September 3, 2015
When I first started planning corporate events I remember being incredibly annoyed that everyone kept asking for the day-of timeline. “Did we incorporate this into the timeline?” “We can’t do this based on the timeline” and so on and so on. Oh how silly a young mind can be! I live and die by timelines now!
So, friends, let’s chat about the wedding day timeline.
After a photographer has been booked my follow-up conversation with them is always in reference to the timeline. I ask questions such as “how long do you need for detail shots” “how long do you typically allot for family photos” “do you want me to carve out specific times for sunset photos?” Each photographer is different and every wedding is different, perhaps they are trying out a new lens with this wedding and will want more time for details, or they have a stellar system with their assistant and can whip out family shots in 20 minutes (if so, call me, we need to partner). I make photography a priority in my timelines because that is the tangible after the wedding. You won’t be able to touch the tablecloths or flowers ever again but you WILL look at your pictures over and over and therefore I provide ample time to allow that to happen.
For my timelines I account for the time that the bride needs to be done with their make-up, when the brides needs to start dressing, what time they need to be done with dressing, (if they are doing a first look) what time the groom needs to be staged, etc. I know this might seem obnoxious but here is why; the hair stylist and make-up artist ALWAYS ask what time they need to be done and therefore by “buffering” the other steps behind that it allows for some wiggle room if someone took longer than expected. There is nothing worse than a stressed out bride because hair and make-up are taking too long. This also allows time for the photographer to stop and pose some pictures of the bride putting her gown on instead of rushing through it because we are behind schedule.
As I said, buffer time, buffer time, buffer time. Hair and make-up ran long? Well I gave the bride 25 minutes to get dressed (do they have intricate buttons all down the dress? 35 minutes), she is still taking too long to get dressed? I buffered time with when the groom needs to be staged, etc. It doesn’t have to be large amounts, 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there but I can tell you that makes a world of difference. It allows the bride to feel like they are in control of their day instead of the day controlling them because they are behind schedule.
Stay tuned for Part TWO of my “Smooth Operator” series–incorporating transportation into your day-of timeline