1) First and most importantly, try to schedule your appointment for hair and makeup to finish a minimum of 30 minute before you think you should. Of all the potential factors which might disrupt your schedule - this one seems to be most vulnerable. From my own experience, of all the reasons why the wedding may be behind schedule, this by far is the most common reason. If you ceremony is at 3 or 4, it isn't unusual to start hair and make-up for the wedding party at 9am. Leave your self a healthy cushion, since appointments are notorious for running late. Being ahead of schedule is the key.
2) Schedule 20 - 45 minutes for getting dressed. Wedding gowns can be a handful and no one wants to stress putting on the gown. This is also one of the best opportunities for photojournalistic, candid and emotional pictures. It is a beautiful moment and I encourage you to provide enough time for your bridesmaids to help with the process. Having some time after the brides hair, make-up and dress are on, can prove to be invaluable.
3) Set enough time for pictures!!! Photography is one of the most important parts of your wedding day. Most couples choose to do this after the ceremony and before the reception. You may also choose to do this at some point during the reception. Depending on the size of your wedding party, as well as the number of group, formal and family pictures - the time needed for a relaxed and fun atmosphere, can be anywhere from 1 - 2 hours. As we discuss the details, I will have a better idea. Most formals include; bride and groom, groomsmen, bridesmaids, flower girl, junior bride/groom, ushers, parents, grandparents, as well as other important members of the families involved. Be sure to talk to your wedding photographer about your specific wants and needs. There is a growing trend for photo-journalistic photography for weddings. I love this style, but formal pictures are still usually part of the wedding day. Often, what suffers from mismanagement of time on wedding days, is the formal photography portion. If you wish to avoid this, be sure to give yourself a cushion for each stage of the day.
I hope the tips I have provide, will help with planning your wedding day so that it runs a smoothly and stress free as possible.
John Carnessali - Wedding and Event Photographer
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