You are thrown headfirst into wedding planning as soon as you become engaged. While you are excited, you realize that you have never before planned a wedding. There are sooooo many things to think about, and it can quickly become overwhelming! I have some timeline suggestions, and tips, that I would love to share with you. Keep reading to find out more!
Getting ready generally takes around 1 ½- 2 hours, depending on the size of your bridal party. Makeup is what takes a long time to complete, and what ends up eating away at the time. I recommend having more than one makeup artist if you have a large bridal party. Ask your makeup artist how long it takes per person so you can accurately calculate time.
Getting hair done takes less time than makeup, but again, ask your hairdresser how much time to allow per person. I’ve had some bridesmaids who have helped each other do their own makeup and hair. This saves time and is easier on the budget. You just need to decide if you prefer to have professionally done makeup and hair, or if you prefer to sleep a little longer, and have some extra cash for a coffee. 😊
You can allow about an hour for the groom and groomsmen to get dressed. I recommend them getting ready an hour before the ladies finish up. It works best for the guys to be somewhere nearby. This makes it is easier for me, or my second photographer, to quickly run over and grab some shots of them. If it doesn’t work out for them to be together before portrait time, you can allow 15 minutes after portraits are finished to do some pretend shots of the groom putting on his shoes, buttoning his cuff, groomsmen helping put the suitcoat on, etc. This can be done at the church before family photos.
Please make sure you have someone assigned to put on the boutonnieres! It seems like such a trivial thing, but it can cost a lot of time. If you want something easier than pins, try using magnets. This can work nicely. You just need to make sure that your boutonnieres are not too heavy for your magnets. I do not recommend heavy florals for boutonnieres. If they are too heavy, the flowers can tend to bend the stem, or break off completely.
The bride and groom generally take about 45 minutes to photograph. This includes the first look. You will want to make sure that your bouquet comes with you to the first look. It works great to have your maid of honor or personal attendant remember for you. 😊
I allow 30 minutes for bridal party photos. This is plenty of time to get the shots we need.
For family photos, I allow 15 minutes per family. If you have a large extended family that you want photographed, you will need to allow around 20 minutes. Large families take a while to set up. I do not recommend extended family photos at a wedding unless you are really close to your family.
Travel time to and from locations needs to be added on top of all the things I mentioned above.
Most of my brides like to be done with portraits at least 45 minutes ahead of the ceremony. This does add additional coverage onto your day. However, I really like this idea because it gives us a little cushion time to “catch up” if we need it. It gives you a time to relax and prepare for the most important part of the entire day-the Ceremony! This works out great, because it gives me a chance to photograph ushers, gift receivers, servers, etc.
In conclusion, make sure you allow plenty of cushion time! This gives you and everyone else a chance to relax, breathe a little deeper, and enjoy your day to the fullest!