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Building your ideal wedding photography timeline | Charlotte wedding photographers


August 28, 2016

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wedding photography timeline

Let’s talk about the Holy Grail of wedding resources today. That’s right, I want to talk wedding photography timelines. Mapping out a timeline for your wedding is the only thing that allows you to create a little sanity in an otherwise pretty crazy (but still really amazing) process.

When brides try to book everything down to the minute, that’s where trouble comes in. So when it comes to constructing a wedding timeline that makes sense and kicks some major butt, here are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind.

Be Realistic
Don’t anticipate 1 hour for hair and makeup when you know you’re probably looking at least 1 hour for each of those things. When you’re looking at all the pieces of your puzzle and how you want them to fit together for your big day, make sure you’re doing a little research (hello, Google!) and planning a realistic time frame for each thing on your timeline.

Consult Your Photographer
If there’s one vendor (besides the planner) who is going to have a fantastic pulse on what it takes to get everything you need in that day, it’s your photographer. Though planning the timeline with your photographer might not seem like an intuitive move, your timeline has the ability to make or break your wedding photography and what can possibly be photographed during your hours of coverage. So, in reality, working with your photographer is one of the smartest moves you can make when constructing your wedding timeline.  In fact, here is a quick little infographic I use to help my couples decide how much photography coverage is ideal for them to cover the events of their day:

wedding timeline planner

Firm, But Flexible
Like any live event, it’s a good idea to give yourself a little extra padding on either end of a designated time chunk for the unexpected. Inevitably, something will happen that results in you and your bridal party veering a little off schedule. While you can’t let everything slide so far off course that you cut seriously into cocktail hour or reception time, it’s a good idea to have everything be a little bit flexible when it comes to your timeline. Make each chunk of time a little longer than it NEEDS to be, and save yourself the moment of panic when cake cutting is running 10 minutes behind schedule. But if any portion of your timeline, within your control, looks like it’s dragging on unnecessarily – do what you can to move everyone along (or, ideally, have your planner do that for you).

Loosen The Grip
Even though the timeline is extremely valuable and you should absolutely have one prepared and delivered to your vendors well before the big day, it’s important to communicate to everyone that though this is what the day should generally look like, no one should treat it like a military boot camp schedule. If you’ve got vendors freaking out over five or ten minutes here or there, it’s going to spike your anxiety. Trust me, I’d love to tell you vendors know better than to bring that silly stuff to the bride on her big day, but I’ve seen some stuff, guys, so I can’t make that promise. That’s why it’s so important to communicate that no one should hold the timeline with an iron fist.

There you have it, now go forth and make a boss-ass timeline! Do you need a little more help?  Feel free to sign up for our newsletter to receive more of these helpful wedding planning tips directly to your inbox!

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I'm Amy and I'm so happy you're here. This is a journal about my life as a photographer, mom, wife and friend. Stay a while and say hello!

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