My post entitled ‘A Wedding To Do List’ is helpful in working out what needs to be done leading up to the wedding day. What about the actual wedding day timing?
Around a month before the wedding day, I chat with all my wedding couples in regards to finalising their wedding photography. Here are some of my tips, thoughts and suggestions that I go through with all my couples.
Start your timing plan with the wedding ceremony. Even if you are unsure of the exact time you wish the ceremony to commence, write down an ideal time and then later everything can be adjusted accordingly if needed.
Let’s say the ceremony ideal start time is 3pm. Now the ceremony duration will depend if you are having a church wedding or civil ceremony. As a guide a traditional Catholic mass can be around one hour, while a normal church wedding is around 45 minutes including two readings, minister’s sermon, signing the register and walking out.
However a civil ceremony ranges from 15 to 30 minutes. Speak to your minister or celebrant who will help you finalise a more accurate duration time.
After the ceremony, there are three possible areas you need to be aware of in regards to time. Firstly do you wish to have a large group shot of all your guests (approx 10-15 minutes)? Secondly think about how much mingling time you would like to share with your guests. Thirdly are the family photographs.
Working out the time to allocate for family photographs will be hard but as a rough guide allocate 5 mins for the first family photograph and then two minutes for each family photograph after that. I strongly recommend you speak with your photographer in detail about your family photographs and in particular the timing.
From this point, now jump ahead in the timing planning to the reception arrival time for the bridal party. Let’s say you want to arrive at 6pm to your wedding reception. Now you can work out the time you will have remaining for travelling and ‘location’ bridal party photographs.
Recapping: wedding starts at 3pm and the duration is 30 minutes (civil ceremony). Afterwards let’s say you want a group shot (10 min), mingling time (30min) and then ten family photographs (20min). This will mean you will have one & half hours for travelling and ‘location’ bridal party photographs.
If an hour and a half is not enough time (or too much time), then you can decide to change the ceremony starting time, have longer mingling time or perhaps even arrive earlier to the reception to share pre dinner drinks with your guests.
I will share more information in future posts about timing before the ceremony and at the reception.