f7's wedding advice #9 - Time is your friend and your enemy. Having a wedding day schedule for family, wedding party and your vendors.

Hi All!

Since we are moving into wedding season and are working on organizing all of our wedding day shoot schedules, we thought we'd put this advice out on our blog for you to ponder. :-)

Your wedding day should be filled with love, memories, fun and wonderful emotion. The last thing you want is the stress that your day is not going as planned. So lets talk about the number one issue on a wedding day...time!

The last thing a bride should be doing on her wedding day is looking at a watch. It is rarely the bride that causes delays; rather, it’s everyone around her that she will depend on to be on time and they need to be concerned with the schedule. The only thing the bride should be concerned with is getting to the church on time. Right? Well, here are some things that could cause some delays that can easily be prevented with some simple schedule planning and communication.

A) Makeup Artists and Hair Stylists: Brides may not realize it at first, but makeup artists and hair stylist are the official kick-off of wedding day activities. Complex hair and makeup can take hours to complete, and sometimes there are last minute changes. If the makeup artist runs late or does not show up on time, or rare cases, at all, this throws everything off schedule that requires the bride's presence, such as photos. To prevent this, we encourage brides to do a run-through with hair and make up to work out the kinks prior to the day, as well as to get a pretty good time estimate on how long it will take so you can plan your start time accordingly. If your hair/makeup artist is coming to you, please have them show up 15 minutes early to setup so you can start on schedule, or if you are going to a salon, show up early so you can go through the check-in process. Also, build in 15 minutes of time for last minute issues or delays, just in case.

B) Work with your photographer to put together a detailed photo shoot schedule. One of the key successes of f7 photography is our wedding day photo shoot schedule. Many coordinators use this because it is a detailed list of what is going on in the day from a photography standpoint. This could include things like getting ready, first look, couple wedding portraits, entourage shots, family formals, ceremony start, reception start, etc. Since the photographer is with the bride the most in the day, we generally have access to the bride and can keep her and the groom on time.

C) Let the family know when and where family pictures will be. This one is important too. Many times, family members don’t get the message that they should be in front of the church for family photos by a certain time. What happens is family gets missed in the photos, or delays happen because we must wait for the grandparents because its the only time to have pictures with them. Just remind all of your family members that are to be in photos when and where, and tell them to show up 15 minutes earlier all dressed and ready to go. A good time to do this is at your rehearsal.

D) Bridal Party time requirements. We all have our own daily lives, and when we ask our friends and family to be a part of the bridal party, we ask for a pretty good time commitment from them. Let them know what the time schedule is and when they absolutely need to be ready by and when. If they have children, they should arrange for someone (family) to make sure that the children will be looked after so there are no worries about having to step away from photos or other wedding day activities to tend to their needs.

E) Ask your vendors to be on time. Get an idea of when flowers are supposed to arrive so your photographer can plan to have bouquets for photos. Cake vendors should be delivering and setting up the cake early enough so that the reception room will be ready for your guests before they arrive to the reception. DJ’s should have their minute-by-minute plan of reception activities and start times of special dances, bouquet toss, etc. Then all of these should be coordinated either by a professional, or if you do not have one, make sure you appoint someone the task of managing all of these folks. Maybe a cousin who loves weddings?

A wedding should be a well orchestrated event, and ensuring that time is being managed is a key part to having a stress free and wonderful wedding day. Communication is definitely key too! So make sure that everyone from vendors to family know the scoop for your wedding day and all will go according to plan!

If you have any additional time tips, please share away!