Over the past couple of weeks, I had a lot of correspondence with brides on their wedding day agenda. Being that it is your first wedding, or maybe second, your agenda is crucial for a smooth wedding day. I always spend time with my bridal couples couching them and often “constructing” the agenda for them and they adjust it here and there. This ensures that the bride is calm and confident, knows exactly what to expect when, and we as photographers can get the best out of the day.
For a photographer, the wedding day timeline is essential, you need to get the best light for your couple creative photo’s. We work on the timeline no less than 4 weeks prior to the wedding day to ensure that in the event something needs to move around, there is still time to do it. It also ensures that you make sure that we work within our booked hours. Why is working within our booked hours essential for us? Because after your wedding day we don’t go to bed, we download your images, we make 2 back-ups (yes TWO, and on-site backup and an off-site back up that we take to another location, not in our studio, this is just an extra precautionary step we take in case of an accident in our studio, like fire, theft ect.. We got it covered, we have an additional back-up of all your photo’s at another location). We test the on-site and off-site back-ups. We also do same day edits on our blog, YES, we do this on the same night of your wedding day, so that you have the luxury to wake up the next morning and show your family and friends edited photo’s of your wedding that happened the day before. Is that not cool, you don’t have to wait 4 – 6 weeks to see your images for the first time.
So how do we do it? Say you book an 8 hour wedding
We start with the time of the ceremony, work back first, and then work forward. A typical timeline for a 8 hour wedding coverage winter wedding starting at 3 pm (remember the sun sets earlier) will look as follows: (This is just an example, and your timetable may look different depending on your special needs)
1:00pm – 1:30pm: We arrive, greet you and head of to the venue for photo’s of your venue and table details
1:30pm – 2:00pm: Photo’s of details
2:00pm – 2:15pm: Photo’s of last make-up touch ups
2:15pm – 2:30pm: Bride gets dressed (allow enough time to get dressed, your dress may have millions of little buttons that needs to be done up)
2:30pm – 2:50pm: Bridal portraits
2:50pm – 3:00pm: Bride relaxes in room
3:00pm – 3:40pm: Wedding ceremony
3:40pm – 3:50pm: Signing of register
3:50pm – 4:00pm: Allow time for guests to congratulate you
4:00pm – 4:20pm: Creative family portraits
4:20pm – 5:20pm: Creative couple and bridal party photo’s (while guests have cocktail hour)
5:20pm – 5:30pm: Couple arrives at reception
5:30pm – 5:40pm: Pre-drinks
5:40pm – 6:00pm: Starter served
6:00pm – 6:40pm: Speeches
6:40pm – 7:30pm: Main course is served
7:30pm – 7:40pm: Opening of dance floor
7:40pm – 7:50pm: Father and daughter dance
7:50pm – 8:30pm: Dance, dance dance (in this time we may do a few creative evening portraits of the bride and groom)
8:30pm – 9:00pm: Cutting of cake, flower and garter toss
9:00pm: We depart to make magic happen for you the same night.
Plan your agenda carefully, you don’t have to stick to the exact time-lines but you will have a good idea what to expect, and will make your wedding day run so much more smoothly. Most of all HAVE FUN, and enjoy the day.