Planning / Effective Timelines

One of the most valuable things you can do in planning your wedding is to create a logical, attainable timeline for your wedding day. This is the guide that all of your vendors will use to stay on track during the day. I will use it all day to make sure we are where we need to be and when. The DJ uses it to keep the reception on track. The venue will use it to make sure they have the appropriate areas set up at the appropriate times.... it is so important! Don't worry, if you don't know what you're doing or even how to start a timeline! I can definitely help you! I only need a few pieces of information from you or your venue! 

1. Ceremony time

First, I need to know what time your ceremony will take place. From there we can plan what time we should arrive at your venue to start shooting "getting ready" photos and we can decide on a time for your first look, should you choose to do one. If you don't want to do one, no problem! We can just shift that time for taking photos (usually formal portraits) to after the ceremony! 

2. Cocktail Hour

The next thing I need to know is what time cocktail hour/hors d'oeuvres will be presented to your guests. During cocktail hour, we usually shoot family formals if you chose a first look, or all the formals if you didn't. Formal portraits typically take about an hour but there are also ways you can help this time go much faster as well! I have a formal shot list form for you to fill out, listing every formal photo you would like. I know, it sounds like a pain in the a$$ but I promise you, this one tedious little task will save SO MUCH time while we're shooting. I hand my second shooter this paper and she reads off each photo as we need to take it. She makes sure we have everyone we need to take the photos and this process makes it go so fast. And one more thing, I don't worry about guests having to wait while we do photos. You shouldn't either! Your guests come to your wedding knowing you have to have photos taken. Everyone does it. Everyone. As long as we don't take longer than an hour and they have some snacks (and a bar really helps... most of the time) they will be very understanding!

3.  Dinner

Third, I need the time that dinner is anticipated to be served. This will determine what time you're announced into your reception which gets the party started! Your DJ will also need to know this information so I'm always happy to share a copy of the timeline with the DJ! We're a team and we all need to be on the same page for the day to run smoothly! This is also where you need to make a decision if you will have your first dance right after you're announced in to the reception or if you want to wait until after dinner. There is really no etiquette on this subject, it is just personal preference. Personally, I enjoy when a couple is announced and goes right into their first dance and then they have dinner. But it's your day girl.. you do you! 

Having those three pieces of information as well as knowing what activities you would like to include in your reception (bouquet/garter toss, anniversary dance, cake cutting, etc) will lead me through the rest of your timeline. Once we establish what time we're finished...  that's that!

If you have any questions, feel free to ask below, email me or fill out my contact form! I'm here for you! ;)  

This is what a typical wedding day timeline will look like for me when we don't do a first look

This is what a typical wedding day timeline will look like for me when we don't do a first look