Hair and Makeup Time – When weddings run late, or couples have felt stressed or rushed it’s almost always because hair and makeup took longer than it should have.
Please tell hair and makeup artists they need to be finished 1 hour before you are due to leave for your ceremony/meet with the registrars. (It sounds like a long time but trust me it’s not.) If they’re doing hair and makeup for multiple people that means everyone’s hair and makeup needs to be done by that time. This may mean the start of your day gets pushed earlier, but I guarantee that not feeling rushed or panicked in that final half hour will make a HUGE difference to how your day feels.
Talking of the dress – please, please practice getting in it with the people who will be with you on the day. Especially if there are any awkward fastenings. Same goes for the bustle. A quick run through with a bridesmaid could save you half an hour of dance floor time on the night.
Prep photos – For brides, I tend to arrive 1.5 – 2 hours before you’re due to leave for the ceremony. I’ll do a few details shots (dress, shoes and anything else you’d like documenting) and lots of candids. Depending on your venue I like to squeeze in a few portraits and group shots once you’re all ready.
For grooms, the timings will vary depending on your location (and if you booked have a second shooter), but it typically takes about 30 minutes and I just capture the finishing touches. (ties, jackets, shoes, cufflinks, beers etc)
I don’t do these as standard. If you would like them please make a note of it in your wedding details form and I will get the rings whilst you are eating.
First Look – A first look is where you and your partner see each other prior to the ceremony (and get some couples’ photos) I practically laughed in our photographer’s face when she suggested one for our wedding, but in hindsight I wish I’d given it more consideration. I’ve only done two and they were both really lovely. Having a little intimate moment before the ceremony can help settle nerves. It also makes perfect sense if you’re planning on walking down the aisle together. Send me an email if you’re considering this and we can chat some more.
Group Photos Before Ceremony – I like to get some groups done before the ceremony these will be listed in your timeline. Please let family members know in advance if they are included, so they know where they need to be.
Confetti Shot – It makes life so much easier if confetti shots are done immediately after the ceremony. My favourite set up is to form a confetti aisle and have you walk through it. If you are getting married in church then this might mean sneaking away for a few minutes, so I can get everyone in place before they see you.
Congratulations – If you’re ceremony is in a different location to your reception then it’s great to leave 30 minutes after the confetti shot for all the hugs and congratulations. (Ahhh hugs!!)
Group Photos – The drinks reception is the ideal time to get all of formal photos out of the way. Even though this is the part most people dread, just remember that photos during this time are some of the ones you will appreciate the most.
They’re the photos that are printed the most, the ones that end up on on the fireplace mantle when the wedding is done. These are the photos that will depict special loved ones long after they’re gone. I’ll send a separate email about groups, but for the moment try to keep in mind that you’ll need about 5 minutes for every group combo and 15 minutes for the big group shot. It’s better to allow plenty of time at this point. I will always try to get through these as speedily as possible.
Portraits – Ideally, I like to do two short (20 min) portrait sessions. One, just before your guests go off to find their seats for the meal, and one later in the evening around sun set. I’ll detail these in your timeline.
Receiving Lines – Some venues still encourage traditional receiving lines. If you are having one please do let me know in advance as it will impact your photo timeline.
Speeches, Cake Cutting, and Dances – Speeches are before or after the meal depending on your preference. Most of my couples ditch tradition at this point and get the speeches out of the way so they can relax and enjoy the meal. Cake cutting is directly before the first dance and is usually announced by the DJ.
Sparkler Exits – Traditionally these are at the end of the night, but as you can imagine sparklers and drunk people do not mix. If you want a sparkler shot I’d recommend doing it as soon as it’s dark enough (this might not be possible for summer weddings) and having a few people allocated to help me organise it / stop everyone lighting their sparklers too early/ setting the place on fire.