wedding this is normally around sunset time so be a good time if you would like some evening or sunset portraits captured as once the formal set of dances are by you can slip out while everyone parties the night away.