087 322 33 29 eric@ericmolimard.ie

How to create a wedding timeline

And why you should do it.

Time flies when you’re having fun and a wedding is a fun day albeit a tad stressful.

Stress occurs when you are under pressure. Whether it is to deliver a deadline or the expectation that something could potentially go wrong, stress can show its ugly nose and ruin the fun!

The morning of the wedding is no exception.  Being late or too late, having a makeup/hair/dress malfunction is on every bride’s mind. It’s doesn’t have to be that way.

As Irish philosopher Roy Keane once famously said:

“If you fail to prepare you prepare to fail”.

For once Roy is right. As human beings, we find enormous comfort in knowing what is ahead of us. This is why the first time you have to speak in public you are very nervous, the 50th time you do it, it’s fine and feels normal. I’m not saying you should get married 50 times though!

I’m saying you should plan and rehearse the morning routine.

The week before the wedding you have all the bits you need for the morning and put them all in one place. Check that it’s all there.

With the help of the person who will help you in the dress, get in the dress, fully! Not just halfway and say it’s grand, button every button, if there’s a belt, put it on.  If the your helper will be wearing long nails, make sure she’s comfortable doing buttons with these on. A great tool to have is a crochet to pull the little button strings. Get one.

Put the shoes on and walk, how does it feels? Sit down, stand up everything should feel comfortable. If not, you have a few days to sort it out. No panic.

The night before the wedding, lay down all the bits and hang the dress in the room you will be getting ready. Tidy it up too, no clutter! It’s bad in photos and you don’t want that do you?

The day plan:

With the help of your makeup artist and hairdresser, determine a starting time and order of makeup/hair, don’t be the last one.

Plan to be at the ceremony on time and you will be 5mns late, there is always a little of time that seems to disappear outside the church/ceremony. If you will be taking posed photos before the ceremony, ask your photographer how long is needed and plan accordingly.

After the ceremony, if you are planning on having a receiving line, where the guests congratulate you, add at least 30mns for that to happen. I would strongly advice you not to have one, it’s a lot of hugs and kisses, your makeup/hair might get ruined and the groom’s shirt/jacket will have every woman’s makeup on it. Skip it and save yourself some precious time. You’ll see them all at the reception anyway. Most guests won’t mind not being stuck in a church in a line for 30mns or more.

Next stop is the Hotel. I would actually recommend you do your photos before getting near the Hotel. Once the guests see you, all your friends will want to chat to you and you’ll get sucked in, it will be very hard to leave again.

If you are going to a location or 2 for your photos, have an idea how it will or should take for you to be back to the Hotel and have about 1h at the drink reception. The last thing you want is to miss the drink reception, it’s the best time to properly chat to your friends and soak up the atmosphere.

Deciding on a time for the speeches can be tricky. Before or after dinner? I would suggest before and get it out of the way or an alternative is to have them at the end of the drink reception in a more casual setting. The length of the speeches should be kept to a maximum of 45mns after that guests start to get bored.

Your band should start before 10pm, most photographers and videographers have a 10pm time limit.

Make sure the band knows that.  It;s always best if the band plays the first dance rather than playing it from a cd of mp3. Seeing the band chatting in the background in your photos is not nice.

After all that your timeline should look like this:

8am MUA and hairdresser arrives at house.

1215 Get in dress

1245 Leave house

1300 ceremony

1445 leave for location X

1500 Photos in Location X

1600 Arrive back at Hotel

1700 Call for dinner

1730 Speeches

1800 Dinner

2130 Band starts

With the timeline done, you should be able to see if you have allocated enough time for the various parts of the day.

Makes changes if you need to.

I hope you found this helpful. If you would like to discuss your wedding photography with me please get in touch

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