The most common thing I hear from couples when I ask them about their wedding day is that it was a blur. That it went by so fast it's now hard to remember much of what happened. Three things can help with this:
- Hiring a good photographer who can help you put pause on all the special moments from your day.
- Hiring a good videographer for the same reasons.
- Building a good schedule.
Your wedding day is going to be hard to slow down. I think one of the best tools though is scheduling in the things you want to remember. Like time with family, time with your brand new spouse, and quiet moments to soak it all in. If you only make time to get your hair done, get your picture taken, and eat cake then I promise you your day will be harder to remember.
Start with what is important:
If you haven’t already picked a venue then I encourage you to consider what time of day you want to get married first. Consider what is most important to you: Extra sleep in the morning? Extra time to hang out with family and friends before the ceremony and/or at the reception? An early exit so there is time to head straight to the honeymoon site? The venue? Outdoor pictures (If so, do a quick search on Google to find out when the sun sets on the date of your wedding)? Then you can start building your schedule for that special day, making sure to allow time for each of the things that are most important to you. And let go of the common worry about how “everyone else is doing it.”
If you have already picked your venue and you know what time you have to start your ceremony and end your reception then stare there! I like to write things with a pen or pencil. So I always start by grabbing a piece of paper and somewhere about two thirds down I write the ceremony start time, and end time. Then I fill out the timeline all the way to the exit. After that I work backwards from the ceremony start time considering how long pictures will take, if the bride and groom want to have a first look, when it will be a good time to eat (food is so important on the wedding day!), and how much time you want to have to hang out with your friends and family. Once all of this is determined the bride knows when to set her hair appointment, and when everyone should be dressed and ready!
Be Detailed in your schedule:
I love to make plans! Specific plans. But I'm also a huge fan of living in the moment and I'm probably the queen of spontaneously changing plans on the fly, especially if it means I can add more time with people into my schedule by doing so. On a wedding day I think both of these are so important. This then is my advice to every bride: Make a detailed schedule. AND be willing to hold that schedule loosely, knowing that things can/will change, and that it's OKAY if they do. Plan with wisdom, all the while knowing that things can change slightly, and the day will be just as special!
That being said these are some things that are good to include in your schedule:
- Let people know when they should be where.
- Let you bridal party and family know when they need to be dressed and ready for pictures. If you have any pictures with extended family even after the ceremony it’s helpful to let them know when that is taking place so uncle Bob does’t arrive too late or go to the reception too soon. (I like to work quickly and get the posed pictures done as soon as possible so everyone can get back to enjoying each others company and the celebration of your marriage! This will help your photographer make that happen for you.)
- Let your bridal party know when the bridal suit should be cleaned up so that there isn’t clutter in the pictures of you getting in your dress. Plus, when the wedding is over it’s all done and no one has to worry about it!
- Let everyone know when they should eat! It's surprising how easy it is to forget to eat when we get busy.
- Most importantly let them know when the can just relax and hang out! I think it is so important to schedule in time to hang out and celebrate.
An final thing to note:
This may sound weird coming from a photographer but remember that your day isn't about your pictures. Pictures are an important way to be able to pause time and keep your memories sacred. And that’s why I run this business. However, don’t let the pictures (or any other detail) dictate the schedule of your day and find a photographer that will do the same!