Timing your wedding day is crucial to keeping the day running smoothly and keeping your stress to a minimum. The more thoughtfully you plan the timing of key moments, the more secure you can feel that everything will run according to plan – and if it doesn’t you’ll have a buffer to deal with it!
You don’t want to have to sacrifice time taking beautiful photos during your photo shoot or end up having dinner twenty minutes late because of what could have been only a tiny hiccup! Plan the day carefully and enjoy it the way you deserve to. To help you plan the perfect schedule, here are the five most common mistakes you can make while scheduling the day and how to avoid them.
Not making time for congratulations after the ceremony
Your friends and family just watched you get married and they are dying to meet you as a married couple! Don’t underestimate the importance of reserving a bit of time for hugging and being told how amazing you both look. To avoid feeling rushed or falling behind schedule you should reserve about fifteen minutes between the end of the ceremony and the beginning of your photo shoot, plus a few extra minutes to relax with your bridal party. You can catch up with your guests and share the love, then start your photo shoot feeling totally chilled and loved up.
Hair and make up going overtime
It can be difficult to judge how much time you’ll need to look your best bridal self. And stressing about time is not a great way to start your big day! Ask your hairstylist and make up artist about timing, keeping in mind that your bridesmaids might also need their hair and make up done. Take note of timing during your hair and make up trials, but also add on a bit of a buffer to account for things running overtime. You’ll avoid unnecessary stress and ensure you feel totally relaxed while being pampered and prettied up. Not allowing time to get photos in your dress Picture this: your hair and make up are done and you’re ready to shed your glamorous bridal robe and step into an even more glamorous wedding dress.
(The robes above can be purchased on Loved By Ella)
Your photographer has captured the getting ready process and is excited to take some gorgeous shots of you looking all ready to go. We promise that you won’t regret saving some time before you leave to get some cute photos of your bridesmaids helping with the finishing touches, or maybe a first look with your parents. And you’ll always treasure those first few photos of you looking freshly ready to walk down the aisle and into wedded bliss. If you’re not sure how long you might need to fit a few photos in, have a chat with your photographer and they’ll be able to help you out!
Not doing a first look
Not all weddings need a first look, however if your ceremony is quite late in the day and there isn’t enough time for your photoshoot afterwards, they can be the perfect way to capture all the stunning images you could want of your wedding. For a first look, you and your soon-to-be hubby meet up before the ceremony to get a sneak peek! Your photographers will organise you so that you can’t see each other initially, then one, two, three, you turn around and boom – you see each other. Photos of this moment are always so gorgeous and special, plus you can have a lovely little photoshoot straight after.
After the first look you go to your ceremony as usual and afterwards you don’t have to worry about making time to fit in a full-length photo shoot. You can chill out with your bridal party for a while or head straight to the reception to get the party started!
Not accounting for long speeches
You’ve probably been to one of those wedding receptions where someone giving a speech has a LOT to say. Most speeches don’t run for more than five minutes but sometimes dad insists on sharing a funny but long-winded story about you when you were growing up, or the best man gets a little emotional and ends up pouring his heart out for ten minutes. While these speeches can end up being really special, they can also really throw off the schedule. Before the big day, check in with everyone who is giving a speech and remind them of time limits – especially if they are planning on winging it on the day! Allow a few extra minutes in each chunk of speeches just in case. Better to be safe than end up having everything run super late!
Having your first dance too late
Your first dance as a married couple is a truly special moment. In each other’s arms, surrounded by everyone you love but feeling like you’re the only two people in the room. But don’t leave it til too late in the evening. The later your dance is, the more likely you are to have had one champers too many, or be tired and feeling a little less coordinated. You might be feeling nervous about the dance too, and the sooner you start it, the quicker you’ll realise there’s nothing to worry about! Some couples choose to do their first dance as soon as they are announced in to the reception. This is great as you can relax for the rest of the evening!
If you’ve read this list and started panicking about creating the perfect schedule: don’t worry. Weddings that run late are still great weddings! There are plenty of people you can ask for help for timing your schedule. And your photographer might actually be one of the most helpful people to chat to about it. They’re likely to be spending the most time with you guys on the actual day, and a good photographer will have plenty of understanding of how weddings run and what else you might need to consider when planning the day. When in doubt, check in with them! Pretty soon you’ll have a perfectly structured day and you can relax and focus on feeling excited!