We know you’ve got your hands full. Let’s be real, sometimes planning a wedding can feel like another job all by itself. So we’ve racked our brains of all the feedback and notes we’ve taken while photographing weddings and mushed it all into this awesome blog post: Tips for a Smooth, Stress-Free Wedding Day.
While every day and timeline is different, most follow the same general guideline. No matter the type of wedding you’re planning, there are a few things we’d like to share to guide you as you begin!
- Communicate ahead of time. Weddings involve a lot of different personalities. It’s best to communicate thoroughly locations, times, attire to everyone involved. Get a group message started for your wedding party long before the day. Send out a mass text or email to all family members informing them of details. Make sure the wedding party and families have the wedding day timeline ahead of time. You get it, just communicate, set expectations, and keep everyone in the know. If people know where to be and what to do, the less likely there will be in hiccups.
- Delegate & pre-plan. Once your wedding day hits, you want to be able to fully enjoy the day. So delegate all the little last-minute details to people who want to help you – whether that be mom, a planner, or another friend. If you wait to figure out last minute details the morning of your wedding, you may feel stressed or overwhelmed. And who wants that on their wedding morning? So pre-plan, delegate, and do all the work ahead of time, to make sure you can enjoy yourself and be present in the day.
- Allot Extra time, always!! Add in 30 minutes of buffer time around the time you’ll be taking photos. Buttons fall off, people are late, and a lot of that is totally out of your control. But what’s in your control? Time. Add more, you won’t be sorry to have more than enough time and not be rushing around on your day. We put “The Extra Hour” in all of our couples’ timelines. This is an extra hour usually thrown in right before your ceremony start time. This gives you some down time and also tucks you away so all your early guests don’t see you. You’ll want some time to sit and refresh makeup, etc. And if any photos run over, you have buffer time. When in doubt on how long to allot for certain things, ask your photographer or wedding planner. After all, these are the professionals you hired who work weddings every weekend. 🙂
- Family Photos. This gets its whole section, because well this is usually the most hectic part of the day, and you’re on a photography blog… Sooo. Family photos are so important and for that reason you don’t want to rush through them. But it’s important to plan ahead to make this time go smoothly. We suggest creating a family list of groups + names of the people in each photo to give to your photographer. On top of that, we encourage sending said list to all members involved, that way they have a general idea of what’s going down. We also recommend telling family to arrive 10 minutes earlier than they actually need to be there (if you’re doing family photos immediately following your ceremony, omit this). If your family photos are following the ceremony, have your officiant make an announcement to remind family to stay at the ceremony site for photos.
Keep this in mind: No matter how hard you pre-plan, organize, delegate, there is usually a little hiccup or two throughout the day. Whatever it may be, laugh it off, don’t let it steal your joy, and know that you put a lot of work in ahead of time to make it all smooth sailing.
Erin Fox Photo is a husband and wife photography team based in Nashville, Tennessee photographing weddings and families. Available for travel in Middle Tennessee and beyond. At the heart of our work is people – the couples, the families, their stories. We are passionate about storytelling and exist to leave you memories that bring back moments and feelings through timeless and organic imagery. Get in touch!