The bride slips into her dress, her friends celebrate her coming marriage (maybe with a mimosa toast), she gathers her dress's skirt, grabs her bouquet, and heads off to see her groom. All the while, he's been relaxing with his guys, feet up on the table with their tuxes casually hung around the room, and he methodically gets ready as the reality of seeing his bride is allowed to sink in that day.
Every moment of a wedding day is precious. But it can also be challenging as you think through details, schedules, various responsibilities, etc. I try my best to prepare my brides and grooms so that their wedding day can simply be enjoyed without thinking of all the tiny details, because we've already prepped and planned for them in advance. Often, this begins with discussing the wedding day timeline. So, today I'm sharing 5 tips for your wedding day timeline:
Tip 1: Schedule your hair and makeup so it's almost (but not totally) completed by the time I arrive.
This way, the bride isn't waiting on any of the bridesmaids, and when your friends are in photos, they're all glammed up and ready to go! This also ensures that I get to photograph the finishing details of your hair and makeup and you don't have a whole slew of photos from before your makeup is done.
Tip 2: Have your florist deliver the flowers to where you are getting ready.
When this happens, the flowers can be incorporated into the photos of your wedding day details - rings, jewelry, invitations, etc. And you will have them when you head to your first look!
Tip 3: Get into your dress near a window or source of natural light.
Now, I know this isn't necessarily a timeline tip. But, it is super important for beautiful photos as you slip into your gorgeous gown! I wrote a whole blog post about how to get the best getting ready photos and you can read it here. When you do get dressed near natural light, it is also a great time for me to photograph your details and full bridal "look." So, we can simultaneously get beautiful getting ready photos and great portraits and details - win, win. Ok, so there are some timeline components in there!
Tip 4: Factor in travel time.
Be sure to think about how traffic and travel time to and from venues or locations will effect the timing of your wedding day. If it's 5pm on a Friday in Chicago, travel is definitely going to take longer! And it that isn't factored into the timeline, most of the time you planned for portraits may be spent sitting in a car getting from point A to point B, and we don't want that to happen!
Tip 5: Make a family photo "must-have" list.
Usually, I take family photos right after the ceremony has concluded and in advance, I ask my couples to make a list of photos that they would like captured of their families (I recommend about 10). That way, when it comes time for family photos, I know what you would like to capture photo-wise with your family and can do it efficiently without needlessly keeping family members from enjoying the cocktail hour. This also relieves the stress from you as you're not responsible for remembering off the top of your head all the photos you wanted!
I hope this is helpful as you think through your wedding day timeline! If not, then I'll just try again at another time. Happy wedding planning!