Weddings are beautiful. It’s easy to get excited and start planning every detail. I mean, I’m guilty of having a wedding Pinterest board before I was ever engaged. Who else? But we don’t always talk about how to plan a wedding with intention rather than just pretty design.
Before a couple books with me, I ask them how they want to experience their wedding day. They’ve been asked about colors, guest count, location… but no one has stopped and asked how they really want to spend their time.
As your wedding photographer, I’m with you throughout the day. From getting ready through dancing into the night. Even though weddings aren’t about photos, photos can unfortunately dictate a lot of what you’re doing throughout the day. So it’s important to consider how you really want to spend all the moments in between.
Because I don’t think any one timeline works best for everyone, I like to get to know your priorities. This is how I’d guide that conversation a bit if I were engaged again.
A lot of advice will tell you to list out your priorities by vendor – venue, planner/coordinator, photographer, dj, florist, caterers, etc. I agree, it’s good to do this when you’re in the beginning for budgeting. But, it’s even better to talk to your fiancé about who you want to be with.
Think: What do we want these once in a lifetime moments to actually be like?
Most couples I talk to say they’re excited for everyone to come together. Maybe this is the first time your families are meeting. Or your friends are all over the country, and this is a great excuse to get back together! Regardless, weddings bring all these people together under one roof. And that’s beautiful.
Marriage is about two people, but a wedding becomes more about you and everyone you invite. Thinking through that lens can sometimes help when wedding planning decisions get tough. It can also help when you’re thinking through what you’ll physically be doing throughout the day. Getting ready, portraits, ceremony, reception. Each section of the day you’ll be with certain sets of people.
Think: Who do we want to be with? How do we want to be spending our time?
When I’m planning a wedding photography timeline, I like to know how important each facet of the day is to you. From there, I’ll give you an idea of how much time we need for that. We build the day together from there. I know it’s not sexy to think about one of the best days of your life in time increments. 30 minutes for this, 10 minutes of buffer for that. But to be intentional with what’s probably the most planned day of your life isn’t crazy. It’s wise.
There’s no right or wrong way to have a wedding. It’s important to keep that in mind. First looks are okay. Time for yourselves is okay. If you don’t want a bridal party and your friends come spend the day with you – that’s okay too! There’s no “supposed to” or “need to.” It’s up to you.
I hope this was helpful to at least one engaged couple who’s thinking – Where do we even start?