It's about time!
Everything on wedding day is about the timing. As the guy who gets there early and stays late, I've seen plenty of good and bad things that I could write a book about to keep people on time, but I'm always short on time myself so for now a blog post will do.
At the very start of the day is one of the timing issues I see getting compromised all the time. (no pun intended) Hair and make-up can take a very long time, but it seems no matter when we show up with our cameras, the bride, bridesmaids and moms are in a panic about hair and make-up. Here is where you need to do a little advanced homework. Brides sometime give the hair and make-up folks the time of the wedding as the time to be ready. In many cases as a photographer, we have planned with the family to make some images of the bride alone and with her attendants and parents before the ceremony. So try to coordinate more with what you as a bride would like before determining the hair and make- up start and completion time. leave a buffer, you will most certainly need it.
Buttons, hooks, zippers! These all take way more effort and time than people give them credit for. The actual getting dressed part takes a while. While we are on this important topic, plan on having mom and bridesmaids ready and dressed, before the bride slips into her dress. Now the girls , and mom can truly enjoy these moments instead of being panicked that she is behind schedule.
Boys will be boys. Forget what you have heard about women taking longer to get ready. On more than one occasion, we have walked into a room full of groomsmen sitting around an iphone watching YouTube videos on how to tie a proper bow tie! They are endlessly working on their hair too! All of this of course has to go on while sipping a good bourbon. Consider giving these guys a full disclosure on what is being expected from them. If it is important for you to have photos of the gentlemen completely ready, then plan accordingly.
GPS on a trolley? Everyone has a fairy tale about what type of vehicle will whisk them around town on their big day. But consider this. You have hired a really cool city trolley company to come out to the country to drive your wedding party around. Now most wedding parties are busy having a liquid refreshment during this journey. We have seen many wedding parties arriving very late because the driver did not have a clue where he was, and no GPS to get there. If you are using an old classic car, moped or perhaps James Bond's Aston Martin, make sure the chauffer knows north from south to keep you on time.
Picture this. family photo time can be stressful for many at weddings, but it really doesn't have to be. Well, maybe just the photographer. Family and wedding photos are one of the most important parts of a wedding day to many (according to a recent poll) So why rush it? Make the photos of your family and wedding party fun. After all, you have to be a very special person to make it into this private mini event. You must be in the family! Herein lies a big time saving hint. Make sure your family knows what is going on for photos. Most important, are the family members who are not in the wedding party. You see they often get left out of the mix and are slightly forgotten. Save time, by letting all of the brother-in-laws and great aunts know when and where for photos. No looking in the bathroom, and yelling around the cocktail room wasting time. Better yet, put someone in charge of organizing the family, having them absolutely in the right place and the right time. So when it's time for their close up, they are ready.
Speaking of pictures, is the first look really for you? While I know Pinterest is cool, too many brides plan their entire wedding from cameo moments seen on social media at someone else's wedding. The first look idea has been around for centuries. In fact, grooms used to be allowed to peek under the veil and have a first look to be sure the bride was the correct promised woman. Now that we have evolved a little from those days, just be sure this time saving idea is really for you. Don't get pressured into it just because it is the current cool craze. First looks can save a bunch of time for you if you are having a wedding ceremony and reception at the same venue.
Time to go. After all of that planning, it's over in a flash. Speaking about time, consider having your photographer along until the end of the party. Do you save the time or the money? Sometimes you can only have one and not the other, but I love the photographs taken at the end of a great party, because after all.... it's just a moment in time.
David Campli, Campli photography, Malvern Pa. David has been a studio owner and wedding photographer for quite a long time, which makes him qualified to speak on the subject.