I have been a wedding photographer full time for four years now and I have put together a list of the notes I have made throughout the year on ways to help your wedding timeline. The goal is to live in the moment & celebrate! You don’t want to feel rushed, forget anything and make the most of your timeline from a photographers perspective. Let me guide you through it! These tips will help you be prepared and cultivate a list of things you need to do the month of your wedding and thoughts on your final wedding timeline & shot list.
The count down is real! The month of your wedding is the final piece before your wedding day.
Contact all your vendors one last time: I know as a photographer I liked to have my final meeting two weeks to a month out from the wedding date. This is our final connection to go over all the details, final questions and of course more vibe time before the big day! Also, I like to have all the timelines and information of the vendors before the wedding day so I can contact & connect with them to have your day run effortlessly smooth! Be sure to contact all your vendors and make sure you have all the necessary information from them and for them. If you have a wedding planner you can delegate this task to them but it should already be on their to do list to be sharing the seating charts, contacting the vendors and making sure their timeline adds up and makes sense to everyone else’s.
Decor: Labeled and organized for your wedding planner and anyone setting it up for you the day of. Having everything labeled, picture dictionary and ready to go takes a huge weight off your shoulders. It helps to have pictures of how you want everything to set up so you can hand over your decor with confidence that the appointed people will bring your vision to life.
Marriage License: Get your marriage license if you haven’t already! It is different in each state but generally is good for 60 days. I recommend getting this the week of your wedding and checking that off your list of things to do!
Send out a friendly reminder to your bridal party & family members who will be part of the wedding and in your formal photos of what is expected on your wedding day. Clear written communication makes the world go round that everyone can go back and refer to if they need to.
Create a list of things you need for your wedding day & honeymoon and check it twice! I live off of lists and the satisfaction of crossing off the items and knowing that you have it all together.
PACK! Just do it Don’t procrastinate this! With the list that you created at the beginning of the month start putting it all together. The sooner you have it all together, the sooner you get to relax and enjoy the moments leading up to your wedding and the day of!
Pack for the wedding & your honeymoon!
As your photographer I create a timeline and a shot list that I put together from our Discovery call, questionnaires and all the notes I have on your wedding day that I share with you so we can be on the same page. This is always helpful to have to instantly share with other wedding vendors to coordinate to make your day go round. Here are some ways I always offer to my couples ways to save time in your wedding timeline. It is my ultimate goal for you to live in the moment and have feel the effortlessly flow of your special day.
Buffer time: Always add in buffer time to your timeline and wedding coverage. Shit happens. That is life. It is best to just prepare for it so you don’t notice if you fall behind in certain areas of your wedding day. Most of the time that is lost is in the getting ready process in my experience.
30 minute rule: Always tell everyone to be ready 30 minutes before the actual time they need to be ready. We all have that one friend that you have to do this to just in general. For your wedding day just tell everyone so if they are running behind it is no big deal and it won’t affect anything. Especially, tell your hair and makeup artist. Go with the vibe that early is on time and you will thank yourself later when you got to live in the moment and not feel rushed at all!
Formal Photos before the ceremony: This doesn’t always fit for everyones wedding day but for the couples that do allow for formal photos before hand are never disappointed and it saves so much time after the ceremony to finish up any missed photos, newly weds and gives you a chance to have some alone time with your lover and join into your cocktail hour!
First Look/First Touch Photo Op: Weather you want to see each other before hand or not, the first look/touch gives a perfect moment for you to get more photos together on your day celebrating you. If you don’t want to see each other before the wedding there are a few options you have to be set up in a spot that you can’t see each other but touch and it makes for such an emotional shot. I have seen couples bring a gift, share their private vows or just have a few moments holding each others hand. If you decide to see each other before the ceremony after the candid moment is captured I like to take at least 5-10 minutes taking some quick photos. There has been countless times that the wedding timeline ran behind one way or another or they didn’t want any more photos and this was the only moment we really got to take the romantic new wed photos.
Reception: A really good way to knock off your reception to do list & photo ops is to stack it all together as much as possible. With your grand entrance you can go straight into your first dance afterwards before you get seated for dinner. After dinner and speeches it is a good idea to do any of the traditions that you are adding in right after as you have your guests attention for cake cutting, bouquet toss or anything of that sort before partying the night away! You will have nothing more on your plate other than enjoying the celebration.
That is all I have for now! I will add more as I think of them and keep digging through my notes. I would love to hear from you if you have a questions, suggestions and anything at all! Thanks for being here!
As an empathetic soul, I not only feel my own emotions but also pick up on those of others in the room, and I artistically portray them from the start, all the way to your final gallery, in a documentary fashion. I help all my clients feel confident and comfortable in front of the camera with action-based and emotion-provoking prompts, so you can feel and relive the moments from the day in your head.
hey, i'm marissa