What time should I start my wedding day? How long should I spend at the hair salon? Should I do my formal portraits before or after the wedding ceremony? When should the wedding party arrive? These are only some of the important questions to think about as your wedding day approaches FAST right. A well planned schedule will go a long way to making your wedding day go smooth.
As you start to plan the day, begin by working backwards. One good strategy is to plan your day according to the start time of your ceremony. When planning backwards, think about travel time, loading your car, time to eat, etc etc . Your plan should leave considerable room for slack time, you would rather have too much time to spend with your friends and family then be rushing around and feeling stressed,which you will anyway,sorry to tell you. If you wish to take a shortcut, a common recommendation for contingency reserve is between10% to 15% of the time you anticipate for each event of the day.
The Wedding Day Schedule...
Putting together a master schedule is very helpful .You may use a variety of common software (Microsoft Excel) to achieve on. The schedule should list all of the tasks that need to be done and at what time. This is not only helpful for the bride and groom, but for all of the staff involved in your wedding, but be a little flexible with it.
The schedule should be very detailed, illustrating every single task for the wedding down to the very minute not the second. The time line should begin several hours before the wedding ceremony, and ends after the last song has been played . Include directions to all the places people need to be. Give everyone involved, home, work and cell phone numbers, and email addresses,if needed . Make multiple copies for the entire wedding staff, caterers, photographer, florist,DJ etc. Once the master schedule is done , you can focus on the wedding sequence time line to create another version of the master schedule for everyone else around the wedding. Don’t forget to constantly update your schedules and make sure everyone has the latest version.
Wedding Day Hair & Makeup...
As you continue to create the time line of your wedding day, one thing that you can count on is that your appointment at the hair salon will ALWAYS take longer then you think it will ALLOW FOR THIS !!!. From my experience, we recommend scheduling your hair appointment about 6 hours prior to your ceremony if you will have photos before & 3 hours before the ceremony, or if you are doing photos after wards. One to two weeks before the wedding , have a run through and have your hair done the way you plan to wear it. This way you are not experimenting on the wedding day. Remember to leave nothing to chance.Be a good girl scot.
Planning Wedding Photo & Video...
The big question that you will face will be, Do I take my formal portraits before or after the ceremony. This one choice will determine how your entire wedding day runs. The primary reason that we hear for taking photographs after the ceremony is the long standing tradition of the groom not seeing the bride before the wedding. This tradition came from the era of mail order brides, they were afraid that if the groom saw her before the wedding, he would not marry her. We hear that it's often the dream of the bride or groom to experience that special moment walking down the aisle and seeing each other for the first time. However, many couples may not remember the experience in detail,unless you do video. There are many emotions that overcome you in that moment. While distracted, you may easily forget to look up to make eye contact with your groom. The groom also may have a difficult time expressing emotions as his nerves may be getting the best of him. It is ok the cry guys.
This tradition is often strong for many families as well . If this is the approach, allow enough time after the ceremony for your photography. This will determine when you will get to the reception. Planning for at least 2 hours between the end of your ceremony and the start of your reception helps to ensure the photographer does'nt have to rush possibly forgetting some important poses in the process. We would NEVER do this !!! More time also means that everyone is more relaxed. The photographer will have more time to be creative.
Pros & Cons of the Portraits Before the Ceremony...
There are some advantages to seeing each other before the cermony. Wedding photographers often suggest this cause it makes our job easier, but this is also when the bride, groom, bridal party and family look their best: the bride and bridesmaids' hair and makeup are fresh, while the groom and groomsmen are not anxious to get out of their tuxes yet. Best of all, your family and wedding party are not at all distracted to rush to the reception and getting drunk or getting the last crab cake, or to participate in the wedding day's festivities. This healthy pre-ceremony atmosphere creates a smooth tempo to sound the drum of the event's opening.
If you do take the pre ceremony portrait , We recommended that you set aside 15 minutes of private time that is designated for just the two of you together. These moments, before you start taking portraits, can often be the most precious for the couple . The groom is given allocated time to express his feelings for you. You are able to say a prayer together, or exchange gifts. This time also serves as a break to calm your nerves. When a bride and groom choose to wait until the ceremony to see each other for the first time, they typically do not have time alone until their wedding day has ended.
After the private time together, you should proceed with portraits. During this time, the wedding photographer can take unobtrusive photographs of the couple, family, and wedding party. A typically photo shoot schedule usually lasts 2 hours. The final advantage achieved through this approach is having the formals before the wedding allows you to enjoy the rest of your day without any schedules or time lines to meet.
With plenty of experience documenting weddings, your photographer is your best resource to help you in outlining how your day should run. Take advantage of your photographers' experiences and trust that they have your best interest at heart. When you are relaxed your photographs will look their best. There are many other things to consider as you plan your wedding day. It’s important that you and your groom discuss it thoroughly, and make a plan that works best for you as a couple. Most of all, enjoy the day; one that will be one of the most special days in your lives. Hope this was helpful,let us know.Cheers Peter