If you are planning your wedding and trying to figure out the perfect timings for your day, have a quick read of my 5 top tips to consider:
1. Leave time for you and your new spouse
This may sound obvious/stupid, but you would be surprised at the number of couples who tell me their day went by in a flash and they hardly saw each other! Try and enjoy some time out together, even if its just a 10 minute walk after the wedding breakfast. I also always think your portrait time is a perfect opportunity to get some quality time together and step back from the day (if you excuse the third wheel) ;)
2. Set aside plenty of time for group shots and portraits
Ideally I would suggest setting aside between an hour / an hour and a half before your wedding breakfast for group shots and portraits. However, this will largely vary on the number of group shots you want. Make a list of the groups you want, and chat with your photographer about timings. If you want a photo of the whole wedding party, this alone can take 20 minutes to organise! Provide entertainment for your guests while you are away, and have your ushers or bridesmaids on hand to round up the troops for the group shots.
3. Revel in your bridal prep
Am I the only one who thinks part of the enjoyment of a big girls night out is getting ready? I think the same applies to your bridal prep! Start early to avoid a mad rush at the end and factor in time for distractions.. inevitably you'll have people popping in and out to say hello/check on final preparations. Most importantly, make sure you eat as it's a long time before the wedding breakfast and that bubbly will be in full flow after the ceremony ;)
4. Hellos & Congratulations
Factor in some extra time straight after the ceremony for congratulations/ hellos with your long lost family/ friends you haven't said hi to yet. I would suggest 15-20 minutes of mingling. If your ceremony is in a different location from the reception, don't forget to work out how long it will take people to get there (and allow an extra bit of time for the dawdlers / people getting lost).
5. Consider sunset portraits
The standard time for portraits is in between the ceremony and the wedding breakfast. However, photographically this isn't the best time to do it: light is harsh in the middle of the day, particularly if it is a completely clear summer afternoon. Light in the evening will be a lot softer and frankly, gorgeous, so consider doing some sunset portraits. These can be either before your first dance or after, dependant on when in the year your wedding is. I'm sure by that point in the day you will be in full party mode, but 10-15 minutes is enough. Bring it up with your photographer - I am sure they wouldn't be adverse to the idea. Sunset portraits are my personal favourites.
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