I love a good plan. If you are on my calendar with a date, time, and place, I’ll be there. I don’t mind planning very far in advance or figuring out what I’m having for dinner while eating breakfast. I’m always thinking ahead to the next thing so that I’m prepared and ready to go. The same goes for weddings.
About two to three months before a wedding, I’ll send my couples a questionnaire. From that information I make a rough timeline and we discuss it. The timeline isn’t simply when things are starting, or the order of events- it also includes a list a family photos, any special photos of note, the couple’s priorities for the day, addresses, and contact information. Basically, all the information I need on a wedding day can be found on one or sometimes two sheets of paper. The week of the wedding I go over the timeline again for a refresher and to make sure no changes have been made.
When discussing the rough timeline with my couples I also make sure there is enough time to accomplish everything that they want done. If you want to go to three different portrait locations around the city and we only have one and a half hours for portraits that’s not super possible. In that situation I’d recommend picking your favorite spot and maybe moving some other things around so we have two hours for portraits instead.
I value timelines for several reasons. The first being that the couple most likely will not have the start and stop times memorized. You guys have a million other things on your mind and don’t really care that family photos need to be finished by 3:30pm. I need to be aware of what’s going on for the day so I can keep things moving and on track. Planning ahead allows you to schedule in buffer time. Things will run behind, this is a given, that’s why buffer time is so essential. With a first look timeline, I usually photograph the details before the ceremony as well. If prep runs long, I know ahead of time to cut a few minutes out of details and add it to portraits. If family formals run really behind, I know we can cut extended family and do those at the reception. If a clear schedule was not in place I wouldn’t know how much time I had for x, y, and z and we’d be flying by the seat of our pants.
Sometimes we just have a tight schedule, no room for buffer time, little time for portraits, etc. This is also very important to discuss. If everyone knows we are on a tight schedule we will be mentally prepared for that and act accordingly. It also helps to prioritize so if we run out of time for something, it’s not as big of a deal.
I thrive off of organization and a good plan, so if I’m at my best, I can service you in the best way possible.