In the last two articles we covered important questions to ask your photographer and preparing for your wedding images. Hopefully those two resources offered some help to you as you plan your wedding day. In this article we will tackle the all important timeline and why it is critical to ensuring you get the best possible wedding images from your photographer.
How many horror stories have we all heard about weddings that were riddled with scheduling and timing problems? They are a dime a dozen and most likely a result of a failure to properly plan for each portion of the day. We understand that accidents happen that are out of your control however by creating a timeline you give yourself ample time to deal with some or all of those wedding day surprises.
Here are some practical tips to follow when preparing your timeline:
#3 Write it Down
I know this sounds obvious but trust me it’s important because on your wedding day there will be so many details to handle and trying to remember each one is impossible. Writing it down also forces you to see where there might be scheduling or time conflicts. One area couples fail to plan for is travel time from the preparation to the ceremony location and from there to the reception. This is especially important if you are getting ready in a different part of town than your ceremony or reception. Writing it down also allows you to share it easily with everyone that needs to know - especially your photographer. Part of the task we undertake with our own couples is a timeline consultation where we invite the couple to our office to go over and plan the timeline with them. This helps us guide them in terms of how much time they should allocate for getting ready images, formal images, family images and more.
#2 Include Contact and Address Information
Your wedding day will be an amazing, beautiful, magical day filled with many emotions. The last thing you want to be doing is texting the photographer the phone number of the dj or calling the host at the reception venue to give her the florist’s name and phone number. That’s why it’s important to include everyone’s name, phone and email in your timeline as well as the name, address and phone number of all the venues including the church and reception hall or country club. Having this information with your timeline will reduce the number of times you have to pick up your phone to answer a question about a person or a place that is important to your wedding day.
#1 Pad your Time Allotments
If you think you will only need 30 minutes for hair add an extra 15. If you think you will only need 45 minutes for family images add another 20-30. Padding your time allotments will give you, your bridal party and everyone else involved time to get to and from the locations where the images will be taken, it will also give your photographer time to setup and test his/her equipment and it will provide a little extra time in case someone has to use the bathroom between portions of your day.
Creating a timeline that is written down, includes contact and address information and has padded time allotments will help in ensuring you give your photographer enough time to document all the portions of your big day. Can I give you a little inside secret about wedding photographers? We love weddings, we love the details, the excitement, the emotion and the people. We love the idea of documenting all those special little sentimental, romantic things that we see and encounter at weddings. Want to know another little secret? A little piece of us dies inside when we have to rush from place to place due to improper planning. Not because we are control freaks, but because it does not give us a chance to capture all those little things I just mentioned. When you create a good timeline you not only do it for yourself but also to help your photographer create the best possible images of the most important day of your life.