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I had a great conversation with a potential wedding photography client this week. He asked me, "Can you tell me about a problem you've encountered at a wedding and how you overcame it?"
Now as a wedding photographer for over a decade now, I answered quite honestly: I've encountered SO many different scenarios on wedding days that I feel confident I can deliver great images no matter the conditions or obstacles.
HOWEVER, there is one "trick" I've found that can in fact help to eliminate problems before they even start. And that's a well-thought-out wedding day timeline! It's super important on your wedding day to create pockets of "buffer time" prior to the ceremony to ensure that even if things run behind, it's not a big deal!
Here are a few obstacles I've encountered and a few solutions to think about when creating your timeline - of course as your wedding photographer, I help you to do all of this prior to the wedding day!
In nearly every wedding I've photographed where things run behind, this is where it starts! The larger your wedding party, the more likely this will happen. My advice is to tell your hair and makeup team you need your entire bridal party to be ready an hour before you need to be. The worst-case scenario here is you'll have extra time to chill before your first look or ceremony!
Make sure to vet your transportation company and get recommendations as well as checking reviews. It's also important that if you have people splitting up into multiple vehicles to designate a "meet-up" spot if you're getting married at a large venue.
Many of my couples want extended family groupings after the ceremony. It's their wedding day and I'm happy to make sure they get these photos! However, if you want large family photos, it's crucial you let everyone know they need to stay on site after the ceremony. Many people want to bounce to cocktail hour (I don't blame them!) but the result is that family photos take a long time and this means you'll have less time for wedding party and married couple portraits before your grand entrance.
Keep in mind if you have a summer wedding (aka a wedding where the sunset will take place after your grand entrance and I can grab you for a few minutes during sunset) this may not be as big of an issue.
I've photographed many weddings where the first look was an hour or so behind - and my experience has helped me to "make up" time along the way! However, some planning in advance will help you to have a relaxed, stress-free wedding experience, which is my goal for any couple getting married on their wedding day!
For more info on creating timelines, check out my article Wedding Timelines for Every Season! Here's also an article on Pros and Cons to a Wedding Day First Look if you're considering that for your wedding day!