Making sure you have a solid timeline that has been discussed with your entire creative team will help your day run smooth and stress less.
As a bride, utilize your photographers professional opinion on how much time is needed for your wedding photos. I see many suggestions in bridal magazines and blogs for how much time is needed, but every wedding is different depending on time the wedding is taking place, number of family members and bridal party, and number of locations.
As a photographer, it is our responsibility to educate our clients on how much time we need. But, it is also our responsibility to respect our clients wishes. I make sure to start talking timeline the first time we meet, and then have a meeting two weeks before to finalize all the details and times. I always ask my couples if they want to be back before cocktail hour to freshen up, right when cocktail hour begins, or can they miss a bit of cocktail hour. Then respect is given to whatever time they tell me and make sure they are where they want to be at that discussed time, enjoying the celebration!
Two of the biggest discussions that always come up with timeline meetings are
1. First look. This frees up time after the ceremony for the couple to be able to attend their cocktail hour if the ceremony and reception flow into each other. First look is also beneficial for winter weddings when the sun sets early. This way the couple can get some natural light and/or outside photos. We have noticed the first look takes so much stress off the couple and bridal party. Everyone goes into the ceremony care free and relaxed knowing that all the pictures are done!
2. Location. As a Chicago Wedding Photographer we see many brides that want to hit every Chicago landmark from the museum campus up to Wrigley Field. With Chicago’s unpredictable traffic and weather, this could take hours. So I make sure to discuss realistic options with my couples, and make sure we pick two or three locations, and have plenty of time in the time line for possible traffic delays. I always suggest then using the other locations for the engagement pictures. A win win for everyone!
Photographer tip * I have a form that the bride fills out with the timeline, addresses, names of important people, vendors, and important pictures. It is attached to me the entire wedding day. I highly suggest making one as a photographer for your brides to fill out!
Thanks for reading today friends! As always, feel free to email me any photography and business related questions.