Dec 8, 2022
Getting the most out of your timeline!
The list of to dos seems sky high. The checklists are daunting and the excitement never stops. Wedding planning can be a lot to do on your own. Having shot weddings for well over a decade I completely get how much goes into all of this and that is why I offer help to my couples in creating a customized timeline for their wedding day.
I want to make sure you have THE BEST wedding day possible. For you to be able to relax and just be on your wedding day and enjoy the celebration while also taking advantage of the time to get the photos you desire!
As a result of this I’m going to talk through a timeline and how it can help your wedding day flow smoothly!
Getting ready time: Make sure you have plenty of time!
If you would in the market for the perfect Raleigh Wedding Photographer, then I would love if you jumped over to my home page and take a look!
Hair and makeup often take longer than you expect. Honestly this is the most likely part of the timeline that will get you behind. The best bet to avoid this is:
1.Talk to your Hair and Make up team on how long they expect to get ready
2.Always leave a buffer, so that if you get 10, 20 or even 30 min behind this doesn’t leave you feeling crunched
An example of this in application: If you are doing a first look scheduled for 4:00pm then you would want to be ready for those photos (on same premises or completely ready 15 min before that time frame) so this means you’d be getting your dress on at 2:45. This leaves you with enough buffer time that even if things go much longer in getting ready you are still not crunched for time and will still get all the photos you desire without feeling crunched or leaving your guests waiting.
We all have that one friend who is type A
Identify this glorious human and use their skills to help you! Give them the timeline, show them where the buffer times are so that they can help you keep track of where you are and you can let go and relax knowing that she, your wedding planner and photographer will help you keep on track and make use of your buffers.
This way you can make use of your timeline and delegate without any stress on the day of your wedding!
Shoe Box Trick
Have all your details ready in a shoe box/similar idea.
You might think who cares about the details?! But ask it this way: do you have details of your wedding day you would like to be beautifully stylized captured in a keepsake image?
It takes time to do a flat lay keepsake photo. To get all the details together and photographed in a way that exhibits the story of your wedding day doesn’t just get thrown together. If you make sure to have all these details ready for your photographer it gives them the ability to take the time to stylize and create a beautiful image for you to have not only of the things but taken in a way that gives the feel of your wedding as well!
Check out the article I have on what items to possibly include in your flat lay images.
One location is OP
Keeping everyone at one location is one of the best ways to get the most out of your timeline! Even a short distance of travel can waylay the schedule more than you would think: they add up between actual travel time, loading and unloading. This process of moving isn’t just you but also the photographer as well! And all that time could have been spent giving you more images for your wedding day!
A quick explanation of first look: it is a time of one on one where the bride and groom see each other and have an intimate moment before a wedding ceremony that allows for most of the photos to be taken before the wedding. This moment can be photographed for you to have a keepsake of that moment (often preferred) but it can also be a moment alone. See more on this in my article on First looks.
The gain for your timeline is that it allows you to complete almost all (if not all) your formal photos before your ceremony. This means that directly after your ceremony you can go directly to PARTY! You won’t have to consider cocktail hour, your guests needing to be entertained for that hour of photos etc.
If you are not a fan of the first look, you still can take advantage of doing all the formals you can before the ceremony. This means you can do all the groom and groomsmen photos and all the bride and bridesmaids photos before the ceremony.
You can also do this for family formals if you want: even simple combinations of father and daughter etc.
That way after the ceremony you only have the entire group shots and entire family formals to complete: allowing you to get to your reception more quickly.
Talk with your photographer about your timeline
I talk to each of my couples about their wedding timeline to make sure we are all on the same page and get the most from your wedding day.
I highly recommend making a timeline with your photographer to help ensure that you get the most from your wedding!
I make sure that I scout the wedding location and know the spots I would recommend beforehand and have back ups but this is a labor of love and trust that my couples know this. This is not standard. To make sure you get the most of your photos: Have a solid plan for photos!
It can help you make the most of the time. Have a spot you like for your couple photos, family photos and bridal party and also keep in mind back ups incase those don’t work out because of weather, bad lighting situations.
This allows you to get the most of your photos.
Hire an Experienced Planner
A good wedding planner knows how to plan (almost like it is in the name!?) They have been through this many times and they know more and have come up with good solid templates for your wedding day.
(see blog post about top reasons to hire a wedding planner).
Plan for Reception to be photographed!
After taking all this time and effort to create this beautiful wedding and reception you want to make sure to have it documented before the guests come in.
Without a solid plan the story goes like this: your guests are at cocktail hour while you are getting your photos completed. By the time the photographer gets to your reception the guests have already been rushed into the reception and there will be no good photos capturing all the work you have put in.
Make sure to set aside 10-20 min to have your photographer capture all the hard work and planning that was put forth to create your vision to reality!
Last but not least is the golden hour! Whether you do a first look, split formals or stick to the traditional schedule, I recommend going back out during the last two hours of sunset to grab a few moments for couple portraits. Generally this is occurring while guests are eating dinner and they will not even notice you’re gone and you get to take advantage of amazing light!
Hope this article helps you get some good ideas on how to apply them to your wedding day!
My name is Rachel Abi and I am a wedding photographer in Raleigh NC and my priority is your getting the best engagement and wedding photography you possibly can so that you can treasure those moments always!
© RACHEL ABI PHOTOGRAPHY
Rachel Abi is a Wedding photographer in Raleigh NC specializing in candid wedding photography as well as natural looking posed wedding photography in Raleigh NC. As a Raleigh wedding photographer. I am very familiar with both Raleigh wedding venues, Durham Wedding Venues and most all wedding venues in NC. I am more elated to talk about options for wedding photography in Raleigh and I have been labeled as one of the top North Carolina Wedding Photographers. Open 24 Hours. 7 days a week
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