Every bride wants a smooth wedding day. Some are planners and some are not, but either way, no one can control the entire day. Sometimes things happen, and usually it’s laughable! But, I’ve learned that working with my brides on their timeline helps tremendously! I’ve definitely seen it all, so here are some tips that I always give my clients to help with a smooth day.
1. Allow more time to get ready than expected. I have learned that if the day runs behind it usually begins with the hair and make-up. It normally takes longer than everyone expects, especially if all the bridesmaids are having their hair done as well. Allow extra time, relax, and have fun getting ready with your girls!
2. Do hair & make-up at the getting ready location. Have your hair and make-up artists come to you. This eliminates driving time from the salon and allows you to relax at the getting ready site with all your girls. Everyone can eat, sip on mimosas, and chat! Once your done with hair and make-up, you can take a break or begin getting into your dress.
3. Don’t go last. When working on your timeline, we will set a specific time to start getting you dressed. Use that time to decide when you should get hair and make-up done. You don’t have to go first, but definitely don’t go last. Your girls can continue to get ready while we move into other things, such as getting your dressed, the first look, bride and groom portraits, and the guys photos.
4. Have everything ready. I allow plenty of time to shoot all of your detail photos before you get dressed at the getting ready site. Have your dress on the hanger with the tags cut off, shoes in their box, jewelry gathered (with tags off), garter(s) out, veil ready, wedding stationary available, rings in their boxes, etc. When I arrive, I can grab all of that and begin the details shots. Having everything ready saves me time and helps us move into the getting ready photos smoothly.
5. Do a First Look. You probably hear it all the time…but First Looks have so many benefits. You can read all my reasonings here. A first look really does help your day run smoother because it allows for some alone time for the two of you (very important!) and it also means we get to do all the photos before the ceremony. We’re not rushed for anything after the reception, no one is waiting on us, and we can smoothly move right on to the reception.
6. Tell family members to arrive early. Family portraits can move pretty quickly as long as everyone is there on time, but everyone has that crazy uncle that is late to everything! You know your family best, so just be sure to tell them to arrive anywhere from 10-20 minutes before we actually begin the family formals.
7. No Receiving Line. I know that sounds harsh, but receiving lines take up a TON of time! I normally recommend skipping the line and taking some time at the reception to stroll from table to table visiting your guests.
8. Plan rides for everyone. If we will be traveling at any point in the day…from ceremony to reception, or off site for photos, make sure you have a transportation plan ahead of time. Designate a few people to drive and make sure there is room for everyone in the vehicles. That saves time and no one gets left behind! (trust me, it’s happened!)
9. Make a Plan A, Plan B, and maybe even a Plan C. Like the saying goes, anything can happen! Make sure to make a back up plan, especially for weather. As a natural light photographer, I will always choose to shoot outdoors over inside, however sometimes the weather just won’t allow it. If you want to go off site to an outdoor location, have a back up plan in case of rain or wind. Along with that, BE FLEXIBLE! We can’t control the weather, but it doesn’t mean we still won’t get great photos! Some of my favorite bride and groom portraits from last year we’re from Plan B’s.
10. Have your honeymoon bag packed. I know you have a ton going on the week of the wedding, but if you’re leaving for your honeymoon from the reception, have your bags packed and in the right vehicle. Save some stress off of you or your mom or MOH, and pack it ahead of time. Your guests don’t want to line up to see you off and then have to wait on you to pack!
I hope these help! If you’re a MLP bride, we will definitely work on your timeline together! I want to help your day goes as smooth as possible for you and your groom!