Dear brides, wedding timelines are important!!!
I have only photographed a handful of weddings where there was no official timeline....and to be honest, it was rough. Whether your wedding party consists of 30 people, 4 people, or no people, it is important for everyone involved in the wedding to be on the same page. A lot of times, my type-B brides are the ones who struggle with the whole timeline thing. They don't usually work that way and don't even know where to start! Well, you came to the right place! Here are some wedding timeline thoughts from a wedding photographer's point of view.
1)Wedding timelines are a MUST
No if, and, or but about it. I'm not one of those people who carries their planner with them everywhere and writes down their schedule everyday. I've tried....I just can't. So if you're a type-B bride and usually prefer to go with the flow, I get ya. But...here's the thing...the wedding timeline isn't even for you! The bride never sees the wedding timeline on the wedding day. It's for everyone else! It's for your family, bridesmaids, groomsmen, pastor, DJ, videographer, photographer, etc. Basically everyone BUT you. On your wedding day, I want nothing more than for you to be relaxed and chill. But in order for that to happen, everyone needs to be on the same page. And in order for that to happen, a wedding timeline is a MUST.
2)Ask for help!
If you don't even know where to start when it comes to making your wedding timeline, ask for help! Ask a friend who has just recently gotten married, ask the owner of your wedding venue, ask the DJ, or ask your PHOTOGRAPHER! That's what we are here for! Wedding schedules are what us photographers abide by on your wedding day....and a lot of times we are the ones keeping everyone on time! So we know all about wedding timelines. Ask your wedding photographer to meet for coffee and discuss/plan out your wedding timeline together!
3)Leave plenty of time for photos
You're paying a good amount of money for your wedding photographer, right? (I mean...we're not cheap!) You want your money's worth? Make sure you leave plenty of time for photos! As an experienced wedding photographer, I have learned to fit a lot in a short amount of time. But is that the best use of my talent? Not really. It's hard for me to be creative and give you unique photos when I'm rushed. My best work happens when I have time to create!
Another reason to leave plenty of time for photos is because it's more fun! Being rushed for time is never fun and can be stressful for the wedding party. It's your wedding day! All your best friends are in your wedding party....you're about to marry the love of your life... take the time to let me capture it!
4)Work in more time in as many areas as possible
Over all...the greatest piece of advice I can give you is, when planning your wedding timeline, work in more time than you will probably need in as many areas as possible....not just photos! Wedding days are made up of a lot of moving parts and a lot of people....and sometimes when that happens....things can run behind. Hair and make up can take longer than anticipated, you might forget something important back at the hotel, there might be unexpected traffic (seen this happen many times), there might be a thunderstorm, one of the groomsmen might be running late, etc. Life happens! But here's the thing, the ceremony and reception usually don't get shortened or pushed back.... usually it's the photography that gets shortened, pushed back, and suffers. If you leave buffer room in your wedding timeline....a set back won't effect the schedule as much (or at all)....and you can still get all the photos you wanted!
Whether your wedding has the perfect timeline and runs according to schedule, or nobody seems to be on the same page and everything is running behind, your wedding photographer should be capable of handling the situation. So don't panic and trust your photographer! They have it under control. If you are a future or soon-to-be bride, I hope this post helped a bit! I have a lot more to say about wedding timelines....so expect a sequel!