No one wants to spend their wedding day feeling rushed! With some planning and organisation, it will be so beneficial. Weddings are fast paced. Ask any photographer and any couple who have been married and they'll tell you the day absolutely flew by! And it does. Why? Because they are BUSY! There's a lot on the agenda. You could say some are downright chaotic which unfortunately can cause unnecessary stress on a couple. The chaotic ones I find are where the couple has left it too late to be ready, didn't have a backup ceremony plan for wet weather or are expecting too much to be crammed into an unrealistic timeframe. I've seen timelines set out at 3 minute intervals, crazy! I never want my couples to feel their day is regimented, but if the ceremony is an hour late, then that just ate into your location portrait time. This is not only about getting great photos but so you can thoroughly enjoy this day. Most couples plan their wedding over 2 years in advance. There's a lot of pressure for one day to be the best it can.
By understanding how long things take, your day will be so much more pleasant and memorable. With over ten years of shooting weddings, I have found that the most enjoyable weddings for me and more importantly the couple are the ones where they have prioritised their photography by being ready on time, they followed a realistic time schedule, co-ordinated all vendors and allowed enough time between ceremony and reception to get beautiful photos.
When hiring a photographer, you want to know they are going to take the best images they can, photos of all the details you've worked so hard to put together, whether it be your dress, jewellery, shoes, flowers, you've hired a decorator to put together something amazing, photos of your guests, and lots of candid moments. I have a pretty thorough list of shots I know my couples will expect memorised. I've been shooting for a long time so it's second nature however it all comes down to not only how efficient I am as a photographer, but it also comes down to you and what you can do to help make sure these shots come to life.
Usual time I spend here is approximately 45 minutes.
TIP: I have seen a few people not know they are having buttonholes until they turn up on the day. They often stare at me blankly because they have no idea how to put them on. I do not mind helping here because I'm the only one available, however this takes me away from shooting. When purchasing buttonholes, have your florist show you how to put them on because some are quite a challenge. Same with cufflinks - if you've never worn them, have a practise before the day.
Bridesmaid Dresses: If the bridesmaids are wearing the dresses that can be worn multiple ways, make sure they know the style they are wearing before the day.
I like to minimise anything going wrong on my end on a wedding day, so my system is to be at the ceremony location half an hour before it's due to start. Often ceremonies can be at locations where parking is lacking so I need to not only find a spot but to unload all my gear. With some packages which didn't include the other partner at their getting ready location, this is where I'll do these photos, before the ceremony.
As I leave earlier than the girls and now that everyone is ready, they can gather themselves, use the bathroom, maybe have a drink, a quick touch up and they're not feeling rushed before they leave for the ceremony.
Make sure you let your bridal party know what is expected from them. If you have certain jobs you would like your bridesmaids to do, let them know. Don't assume they know. Many have never been a bridesmaid before and this is all new to them.
I've seen many brides get frustrated with their bridal party but it's up to you to convey your expectations beforehand. You don't need to bark orders, but a simple 'would you mind fluffing my dress' or 'helping me with my shoes'. I generally encourage giving me the contact details of one of your bridesmaids on the off chance I need to call.
I'm generally with a bride for 1.5 - 2 hours