Creating your wedding day schedule doesn't have to be difficult

In fact...

It shouldn't be! Yes, there are certain things you may want to fit in, such as family photos or a cake cutting, but part of the fun of a wedding is putting all of these puzzle pieces together in a way that best suits the couple getting married. That's where I come in! One of my favorite things to do as a wedding photographer is help brides design their wedding day to make it effortless & personal to them.

Here are a few things to consider when planning your wedding day!

1. Customize your Morning!

Just like any other big event, preparation matters. Yes, you have to do hair & makeup, but if possible, customize your morning with small things that bring you peace. If you have a morning routine, MAKE SURE YOU DO IT on your wedding day! I've seen brides go for a run the morning of their wedding or have brunch with their family or bridesmaids. Instead of rushing yourself with early appointments, design your morning in a way that makes you slow down & start the day off right.

2. Check with the Church

If you want photos at the Church, then I would recommend taking the latest ceremony slot so that you are not backed up against another wedding. That way you will also have more time to take it slow in the morning! Talk to the coordinator for the Church & make sure you have time to take photos inside the Church afterward, & touch base with your photographer on the Church's lighting to see if group photos are better inside or outside.

Photographers - use the lector's microphone to announce the groups that you need for group photos to make them go more quickly! Get the names of the family groups from the bride beforehand so you can call them by name.

3. Couples Photos/R&R

Give yourself longer than you think you need between the wedding and reception. It will take people a while to clear out from the Church for family photos & family photos take a while! You also need to do bridal party pictures (which you can do in the morning if you have time!) & couples photos. Couples photos are my favorite time because the newlyweds get to be together & rest away from everyone. This can be a really relaxing, fun time. Give yourself 2 hours or so so that you won't have to rush! The guests can entertain themselves -- you can even put some local recommendations on your wedding website for them to check out before cocktail hour! -- & you deserve the breather!

4. Tradition in the Front, Party in the Back

Put your reception events early. Do the first dance RIGHT when you get to the reception, the toasts during the dinner, & cake cutting immediately following. Having an MC or announcer can drastically help with keeping the reception on track & flowing smoothly. Ideally, you can get through all the traditions of the reception at the beginning, so you can cut loose and party it up for the remainder of the night!

You are a human. Plan accordingly.

Remember, you will get tired. You will need breaks. Don't schedule every second of the day! If you give yourself a big window between wedding & reception, and the bridal party decides to stop the party bus at McDonald's for fries, you want to be able to enjoy those spontaneous moments! Give yourself room wherever you can.

Energy Flow of the Wedding Day

Morning - Low energy. Make sure you eat, drink, & get in some peaceful moments.

Ceremony - Climax of the day! You'll probably be nervous, and that's totally okay. Right after... lots of people will be around & group photos will require a lot of your focus; just roll with it & stick together! You're married!

Couples Photos - Low energy. Time to rest & enjoy your significant other! Be clear with your photographer about where you want these & how far away they are so you budget time accordingly and are not rushed.

Bridal Party Photos - High energy but fun! You're just goofing off with your best friends, what could be better? Riding in a party bus all together definitely improves the candid/crazy nature of these photos!

Front end of reception - High energy! First dances, emotions, toasts, tears & laughs... make sure you eat dinner and recharge! Put your table right in front/center if you want to talk to a lot of people & off to the side if you want more quiet dining.

Back end of reception - High energy! Party it UPPP! If you want to have a more chill moment, ask your photographer if you can step out to do flash/night photos, twilight photos, or sunset photos! Give them a set time to come and grab you if you're busy talking to people.

When in doubt, ask!

When you hire a wedding photographer, it shouldn't just be a day-of job. Shoot me a call & let's figure out how to design your wedding day to you!