I have been wanting to write this timeline series for awhile now, so I'm glad to finally get started! The wedding timeline is one of the most important parts of the planning process (and most wedding planners would probably agree!). Today I want to share what I have learned from photographing dozens of weddings, and provide some tips for brides planning their weddings in Hampton Roads.
One of the biggest decisions that will affect your timeline is whether or not to have a first look. I will blog about this more next week, but having a first look puts almost all the portrait time before the ceremony instead of after, and changes how the timeline is built. Most of my couples do opt to have a first look, so I will assume that is happening for this blog series!
There are a few things to consider for the getting ready portion of the day. The first is what time to start your hair and makeup. This will vary depending on how many ladies are getting theirs done that morning, so take with your hair/makeup artist to determine a good start time. Then add 20 minutes! I have been to so many weddings that run behind because of this that I have lost count. This is usually not the fault of the hair and makeup artist(s) - a bridesmaid might be running behind, a hair emergency could happen, etc. - but it's good to plan a buffer time to make sure the rest of your day remains intact.
Your photographer should arrive during the finishing touches of your hair and makeup, depending on the amount of coverage you have. I love to get pictures of all your ladies having fun and spending time together before the ceremony. While the last girl finishes her getting ready portion, everyone else should start getting in their dresses (besides the bride, of course). This way, all the bridesmaids will have hair, makeup, and dresses on for the next portion of the day.
Another important element to remember is the flowers! Oftentimes the flowers arrive before the photographer, but work with your florist to ensure they will be there before your hair and makeup is finished. This will make everything go smoother throughout the day and we won't be waiting on bouquets to take bridal party portraits!
The next part of getting ready is one of my favorites - when the bride puts on her dress for the first time. We will take a few minutes for your mom/sister/friends to help get your dress, jewelry, and shoes on. This is one of the most intimate times during the wedding day and should not be rushed!
Depending on the timeline and getting ready location, I generally capture a few bridal portraits before the excitement begins. When all the elements of hair, makeup, the dresses, the jewelry, and shoes are finally together then we will move on to the next step - bridal party portraits!