Wedding Day Schedule....are you making the most of your time?

The wedding day schedule is a tricky thing. Getting those timings right and making sure you have enough time in the day for everything and everyone is a real head-scratcher sometimes, for many reasons.

“Easy” you say! “Don’t all weddings follow the same path”? Errr…nope!

So many factors are involved in how your wedding day schedule will run. Here’s just a few….

  • If you’re getting married in a church, it will be down to the allotted slot you will have on the day of your wedding which will dictate your timings. If you’re getting married at 11 am, then you have less time in the morning to chill and relax while getting ready, but will make the afternoon and evening really easy and open. If you get married at 3.30pm in the middle of winter, then you won’t get a lot of daylight at all and way too much time in the morning……all of which could be problematic for so many reasons, one of them being photography and the kinds if images you will get

  • If you’re getting married at a venue, then they might only do single time slots for your ceremony at certain times of the year, so that will dictate how the rest goes.

  • What kind of wedding are you having? Is it a straightforward ceremony and reception style wedding, or is it more of an alternative and free flowing kind of wedding where things are much more loose?

The list really does make things confusing.

Some of the wedding photos can be lit to give an image that something extra, usually in the couple’s showstopper images for instance

Some of the wedding photos can be lit to give an image that something extra, usually in the couple’s showstopper images for instance

So, what advice do I have for you? Well, not much really in terms of how you want your wedding day schedule to go as such…..this will all be down to the things above and what you want from your day. What I WILL advise is be aware of the things you hadn’t considered… of them which is a big part of this and that is photography. We photographers need light. Yes, there are some situations where we can light things up ourselves (see the image above for instance, taken at the gorgeous Bassmead Manor Barns, or dance floor images inside, taken at the incredible Devonshire Terrace, in London see below), but only if we have to. We are a sensitive bunch and we like as much natural light as possible and if you are getting married at 4pm on December 21st, then bear in mind that its unlikely you will get many images that are taken in daylight!

An occasion when we definitely need lighting for wedding photos is on the dance floor! But we can’t do all parts of the day looking like this!

An occasion when we definitely need lighting for wedding photos is on the dance floor! But we can’t do all parts of the day looking like this!

Keep things open for some of the things that are important to you and if it doesn’t work for you, maybe consider anything from rearranging your day to maybe even changing the date (which one couple I photographed did as they wanted daylight photos!). I am aware that this might not be possible and you have to try and do the best in the constraints you have, but the wedding day schedule tends to run in a set order most of the time, so you can factor the things in, even if time is tight, to work around the important things for you.

Your usual wedding day schedule will be likely to be along these lines:

  • bridal/groom prep first thing

  • travel to the venue

  • ceremony

  • milling around and canapes, drinks etc

  • photos (if light available) for groups, couple shots, general larks and japes

  • wedding breakfast

  • speeches (although sometimes these can be before the feast)

  • if still light, more couple shots, preferably near golden hour (one hour before sunset), but not essential

  • evening entertainment

  • break for more food and jollity

  • people getting drunk and dancing

  • carriages

  • sleep

  • hangover

I have rarely shot a wedding where this isn’t usually the case for the wedding day schedule. Times will change, but this is how it goes 99% of the time.

But be aware when organising this in this format that when the ceremony happens, when the wedding breakfast happens etc will have an effect on how much time you will get to take those precious photos that you paid good money for a good photographer to take of you and your guests. We will do our best, as always, given a situation and we are prepared for almost anything. But it does make life a heck of a lot easier and a lot less intrusive on your day for all of us if you can make it so there is relatively large breaks between all the important bits of the day.

So, spare a thought for all those suppliers who have to work to constraints and if you can, try and accommodate them. They are really there to try and do the best they can….for you. If you can help them just a tiny bit, it would be massively appreciated.

Speaking of which, I have a few dates left for 2019 if you still haven’t booked your photographer and now taking bookings for 2020 and 2021, so if you need a photographer, like my stuff, can put up with someone who is sometimes far too enthusiastic and loves what he does too much, then get in touch and let’s have a chat! I have loads more nuggets of advice like this in the locker….

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