Planning your day also means figuring out the wedding day timings.
You’ll spend the next 12-24 months, planning your wedding day. From meeting with suppliers, deciding colours, flowers and fonts, to tasting a fair amount of wine. Meaning the last thing you want on your wedding day, is to feel like you’re rushing. Or that you won’t have enough time to enjoy yourself.
Bet you can’t go anywhere, without someone telling you “Your wedding day will go by so quickly”?
Planning your wedding comes down to the actual wedding day timings too. Planning your day’s timings can help make sure you have plenty of time, to enjoy, drink, dance & be merry. Timings will differ for everyone and depend on a lot of things. This is our take, as wedding photographer’s, on planning the timings for your wedding day.
If you’ve booked a professional hair and makeup artist, they’ll be best to advise you on how long they will need. So take their advice. As your photographers, we will arrive 2 to 2.5 hours before you are set to leave. This is a good amount of time to capture the final touches of makeup going on and your outfit and accessories before they go on. You will want to give yourself and your squad plenty of time to get into your outfits. If you’re wearing a wedding dress, does it have a zip? are there a lot of buttons? or even a corset? Ideally, give yourself about 30-40 minutes. It’s always good to have a couple of practice runs with the person who will be helping you into it. Do they know how to help you get into it and then lace/button/zip it up?
Your body needs time to adjust to having the dress on, particularly if there is a lot of material or if you have a corset, you can have it tightened before you go. You will also have that little bit of time to have a drink with your loved ones, and make sure everyone has everything they need, you also have that bit of time to allow for some breathing room if things were running a tiny bit late.
This differs from wedding to wedding. The length of the ceremony will be determined by the type of ceremony your having. Church weddings will take longer than a registry office or civil ceremony. The person conducting your service will be able to talk you through this. Other elements that will add extra time to a ceremony are readings, hymns and communion (if you’re having a Catholic service) oh and then just trying to leave too, so adding an extra 20 -30 mins to this, again just gives you a bit of leeway.
Your reception may be somewhere different to your ceremony. So it’s best to focus on your timings from when you start your drinks reception. We think 2 hours is a good amount of time. Of course, your venue coordinator will guide you on this, but it’s always good to think about what happens during the Drinks Reception. During this period, most of your formal photography will take place. We like to give you 15 minutes after your ceremony or you arrive, to be able to say hello to your guests and for them to congratulate you. Then after that, we like to go straight into group shots whilst everyone is in one place and before guests may head off to the bar/toilets etc.
We like to start these with your big group shot. If you’re allowed/having confetti, we do this now too. To make the most of your confetti shots, make sure you order lots of it & maybe some confetti cannons too! We suggest to our couples that they have 8 – 10 group shots and that they write out the list of groups they’d like. We’ll also ask for someone in the bridal party or a family member, to help round people up and we like to get these done within 30 minutes. We understand group shots are important but we also don’t want you to be stood around for ages when you could be spending that time, chatting & laughing with your guests.
PORTRAITS AND CANDID SHOTS
Candids are a great part of the storytelling of your wedding day, and after the group shots are done, it’s a PERFECT time, to mill around and catch people, off guard & unaware. We love capturing natural and expressive moments. So candid is the perfect chance to do this. By now you’ll know that we’re not the type of wedding photographers to ask each of your guests to smile at the camera. That’s just not our style. However, if we’re asked we will happily to do this for them, Just maybe in our own way.
For your couple portraits, we head off, just with you guys, about 20-30 mins before the meal. As this is when everyone is called in to sit down for dinner you won’t miss anything. You’ll then be announced to raucous applause once everyone is settled. We can also do more after the meal.
We also use this time to photograph your reception room before anyone enters it. So you have your decorations and details captured before your guests enter the room and start messing it all up 🙂 You may not have had the chance to see it empty, or all the bits you have been collecting/ making and poured hours of blood sweat and tears into.
So, as you can see, that’s a whole lot of stuff to fit in during your reception time frame. Being that we are two photographers, this obviously helps as we each focus on different parts so that all bases are covered.
The amount of time between you finishing your meal/ speeches and the evening shenanigans start also depends on a number of things. When are your speeches? What type of Wedding breakfast are you having? It also depends on your venue. Is your evening entertainment in the same room as your wedding breakfast? because if it is, you need to think about the turn around time. This is where your coordinator will be vital. They know the processes, they do it all the time, so ask their advice, Previous couples of ours have used this time to have Casino tables, Magician, Characaturist, a bucking broncho and even Minigolf. The choices are unlimited. This then leads nicely into your Cake cutting and First dance, best done together with one after the other.
Hopefully, this helps give you an idea on how to make the best of your day. If your still not sure and are having a bit if a panic, then thinks of it like this, if you have 1.5 hours for your reception, you have 15 minutes to mix & mingle with your guests. Then 20 minutes for your group shots, which can take longer, if people aren’t listening, or off chatting etc (sorry, it does happen). 20 minutes to for a drink and another round of speaking and mingling with guests, we’ll then head off to do portraits for 20 minutes before you go sit down. We and especially you won’t want to feel like all you’re doing during this time is being photographed, so having 2 hours can really help you have more time to mingle and enjoy your reception.