Monday, July 13, 2009

Wedding Words of Wisdom: Wedding Day Timeline

Adam and I have been to a lot of weddings :) Given that fact, we have some words of wisdom for you on wedding day timelines so your day can flow as smoothly as possible. Before setting your ceremony and reception times in stone, please consider the following tips. If your times are already set and you don't think you'll have enough time to accommodate everything without feeling rushed, we recommend thinking about going the First Look route...

First Look: 15 minutes

Bride & Groom: 30 minutes - This is such an awesome part of the day... it's the only time that you really have to spend alone together on your wedding day. Not only will you have fun shooting with us, but you'll also enjoy soaking it all in together :) If your location(s) is really diverse or covers a large area, (like beach weddings, garden centers, golf courses, downtown, etc.) don't forget to add a cushion for walking or driving. Some couples choose to schedule extra time with us the day or so after the wedding (called an Encore Session) to really maximize on an awesome location. That way, we can also finish up with some awesome Unbridaled shots, too, where you won't have to worry about getting dirty like you would on your wedding day.

Wedding Party: 20 - 35 minutes depending on size of wedding party, how many shots you'd like, variety of locations, etc. Some couples who don't do the First Look choose to schedule about 20 minutes before the ceremony to photograph the bride with her bridesmaids and groom with groomsmen (don't worry, Adam and I coordinate so that you don't run into each other!), and then 15 minutes or so after the ceremony for the full wedding party shots. This saves some time after the ceremony, then, for you to make it to your cocktail hour earlier or have fun in the bus or limo.

Family Formals: 15 - 30 minutes depending on size of family, special requests, etc. To keep things running smoothly, we recommend having an "assistant" or two, who can round up family members or find those who have gone astray... someone who knows everybody. Some couples will give them a copy of the shot list so they can organize our next shot while we're shooting. We also recommend informing those who are needed for photos prior to the wedding day so they don't accidentally leave.

For weddings where the ceremony and reception are at the same location, we recommend adding a 15 minute cushion, as it's a little more difficult to get moving into photos... guests tend to socialize a bit more (even if you receive your guests). Another option is to ask your officiant to make an announcement that the bride and groom will join their guests as soon as they're done with photos.

Receiving of Guests (Receiving Line, Row Dismissal, Champaign Toast, etc.): 30 - 45 minutes. Many of our couples choose to opt out of receiving their guests directly after their ceremony, and instead choose to attend their cocktail hour to socialize with their guests in a more comfortable and natural environment.

Transportation: Don't forget to schedule transportation time into your wedding day timeline. Is there an event going on that might make traffic a little heavier (a nearby concert, festival, etc.)? Rush hour?

We also recommend having a bus, limo, trolly, etc. for you and your wedding party if you plan on stopping at an alternative photo location between the ceremony and reception. It becomes a bit difficult having 7 cars trying to arrive at the same time, find parking and meet up (especially if it's downtown). Get more bang for your buck and schedule some time in for you to celebrate on the bus with your wedding party :)

Details: If you'd like shots of your reception set up before guests arrive, please allot 20 minutes for Adam or I to shoot these (so while one of us stays on the bus shooting candids of you and your wedding party while you drive around celebrating, the other has time to make it to the reception before guests arrive, for example). If your cocktail hour takes place outside of your reception room and the doors remain closed, there's no need to schedule in extra time for these shots (as long as we attend part of the cocktail hour).

Cocktail Hour: If attending cocktail hour is not important to you, you may schedule photos to overlap into your cocktail hour. We recommend at least attending part of your cocktail hour so you can relax and socialize with your guests prior to dinner. It's your day... enjoy it! As mentioned above, a great option is to opt out of receiving your guests directly after your ceremony, and instead enjoy hanging out with them at your cocktail hour. You're more than welcome to do both, though. Another perk of attending cocktail hour is that Adam and I can photograph some great candid shots of you and your guests during this time.

Hope you found this helpful and can adapt it to fit your Big Day :D Feel free to touch base with Adam and I with any questions. We'd be happy to help you with your timeline :)

Happy planning!
~Miranda & Adam

And since every post is more exciting with a photo, here a shot of what Adam and I did last weekend! That's right, I'm shooting in a bridesmaid dress :) More fun stuff to come!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome suggestions! We can't wait to work with you guys soon!!!