Wedding Day Timelines: Planning thoughts.

While we are in Covid lockdown I know sadly so many of you have had to postpone your wedding date, so our planning chats will probably be next year.

I thought it would be helpful to share with you a few things I go through with my couples to get organised for the big day. You can search online for planning tips and advice but nothing beats your photographer having experience of a real wedding day.

I have to say as well, you can plan and plan but sometimes things will still over run or get forgotten about on the day so please don’t feel like you’ve failed or that it’s a disaster… it’s unnecessary drama!!

Your wedding photographer/videographer will most likely be with you throughout the whole day, so they will act as a timekeeper, a shoulder to cry on sometimes and a general mood regulator!! We take on anything (well, I do anyway) to keep the day running as smoothly as possible and keeping our brides happy so we get those lovely naturally ‘glowy’ photos, stress shows and we know it! (Don’t stress that you’ll feel stressed!)

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So, looking at the timeline and planning your photos is really helpful, basically the more we plan our timeline for the day, the more we can fit in.

If you know exactly which sets of family photos you’d like(or not)we can get them done and out of the way first, they can all go off for drinks and then there’s solo time for the couple portraits.

I love having this time with my couples because it’s a bit of a relief for them to be out of the limelight for an hour and relax together as a married pair for the first time. Some people really hate having to pose and have photos so getting away from everyone and not having them watching is good too!

Family Group photos can look like this:

  • Couple with bride’s parents
  • Couple with bride’s parents and siblings
  • Couple with bride’s parents, siblings and grandparents
  • Bride with parents
  • Bride with each parent individually
  • Couple with both sets of parents
  • Couple with groom’s parents
  • Couple with groom’s parents and siblings
  • Couple with groom’s parents, siblings, and grandparents
  • Groom with parents
  • Groom with each parent individually

The list can go on and on…

Even if you gave each grouping two minutes, you will be spending 30-40 mins here, then you have the Bridesmaids and Groomsmen to shoot with the couple as well so add another 15-20mins on top. A lot of people feel like they have to have the family shots but don’t want to spend a lot of time doing them and also underestimate how long this really takes, especially on the day when everyone is excitable, it can be like herding cats!

I do suggest that we do some of these shots in the morning if possible. (Bride with mum, Bride with dad, Bride with siblings etc) These informal family shots before the wedding would be my choice of photo, they always seem to be more relaxed and look less stuffy to me.

If I have time or the Groom is nearby I can usually go over to where he’s getting ready and shoot the boys earlier as well. Having a best man or head bridesmaid on hand with my family shot list is something I always have, they normally know everyone and I give them the job of shouting at people so I can concentrate on taking the photos!

Another factor we have to think about is dinner, the bell normally goes at 5pm for dinner and couples want to enjoy the reception too and mingle with friends before the sit down part of the evening, somehow we have to fit everything in!

If you place alot of importance on your photos then try and work your timeline to fit, chat to your venue, tell them what you need, push dinner out later on.

Time of year can be a major factor as well, sunset and golden hour photos are lovely but in the summertime may sometimes be in the middle of dinner, are you prepared for your wedding photographer to drag you outside?! Later on in the year it will get dark earlier, this is sometimes forgotten about.

My main advice is talk to everyone involved, be on the same page, plan ahead for the images you really want, these things don’t happen without your involvement in the planning process, it is your wedding after all!

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