The All Important Timeline
With over 100 weddings on our resume, ATP has learned a lot about the logistics of a wedding day and the accompanying photography. This blog will focus on the logistical aspects of a wedding day and how to help plan your timeline for your special day.
We often run into this situation: wedding ceremony ends at 3 P.M.; wedding party stays at church until 4 P.M. for reception line and family pictures; wedding party heads to Forest Park for pictures with a wedding party of 15, the couple wants pictures at five separate locations in Forest Park; and finally, the couple expects to show up to the reception by 6 P.M.
Sounds great, right? I agree. However, one small problem: there is not enough time for all of the pictures at Forest Park.
Now this issue isn’t exclusively for Forest Park. This also goes for you bar hoppers, too. Trust me when I say we enjoy bar hopping as well, but we have a job to do, and you hired us to do that very job.
Two hours for weddings pictures, factoring in a large wedding party, drive time, and multiple locations is just unrealistic. Getting a large group of people on to and off of a bus is very time consuming - shockingly so. Factor in, at minimum, five minutes to off load and load up at each location. So, if you’re wanting to do five separate locations, you should assume there will be 50+ minutes blown just getting people on to and off of the bus. Our two-hour window for pictures is now down to one hour and ten minutes.
Next, let’s discuss drive time. If you’re anything like Amanda, a hopeless optimist, you remember that one time it took you only fifteen minutes to go from Forest Park to South County, and that’s what you remember as the time it takes to drive there. Well, if you’re driving in your own car, doing 90, and have no traffic, I agree with you. However, buses don’t drive 90, they drive 50. Buses also take forever to maneuver through traffic and streets. That thirty minutes of drive time you have factored in is more like fifty minutes’ worth of driving. We have now spent one hundred minutes on just the logistics of getting people on to and off of the bus and the drive time. In case you’re not keeping track, that leaves twenty minutes for pictures. Now we at ATP are fast, but we are not that fast. Please allow Amanda, Nick, Hannah, and Alessandra to help plan a realistic timeline for your pictures. Reach out to us and ask. We are always willing to speak with you whether by phone, text, or email about your timeline. Having a realistic timeline based on our experiences allows for better pictures and a lot less stress on your wedding day. We have become experts at wedding timelines. Heck, we get married every weekend, sometimes twice! I beg of you to give us that one extra hour. Instead of two hours for pictures, drive time, and so on, give us three. It’ll be worth it, I promise.
Next up, when and how to take pictures. The pre-ceremony pictures are always a breeze: no issues, on time, smooth as silk. HA! Girls, you all run late - every single time. It’s the hair and makeup. Just plan on those two things running long. Guys, just show up! It is really that easy for the guys. Post-ceremony, however, things get a little hectic. As discussed above, timelines get very tight. Following the ceremony, family pictures are always a must. We at ATP have gotten a system down where these pictures fly by. However, please allow us to do our work. Wanting to bring in different people at different times and in an all or nothing order actually slows down the process. We have gotten this down to an assembly line level of quickness, and have been complimented on it more than once. Let us control this, and you’ll be amazed how quickly it goes. We will make sure every family picture you are wanting gets captured. Do not be worried about that.
Another thing that we love to do is ask the bride and groom to leave your reception for about 20-30 minutes. This is completely up to you and at your full discretion. This break in the middle of the reception has often been welcomed by our clients. More than once a bride and groom hop into our car and say to each other “Wow, I haven’t seen you since the ceremony!” Not only does this give you guys a break during the reception, it creates some of the most amazing images ATP has ever created: sunset, night sky, open fields, and just the two of you equals that one special shot we guarantee you’ll love forever.
Also, with that tight timeline as discussed, be conscience of the sun and your surroundings. Do you want that amazing shot in front of a lake? We do too! However, a lake with no shade during full sun is a recipe for disaster. Full sun is a photographer’s enemy. When we tell you that the sun and surroundings will be a problem, please listen to us. It is not because we don’t want to take that specific picture. It is the exact opposite actually. We want that picture. But we at ATP have realized that under certain conditions and surroundings, the picture will not be as great as it can be. Again, we always give our clients full discretion as to what pictures we are taking and where, but lean on us for our input to ensure the pictures come out as amazing as our clients at ATP have come to love and expect.
To conclude our second post in our ATP Blog Series, please reach out to us regarding your timeline for pictures. Look to us as more than just photographers. We are more than willing to help you create a timeline for your big day that is realistic and as stress free as possible. Everyone of us at ATP is more than willing to take a moment to plan out your timeline with you. It would be our pleasure to do so.
Love Amanda Tindall Photography