January 17, 2019
You are dreaming of all the special moments on your wedding day; trying to plan the best you know how to make them all happen! While “Pinterest-ing” timelines can help, there are always a few moments of the day that tend to take more time than brides anticipate.
So let’s talk about what those are, why that happens and how you can plan for them so there are no wedding day surprises!
PS – GET A WEDDING PLANNER!! Seriously! There are a lot of brides who try to bypass this expense, but unless you’re eloping, you need a wedding planner. While your venue coordinator can be super helpful, hiring a professional wedding planner (even just for month of) is a must.
When planning my bride’s timelines, I plan 30-45 minutes just for getting in the dress and having the big reveal to their bridesmaids. My brides can attest to this, it takes longer than you think!
Lots of buttons for your sweet mama to button, a bridesmaid has to sew something, mom is helping with last minute details & we can’t find her.
The reason this matters is because these photos are actually some of my bride’s favorites with their girls. This is the time that the most genuine emotions are expressed between you and your bridesmaids; nothing kills a moment like being rushed passed emotions because you’re running behind!
This is such a big deal that I recommend adding extra time just to be sure you can take this part of the day slow. It doesn’t always take a long time, but if you have the time to draw it out, the photos that result from it are awesome!
(PS – another option could be doing a “faux” exit for the photos and allowing your photography coverage to end early, thus starting earlier as well)
I delivered 100+ photos to the client just from this part of the day!
Picture this moment: You just said, “I do”, you kissed and you exited your ceremony – you are husband and wife!! Now your 50-75 family members are waiting patiently for their family photos with you. You walk back into the room after getting married and what happens? Allllll 50-75 members want a special moment to hug and congratulate you! This is so sweet to have so many people who care, but for your timeline this is a major time sucker if you aren’t prepared for it.
This portion of the day is so different for every single wedding because the combination of family members for each couple is soooo different. I’ll be speaking in blanket statements here, but if you don’t fall in these categories, this may not be an issue for you!
This issue behind the issue: One of the biggest issues I see brides struggle with (& women, really) is feeling like they need to please everyone. When it comes to your wedding day, this is impossible.
So I want to clear the air and give you full permission to make decisions that are best for you and your future hubby.
In hindsight, most brides I talk to say they looked at their “big extended family” group photos once and then never again. Usually the photos that are getting printed are Bride & Grandma or Bride & Cousins – more specific, meaningful groups.
THE SOLUTION: Based on my experience, brides would be a lot happier to choose these specific, meaningful groups and simply notify these specific people ahead of time instead of announcing family photos afterwards. This way you aren’t spending extra time taking photos with relatives you’ve met twice in your life over taking sunset Bride & Groom portraits.
So my challenge for you: without anyone else’s input, think through these questions – What family members am I closest to? Which ones do I really want photos with on my wedding day? Which family members will be present, but I don’t necessarily need a photo with?
Okay, I know some of you are already discounting this one, but let me explain before you totally skip this one!
If you’re nervous about messing with tradition or missing out on the groom reaction, I highly recommend reading a recent post I did breaking down this misconceptions about doing a first look. Oftentimes, the very thing brides are wanting by NOT doing a first look, they can only get WITH a first look. Click here if you don’t believe me yet: First Look: The New Tradition Blog Post
But for this post, I’m just going to give you the reasons why your timeline (and therefore, # of photos) majorly suffers from not doing a first look.
This is a super simple breakdown of time & number of photos based on whether or not you do a first look:
Without a first look:
– 60 minutes of prep photos // 75-100 photos
– 45 minutes of separated wedding party photos // 50-75 photos
– 30 minutes of separated family photos // 40-60 photos
– Photos to take during a 60 minute cocktail hour: family photos with Bride & Groom, extended family photos, group wedding party photos, bride & groom photos // 75-100 photos TOTAL from all these sections
With a first look
– 45-60 minutes of prep photos // 75-100 photos
– 45-60 minutes First look & Bride and Groom Photos // 75-100 photos
– 30-45 minutes for ALL wedding party photos (bridesmaid/groomsmen photos taken simultaneously by two photographers) // 75-100 photos
– 30-45 minutes for ALL family photos with Bride & Groom // 40-75 photos
– 20-30 minutes of extended family photos // 15-30 photos
– 20 minutes of sunset photos with Bride & Groom! // 30-50 photos
Basically, you get more photos, more options with less rush. If photos are super important to you on your wedding day, you are getting WAY more out of the money you spent on a photographer by doing a first look. The Bride & Groom portraits are PRIORITY whereas, without a first look they have to be rushed through.