Your wedding day can feel somewhat hectic; there are a lot of things happening, some of them in a relatively short period of time, and the expectations are always staying high.
More from a 'general day-run’ point-of-view, but also from the wedding photography-related point-of-view, the ideas and pointers in our Top Tips for a Better WeddingDay series, would help you - brides, grooms and other wedding planners - to enjoy a better, smoother, wedding day.
Top Tip #4: Reverse engineer, and then some – Time planning
As said before, your wedding day is normally a busy day. From appointments at bridal saloons in the morning, all the way to the final exit from your event venue at the end of the happy night, there is plenty to do (tip about basic wedding-day planning here), and sometimes also plenty to drive around. The day and the event both, built out of different 'parts', and the clock is always ticking. Therefore it’s always better to plan the time needed per each ‘part’ throughout the day, and then add some ‘error-margin’ time to it . That way if for some reason you or anyone else in your wedding party are somewhat LATE – for example due to traffic/weather/forgetting something behind/all the above - it’s not going to affect the rest of your plan too much.
Time planning for driving:
Plan your drives, and ask anyone relevant in your wedding party to plan theirs too, in the following method: per each specific time-stamp (for example: ‘XX:YY - bride + bridesmaids arrive to venue’) calculate your driving START TIME, as if you’re going to hit HEAVY traffic, AND a flat tire on the way. To the driving start-time that you get, add about 30 mins extra. By doing so, you will have higher chances of having enough time to deal with whatever comes in your way (pun intended).
Time planning at the venue:
Here too, on purpose, plan your schedule to include some ‘dead-time’ between the different parts of your event. Things would shift around in your lineup, and THAT’S OK, but those shifts would be easier to deal with, if you are prepared for their occurrences.
Here is a general example:If the ceremony starts at 4pm and supposed to take no more than 20 mins, do not set the next part in the event at least until 4:30.
Also - check with your wedding-photographer what’s their plan regarding post-ceremony photos (if at all), and add some ‘reserve’ time to that plan. Only then mark the next parts (newlyweds entrance/etc) in your schedule. I myself, for example, as a wedding photographer, would prefer to see something like that:
4:00pm – ceremony
4:30pm - post-ceremony photos time
5:30pm - entrance of newlyweds and wedding-party
5:45pm - blessing on the food
5:50pm – buffet opens to guests
As you can see – even though the ceremony should be only 20 mins, and even though the post-ceremony photos from the moment of starting shooting (!) takes normally no more than 1 hr, and entrance doesn’t take more than 10 mins top - we still end up with 10+5 = 15 mins extra, just in case.
Be smart and have some ‘cushioning’ within your event’s line-up/schedule. You’d be happy for planning it that way.
Things WOULD take time. Delays are most likely to happpen. Build a line-up of the different parts in your wedding day, in a way that would prevent delays from ruining the plan. | Photo by Ori Kuper www.HOUvideographers.com
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