With a little bit of foresight and planning, there are ways to avoid a lot of stress on your wedding day. A huge goal of mine as a wedding photographer is to do a lot of planning and work with my brides before the big day, so that when it arrives, we are completely on the same page. I send out a detailed questionnaire before the big day about two months beforehand. My brides and I hop on the phone for a chat to review the entire day from start to end to make sure I know exactly what they want. Over the years, I’ve found out that some of the littlest things can save a ton of stress and time on wedding days, and today I’m going to share a few of those things that usually come up when I’m planning wedding photography with my clients!
- Calculate travel time between venues, and include it in your timeline. This is particularly important for city weddings! I photograph a lot of weddings in cities, and often times we are traveling from one venue to another, parking can be tricky and can take up time. Make sure to use Google maps to consider travel time on your wedding day. One thing I LOVE doing with clients is walking through venues before the big day and picking out spots for photos. This way we can fully plan where to park, how we are going to get around, but also what the lighting will be like and where we are going to take photos!
- Make sure your dress is steamed and ready to go on your wedding day. I think a lot of brides are surprised when I calculate between 30 and 45 minutes in their timeline to put on the wedding dress. It’s a lengthy process. It’s best to make sure your wedding dress is already out of the bag, aired out, and steamed when I arrive. I suggest giving this task to a bridesmaid or trusted family member. You don’t want to spend the morning of your wedding stressfully steaming out your wedding dress (Like I did!). On this note, make sure you have a crochet hook if your dress has a lot of buttons. If you want to practice putting on your dress before the big day (buttons and all), even better!
- Have your flowers delivered to your getting ready location for photos. There’s nothing worse than being dressed, ready to go, and not having your bouquet for portraits! Once your have your timeline, and know when you’ll be getting dressed, try to have your bouquets and boutonnieres delivered as early as possible to your getting ready location. Not only will I be able to photograph them for your gallery, but they will add cohesive to your gallery when we can use them for your getting ready photos and them smoothly transition into portraits without having to wait on florals or take photos bouquets.
- Speaking of flowers, let’s make sure the guys have their boutonnières on before photos! Countless wedding days, things are rolling perfectly smoothly, and then we have to stop for 10 or 15 minutes to put boutonnières on all the groomsmen. Of course, I’m always down to help put on a boutonniere! But, when we can remember to get the guys to put these on before the photographers arrive, we save quite a bit of portrait time! Save for the groom, of course. It makes a great photo op when his mom or someone special puts it on!
- Make sure to account for sun set on your wedding day and plan accordingly. This is especially important for Fall and Winter weddings. And, even more important for couples who do not want a first look. If the sun sets at 5pm, and your ceremony is at 5pm, we won’t have any time after the ceremony to take portraits outside. Google sunset times for your wedding day and consider the amount of daylight we will have for portraits. When in doubt, ask me for a timeline example and I’ll be more than happy to help. Countless brides have asked me about their ceremony time before settling on it just to make sure we will have plenty of sunlight!
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