Timeline KILLAZ - How to Keep Your Wedding Day on Schedule! | South Florida Wedding Photographer
No, its not the name of my new all-girl rap group, but a blog post about the parts of your wedding that come dangerously close to derailing your day.
Your wedding day timeline should start coming together 4-8 weeks before the big day. It’s tempting to squeeze as much as you can on that special Saturday, but here are 8 things you might want to reconsider when it comes to the day’s schedule.
”THE ROBE SHOT”
Scroll through any wedding photographer’s blog and you’re bound to find that shot. All of the bridesmaids surrounding the blushing bride, usually on a bed with champagne in hands. Maybe even confetti. But there’s always robes. Or rompers. Or those cute off-the-shoulder mumus… The Bride probably scoured the internet for weeks looking for the perfect satin robes, maybe even with custom monograms. I get it - they’re pretty! (I have one at home and love it!) But if you only knew what it really takes to get that shot:
Jessica forgot her charger in her room, so she’s out.
Amanda is still getting her hair done.
You called for champagne, but 26 minutes late room service shows up with a handful of shampoos.
Champagne glasses are a no-show, too.
Half the bridesmaids are already dressed in their perfectly steamed gowns.
The makeup artist isn’t quite finished with the Mother-of-the-Bride, who wants a special photo in her robe, too.
Champagne’s here- so now we get to find out who’s not afraid to pop the cork.
Aaaaand the videographer is still with the guys, so…
All of that takes TIME, and it’s never a “quick robe shot”.
(This also goes for the “confetti on the balcony” shot, “balloons behind us while we pose on a couch” shot, and anything involving a groomsman in a wedding dress.)
If you or your groom plan on wearing a bowtie, for the love of science, please know how to tie said bowtie.
Having the store clerk show you how to tie one as she demonstrates on her thigh is not practice. I’ve seen groomsmen struggle with this COUNTLESS times. YouTube tutorials sometimes help, but I’ve also had a groom ask the front desk if anyone knew how… All of this confusion eats up precious getting-ready time, and I’d much rather photograph the guys a-la-Reservoir Dogs than grimacing in a mirror with yucky bathroom light.
Just get the clip on. No one cares. :)
THE WEDDING GOWN
As the bride slips into her dress, there’s always a bridesmaid that points out the safety pins hanging from random places in the train as she rushes to remove them. Those safety pins are usually marking the TEENSY TINESY threads that loop over hidden clasps or buttons for bustling. Or there may be multiple strings hanging on the inside (don’t even ask me how to do those, because I have no idea!) Do yourself (and your bridesmaids) a favor and record your dress-fitter bustling your dress. Make sure your MOH/mom/bestie knows how to bustle it. Chances are, you’ll lose a bustle or two as you tear up the dance floor, so you’ll need the support. Not knowing how to bustle your dress can cause your reception introductions to run late, or 38 “donkey-kicks” during your first dance to get your dress behind you again.
Got buttons? Get you a crochet hook. Trust me on this.
NOT HAVING AN “INVITATION TIME” FOR YOUR CEREMONY
Down here in South Florida we call it “Miami Time”. No one wants guests showing up late - or even worse, delaying the ceremony so that a few more chairs can fill up. If your ceremony is scheduled to begin at 5:00pm, put 4:30pm on the invitation. Planners and coordinators will sometimes stall the ceremony so that latecomers can witness the ceremony, but that of course threatens that sweet, sweet portrait time, and if we’re seriously derailed, the cocktail hour is the first thing to get cut.
It’s not “lying”, it’s just ensuring your day runs smoothly, *wink.
NOT ADDING BUFFER TIME
Seeing your timeline come together 4-6 weeks before your wedding date is SO. EXCITING and such a relief! Finally, all those months of planning are finally starting to feel like a wedding day. But please, trust the professionals providing you with your tentative timeline. You may notice a 30 minute block for “bride gets in dress” but don’t be tempted to try to squeeze in anything else. We’re adding buffer time to multiple parts of the schedule because well, shit happens.
Traffic. Accidents. Broken elevators. Flower girl meltdowns. Missing bridesmaids bouquets. Busted zippers. Lost limo drivers.
I’ve seen it all. And most of the time, that buffer has saved our butts.
I knowwww - it’s not something any bride or groom wants to think about, but this is SOUTH FLORIDA, BABY!
Your wedding planner or venue coordinator truly has your best interest at heart, so when they approach you to talk about a Rain Plan, there’s no need to avoid the conversation!
Contrary to what Alanis Morissette says, rain on your wedding day can go a little something like this:
A. It’s raining all dang day. Your outdoor ceremony is definitely now indoors, no ifs, ands, or buts. But it’s cool!
B. It’s spotty rain, but you’ve been given a time to make a decision (typically an hour or two before the ceremony - because vendors need to know where they’re setting up, or if they’re drying off chairs)
C. The couple decides to wait. And wait. And wait. And now it’s 20 minutes past the ceremony time and it’ll definitely be dark for portraits, and cocktail hour is now 30 minutes - max.
(For the record - I LOVE rain. I love rainy ceremonies. I love surprise rain. All the rain. But this isn’t my wedding day. I’m just saying do what you want, but have a plan.)
Admittedly, I’ve only had to photograph one or two of these in the past seven years, so it seems this trend is dead. A receiving line is an outdated process where your guests would line up after the ceremony and share a hug, kiss, and well-wishes with the couple and they move down the line. All while the church lady is glaring at your photographer and the planner is trying to get the guests moving to cocktail hour, or your immediate family back inside for family formals. A receiving line can take up to AN HOUR to get through.
Short answer: don’t do it. Instead, opt for a first look with your partner so you can enjoy cocktail hour with all of your favorite people.
OPENING UP THE MIC DURING TOASTS
Oh gosh. No. Just don’t. A quick blessing, and some words from parents and/or members of your bridal party? GREAT! But allowing your DJ to hand the mic to just anyone? 10/10 do not recommend.
Let’s just say I photographed a wedding with - I kid you not - 90 minutes of toasts, and everyone was very very… hungry.
Save the open mic for your rehearsal dinner - WE GOT PARTYIN’ TUH DO.
I’d love to hear your thoughts! What unexpected event almost sent your timeline off the rails? Even better, what did you do to ensure everyone stayed on the timeline? I’d love to update this post with more suggestions, so leave them in the comments below!