I’m going to be totally honest with y’all– the actual big day can be pretty… crazy. There are so many moving parts, people, and things on your to-do list that if it isn’t written down, it’ll probably be forgotten! While your wedding planner/venue coordinator may have their own version of your wedding timeline, I ALWAYS create a timeline unique to the photography schedule.
In my many years of experience (not to sound old but, I have photographed quite a few weddings by now), a wedding photography timeline could mean the difference between couples receiving photos they’re in love with, or realizing they didn’t get enough photos of nana dancing with her grandsons. And unfortunately, it’s pretty much impossible to get those photos after the fact. So, I always err on the side of caution when I’m shooting a wedding, and my wedding photography timeline becomes my BIBLE for the day! Here are a few more reasons why I create a wedding photography timeline for every single one of my brides!
1. Crystal-Clear Communication
Creating a wedding photography timeline means that everyone is on the same page. Obviously, with how hectic it can get throughout the day, clear communication and expectations are SUPER important! I create a custom timeline with each couple, so we know exactly what’s expected! Plus, a timeline means you don’t need to worry about finding extra time for some couple shots, or getting ready shots.
2. Who, What, When & Where
With a clear wedding photography timeline, we’ll know exactly where everyone needs to be! I often recommend that my couples share an abbreviated version of the timeline with the entire wedding party and family members! That way, we’re not waiting on Aunt Sue to *step away* from the open bar while everyone else is posing for the family group shot.
3. Timeliness is Everything
A specific wedding photography timeline also helps while you’re getting ready with your ladies! Let’s face it, you’re sitting there getting your hair and makeup done, sipping mimosas and chatting, and the next thing you realize: it’s time to go! Instead of having a mad rush to get everything ready, the timeline helps everything run on-time! Plus, it can be a lot to try and remember every important time of the day. The timeline helps us all make sure you’re ready when you need to be!
4. Vendor Arrival Times
Different vendors will arrive at wildly different times, depending on what they’re doing! Creating a wedding photography timeline helps to ensure everything is set in place before we start photographing! This is especially important for hair and makeup artists!
5. Order of Reception
Will you have a traditional order of reception, or do you want to mix it up a little? Factoring your order of reception into the wedding photography timeline is super important! That way, I’ll make sure I’m not sneaking off to the dessert bar during your MOH’s speech!
Bonus Tip- Cushion Time!
I have secret, bonus tip for y’all. I hear back from my brides all the time saying that their day went so smoothly, and that they felt like everything was perfect! Now, I LOVE hearing that feedback! Want to know my secret? I factor cushion time into the entire day! That way, if you decide you just HAVE to sit down for five minutes and stretch your feet, or you want a bit more one-on-one time, you have it! Creating cushion time is something I learned from many years of photographing weddings, and it’s one of my BIGGEST tricks for making sure my couples enjoy their big day!
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