I know being on time isn't everyone's #1 priority. But for me, it comes pretty dang close! I'm the kind of person who arrives 15 minutes early to everything - I'd 100% rather wait on someone else vs. having them wait on me. I think part of it is respect for someone else's time, but it's also just ingrained in me... So no shade to those "never on time" people ;) This is just how I'm hardwired.
With that said, whether you're a '15 minutes early' or '15 minutes late' type of person - being on time for your wedding day needs to be a priority! You've probably got over 100 guests who took their time and money to be there for you. PLUS - you really only have a few hours to get it all in and enjoy every part of the day. So don't waste any of your precious time!
Here are some ways you can be sure you'll stay on track!
1. TIMELINE. TIMELINE. TIMELINE.
I create a custom timeline for ALL of my couples. It's crucial for me to have a timeline of your day. It keeps me on track and helps me keep you on time. If you don't have a coordinator, a lot of things fall on your photographer. Make sure they have a REALISTIC timeline well before the wedding day.
Even better? Have them help you create one! I like to create timelines for my couple because I know what is and what isn't realistic when it comes to photos and how long things will take. We are able to set reasonable expectations. That way the couple knows what to expect from me, and I from them!
2. Buffer Time
Add it into your timeline! I always give my couples 30 minutes before the ceremony starts to just relax. Guests are arriving, things are starting to get underway and you don't want to be caught doing photos while Uncle Bob and Aunt Sue are walking into your ceremony. This also gives me a chance to regroup before the ceremony, photograph the ceremony space and sometimes even get the reception room shots done!
*Another great spot for buffer time is hair and makeup. I love my H+MU gals, but this part of the day tends to run over the intended time. This is the very beginning of your day - you don't want to START your day BEHIND schedule. #stressful
3. Family Formal Photos
I wrote a post about family formal portraits because this tends to be the most stressful part of a wedding day. Read it here!
In terms of staying on time, I recommend having a family list of no more than 10. Sticking with immediate family + grandparents is usually the best way to go. If you have large families and really want photos with everyone we can definitely make that happen. Just know it's going to take MUCH longer so you need to plan accordingly!
4. Minimize all the travel
The more locations you add to your day, the more time is wasted traveling around. Here are the main locations you'll need to know for your day:
1. Bride Getting Ready
2. Groom Getting Ready
My favorite wedding days are almost ALWAYS at one location - for the ENTIRE day! Having a venue that you can get ready, have your ceremony and then party the night away is the way to go! Remember, more time actually shooting = more photos!
5. Your Vendor Team is SO Important
Remember, things are going to happen that are out of your control. Make sure you have a great team of vendors that you TRUST. They are going to pretty much run the show. Having a H+MU team that you know will be on time, a photographer/videographer that you know won't hold you up and a catering team that's ready to rock is SUPER important. Want to take all the pressure off? Hire a coordinator!
That's all, friends! xx