August 29, 2018
We’ve seen some really amazing wedding timelines! Some even right down to minute by minute. But what do you do when your wedding timeline is running late? It’s something we don’t want to think about, but knowing ahead of time what to do, is going to make you less stressed if it happens!
First off, we highly recommend working with your wedding photographer to plan your wedding timeline. I could name a number of reasons why this is important, but mostly it’s because they’ve done this before. Every wedding photographer is different and a wedding day schedule tailored to how they photograph will have the best outcome. When we sit down with our couples, we try to explain the wedding day schedule as much as possible. We especially emphasize that regardless of how much you plan, there will be always be parts of the day that get behind schedule.
If you read that and had a minor panic attack, breathe! It’s going to be okay! From our experience, there are a few specific times in the wedding day that inevitably will run longer than you initially planned. Whenever we arrive, it’s not unusual for hair & makeup to be in full swing & hopefully finishing up. However, we have noticed that often the bride’s mom is one of the last to get hair & makeup. Waiting for her to get glammed & all the bridesmaids getting touchups can add on an additional half an hour. Shocking, but a harsh reality.
What we suggest is being strategic in your lineup. Ideally, your sisters, Maid of Honor, and mom will be ready by the time the bride is finishing up her makeup. That allows them all to be present and available whenever the bride is getting into her dress. Followed immediately by mother/daughter portraits and sister portraits. Hopefully, by this time your bridesmaids are ready and you can front load bridesmaid portraits.
The next part of a wedding day that takes up a ton of time is the row by row dismissal/receiving line. I am certainly not going to suggest that you forego this at all. I love a gracious couple who loves their people! However, if not managed properly, you’ll find yourself way past family portraits, and right into your portrait time.
Nobody wants to miss out on important photographs, and usually the bride & groom are getting the short end of the stick. A great way to make sure this doesn’t happen, is to set the tone from the get go. When you greet your guests, give them a quick hug and tell them thanks for coming, but reserve further conversation for your reception. Keep your guests moving!
The following wedding timeline mishap is one of the oddest we face: The limo ride to portraits and to the venue. Don’t ask me why, but inevitably limos take the worst route possible that takes an excruciating amount of time. If someone is a limo driver, I’m so sorry, and maybe you can enlighten us! At the wedding we referenced at the beginning of this post, Austin drove ahead and was there a full 20 minutes before we arrived in the limo. Maybe going over your preferred routes with your limo driver would work better.
Finally, the last time loss of the day lands right when you arrive at your venue. You’re pumped, right? Ready to party! But we’ve noticed that there is often a large gap between a couple’s arrival and their announcement. Obviously, the DJ is going to chat with you and make sure he can pronounce all of your best pals names properly. But a lot of times it isn’t even the DJ that’s the issue. It’s a missing bridal party member. We’ve seen bridal party announcements as late as 40 minutes even when we arrived right on time.
Whether it’s your parents or a groomsmen enjoying cocktail hour, be sure that everyone is aware and responsible to show up at the right time. Overall, the best advice we can offer you is to budget extra buffers all throughout the day.
Honestly though, the best thing to do when your wedding is running behind, is to put it in perspective like Austin did at the wedding that was running behind. “Well, I checked the schedule, and it doesn’t look like anyone died.” It made me laugh, because it’s so true! At the end of the day, nobody will remember or care if you were late for dinner. If you find yourself behind and in the middle of your portraits, take the time to get the photographs you want. You won’t regret having those images. Your guests can enjoy an extra drink while they wait. Don’t be so married to your schedule that you stress yourself out. Enjoy the moments with your family and sweetheart. That’s what it’s really all about!
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