I’ve been to a lot of weddings. A LOT! One thing I always love is how every wedding I’ve been to is magically different. A wedding is a unique and personal reflection of you and your fiancé/fiancée’s personality. It also speaks about the things you enjoy together. So it’s no surprise that when you combine all these things to create something personal, unique and special that you end up with all the variables and moving parts that can make your day hard to plan. I love imparting a bit of wedding advice so here are my seven things to consider when planning your wedding day schedule.
I. Calculate how long it will take to get ready
Hint: It’s going to take way longer than usual ladies (and gents)! Discuss with your bridesmaids and groomsmen the timeline for hair, makeup, and getting dressed. This will give you an accurate impression of how long this will take not just you but your wedding party as well. Is everyone going to be fighting over the mirror? Is anyone sharing makeup?
II. Estimate Travel Times
If your entire wedding is in one venue then you can skip this one. Are you getting married at one venue (perhaps a church) and moving to a different reception venue for your reception? Be sure to take into account how long it’s going to take you to travel between the two. It’s a great idea to also factor in some ‘buffer’ time for traffic and parking. This is especially key if you’re splitting your couples photographs or formal photographs over the two venues.
III. Budget enough time for those all-important portraits
In the age of the selfie stick, posing and pouting, it can sometimes be difficult to comprehend how much time the couple’s portraits take! Your beautiful portraits will be works of art, so make sure you allow plenty of time. Personally, I like to have a long half an hour to forty-five-minute walk with my couples to capture some natural and posed shots of them. These shots of the couple simply enjoying a moment alone (mostly) on their special day.
IV. Think about the weather
I know, how boring! But this is Britain after all and if there’s one thing this country is infamous for, it’s unpredictable British weather. Aside from Tea, English Breakfast and unrivalled politeness that is! Sadly it’s not something you control and no amount of planning is going to guarantee you glorious sunshine or guarantee you a dry day but some advance planning will help you prepare for almost any weather scenario and adjust your day appropriately.
V. Include time to socialise
You probably think I’m a moron for saying this. However, it’s surprising how time to socialise with the people who care about you most gets lost when you’re caught up in the whirlwind of cake cutting, speech-making and first dances. Your loved ones will be coming together to support you and celebrate with you on your wedding day. Chances are, you will want to spend some quality time with them. On a busy day like your wedding day, that can be a little trickier than it sounds. Think about what parts of your day allow you to socialise and enjoy the company of your guests. The time you spend getting ready before the wedding can be a great chance to connect with your bridesmaids and/or groomsmen. You’ll be all court up in the anticipation of what your day will be. Look at the schedule for your reception to see if it allows you time to talk and dance between cake cutting, speeches and tossing the bouquet.
VI. Include some wiggle room
Wedding days are so unpredictable. You often have to go with the flow, so try and build in a bit of ‘fluffing’ for every item on your schedule. That way, if one key moment of your wedding day runs a little late, it won’t have a domino effect on the rest of your schedule. You’ll be amazed at what a difference that extra time can make to your state of mind; I think you will feel so much calmer if anything does crop up!
VII. Grant yourselves some privacy
It’s the last and probably most important of my seven things to consider when planning your wedding day schedule. This one’s really important! Now you’ve accounted for all that socialising with your loved ones. You’ve planned time for your all-important couples portraits. You will have even taken into account time for traffic. But what about the most important two people on the day? What about you? Ultimately your wedding is about you and your fiancé/fiancée vowing to spend your lives together. Although that gives you a long time to excitedly reminisce after your wedding, what about your time together on the day itself?! Try to set aside some time with just the two of you!
These seven things to consider when planning your wedding day schedule will help you endlessly. If you need more advice, chat with your wedding photographer. It’s worth finding out their seven things to consider when planning your wedding day schedule – maybe they have more than seven!