Aside from deciding who to invite to the wedding (or where to sit them at the reception) one of the hardest parts of planning your wedding is figuring out the timeline. If you have a planner, Awesome! They will take care of most of that for you. If not, (and you want one) let us know, and we’ll send you to an amazing one. But just to give you an idea of how to plan ahead we’ve put together a few things that will be helpful in planning your timeline. We’ve broken it up into 2 parts just because it’s a lot of information
1. How much time should I allot for photos?
In an ideal scenario we suggest setting aside 30 minutes per group being photographed (bridesmaids, groomsman, bridal party, & family) and 45 min for the Bride + Groom. So all in all 2:45 -3 hrs We can for sure do it in less time, but this gives us plenty of time to be creative, and as an added bonus it has a built in buffer just in case things are running behind. I know, I know, weddings never run behind. : ) Don’t forget travel time either. If you’re wanting photos somewhere away from the ceremony/reception venue make sure you allot enough time to get there and back.
2. When should we do our First Look?
First Looks are AH-MAZING. When else on your wedding day are you going to get time for just the two of you?? But explaining that is a post in and of itself. So if you’re planning a first look you should consider scheduling it about 3 hours (+ travel time) before the ceremony. This way we can get all of your photos taken before the wedding and you go straight to the reception/cocktail hour with your guests.
3. What about a receiving line?
Something that is often overlooked in the timeline is the receiving line. Nothing can eat away your time like a receiving line. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that we don’t like receiving lines, but they always take longer than expected. If you want a receiving line we suggest one of two things: 1.) Allot 30 seconds of time per guest. So for every 100 guest plan to add 45 min. or 2) Greet the guests by table at the reception. This eliminates a lot of awkward hugging, and lets your guests head straight to the reception instead of standing in line to exit.
4. Should I plan a cocktail hour? How long should it be?
We always suggest a cocktail hour, for two main reasons. 1) This gives us time to sneak you and your new hubby away to get a few glowy sunset photos before the reception. 2) It gives us time to photograph all your amazing details at the reception before guest enter. If everyone heads straight to the reception venue after the wedding it’s sometime difficult to get all the detail photos before people arrive. If you’re doing a first reveal then 45 min- 1hr is plenty long enough, but if you’re not seeing each other before the wedding, you should try to set aside 1:30-2hrs between ceremony and reception so we can finish all of the photos.
Next week we’ll post a few more tips to help when planning your timeline!