Planning your wedding day
So how we can we make sure your wedding day runs smoothly and avoid the little disasters? Your wedding day can essentially be broken down into 4 segments of the day.
1. The getting ready Hair Make up and dressed.
2. The ceremony.
3. Wedding Photography Portraits.
4. The reception.
1. The getting ready Hair and Make up and getting dressed.
This is probably the most exciting and nerve wracking part of your day. The new day will dawn on you and you will come to a realisation that you will soon be married happily every after. So how long do we need for Hair and Make up and getting dressed?
The rule of thumb is as follows. For 1 Make up Artist and 1 Hair Stylist assume
1. Bridesmaids take 1hr to get ready (Hair and make up and getting dressed)
2. Bride will take 1.5-2hrs to get ready (Hair and Make up and getting dressed. Your wedding photographer will probably want to photograph the final getting dressed moments and do some portraits which may take time)
So if you have 3 brides maid allow 3 hours for the brides maid to get hair and make up done and 2 hours for yourself to get read.
After all your hair and make up and you are dressed your photographer would like possibly 1/2 hour to do some quick portraits and any family photos you may want.
Typically the boys preparation is very quick and done around the same time as the bridal party preparation. Allow 1hr for the boys to get ready as well as photography
Total Time = 4-5 hours (for an average sized bridal party of 1 bride + 3 bridesmaid)
2. The Ceremony
This part is tricky. We want to be fashionably late without annoying your wedding guest/wedding celebrant and give your poor groom a case of the cold feet. The timing of the Ceremony will include travel to the ceremony. There are some things you need to consider.
1. Do you wish to stop by and do some photography? (IF yes allow 30 minutes for photography)
2. Are you far away from the ceremony venue? (if yes allow 40-60minutes for travel)
3. Will you be going via road which is notorious for traffic jams and gridlock? (if yes allow another 10-15 minute on top of the travel time)
Travel to the venue typically takes 30-60 minutes in our experience. So We will assume 60 minutes for travel
Once you are at the wedding venue there is the whole business of marrying your beau!! This is the most fun part and hopefully the most memorable part of your day. Our experience suggests
1. Ceremony itself – 20-40 minutes maximum
2. Your wedding guest will want to congratulate you and mingle – 10- minutes
3. Your photographer will want to grab a quick group photo – 10 minutes
All up this part of your day will take up 50-60 minutes
Total Time = 2 hours (travel + actual ceremony)
3. Wedding Photography Portraits
After we finish the important business of marrying you, its time to dash off and do some photography portraits. Some couples will prefer to have portraits done at the venue they had their ceremony in. Others may have other venues/locations in mind for their photoshoot. We have the following tips.
1. If your photography location is not at the same ceremony location allow travel time to location for photography shoot. (assume 30 minutes)
2. If you would like a variety of backdrops, different locations and require to travel to multiple locations allow some time for travel to each location
3. If you are shooting in a location where parking is very difficult, eg Sydney CBD or popular beaches, we recommend you arranging a large limousine to fit the bridal party and photography crew in. Why ? This saves your poor photographer from having to do laps of the city trying to find a parking space and then lugging their heavy gear to your location to shoot the photos. This is a terrible waste of time. It is very efficient to all hop in a car, go to location a, do your photoshoot, hop back into the car and go to location b, do your photoshoot and move on. <– this tip is very important and something you should consider.
4. The more time you give your photographer to do the bridal portraits the more nicer shots you will have to chose from.
The less time you give your photographer the less time they can work their magic!!
Ideal Total Time = 2-3 hours (travel + actual photography. Some schedules dont typically allow this)
4. The reception
The reception is the fun finale for the day. Its where you can really let your hair down as Bride and Groom and really party and enjoy the day. Receptions can be long or short depending on the venue and the evenings social activities. The key things to consider in your evenings are
1. Serving of cocktails/refreshers for your wedding guests – 30 minutes
2. Bridal Party Entrance – 5-10 minutes
3. Entrees Served – 30 minutes
4. Speeches – 20-40 minutes
5. Main meals – 40 minutes
6. Cutting of the cake & Bridal Waltz – 30 minutes
7. Desserts Served – 30 minutes
8. Dance the night away – as long as you like it to be!
Our key tips to planning your wedding day
1. If you have a big bridal party or mums/sisters that need hair and make up done it is a good idea to either allow more time or get additional hair and make up artist
2. If you are having an outdoor wedding try and avoid having your ceremony at mid afternoon 12-1pm. It will be very hot and uncomfortable for yourselves your wedding guest and its the worse time of the day for photography with the sun creating terrible shadows on your faces
3. Try not to schedule your ceremony to late in the afternoon to close to the reception as that will leave you with insufficient time to do bridal portraits
4. Try and keep your bridal party together when doing photos. The last thing you want is your bridal party to go missing and losing valuable photography time.
5. When ever traveling on roads that are renown for traffic jams allow more travel time. ALWAYS assume the worse case will happen
6. Make sure your limo driver KNOWS your itinerary and all the addresses for the day. We have seen many limo drivers arrive late because they went to the wrong locations etc
7. Send your schedule out to all the parties involved on your wedding day (hair and make up artist, photographers, videographers, drivers, bridal party, mums and dads)
8. And most importantly DONT panic!!! Enjoy your big day!!!
If you like an example of a wedding schedule template to use download our one we have prepared. Just replace the details with your appropriate schedule and color in the blocks thats appropriate for your wedding day.