For Brides: Scheduling a Stress Free Day

Perhaps one of the most undervalued aspects of any wedding is a good ol’ fashioned schedule. A poorly scheduled wedding not only causes headaches and undue stress, but will also result in you not getting the very best out of your vendors! When thousands are spent on the very best professional services, a solid schedule can prove invaluable to getting the very best wedding day experience. This proves especially true when it comes to your creative services, such as a photographer or videographer.

In my experience, a solid game plan can make or break any production whether it’s a documentary, music video or wedding day. The preparation not only sets a precedence for the shoot, it also ensures that nothing is overseen whether it’s grandma’s jewelry or the surprise flash mob after dinner!

While we would always recommend having a conversation with your photographer and videographer, we’ve listed a couple factors we take into account when planning a couples wedding day. From our experience, we’ve seen it calm nerves and allow for some authentic moments on what could be categorized by some as a day of chaos. Don’t worry, we’re here to help!

1.) The First Look.

This is important to decide early! While we totally respect someone’s wish to keep it more traditional, we always recommend a first look. Not only does it give us the opportunity to shoot while you’re at your cosmetic best, it also makes for an incredibly authentic moment! With a first look, family and wedding party photos no longer create a bottleneck after your ceremony as well. This makes for the best photo/video as well as the most time spent at your cocktail hour and reception. A win/win/win in our eyes!

2.) The Half Hour Break.

This is that magical 30 minutes where the entire party has arrived at the ceremony and has absolutely nothing planned but a little R&R. This gives you the opportunity to relax while taking in the moment you’re about to experience. It also gives us a moment to scout out the ceremony location, set up audio, and even shoot some details and people as they arrive.

3.) Don’t rush!

As with anything, it’s always better to plan more time into the day than to have to cut things out because you’re in a rush. Gathering friends and family together for portraits has often been compared to herding cats. You’d be surprised the minutes that pass by trying to pull  uncle Joe away from the bar! These are the things that don’t make the schedule and it’s why we say more time is good time.

4.) Team Unity.

Yes, in a way, your wedding party, vendors, and family are your wedding team. It’s important to have good communication with all parties by keeping them in the loop. We recommend selecting a bridesmaid, best man, and family member that can really kick butt and ensure that each party will be present and accounted for. It doesn’t have to be the maid of honor or best man, just you type A that loves to yell at people. This makes it so you only have to communicate to a few people and not keep tabs on each person involved. Print outs are helpful!

5.) Your Best Light.

This is probably one of the most important aspects to planning your wedding schedule. When will you have your very best light? We typically like to start the planning of a wedding day based on when sunset will land. Every photographer will be different with the amount of time they like to allot for family photos, wedding party photos, and couple portraits so it’s important to have a discussion with them before your date. We like to dedicate the last 45 minutes before sunset strictly to the bride and groom. This allows for 45 minutes of walking to multiple multiple sunlit locations and 15 minutes of twilight shots when the sky turns a rich periwinkle blue. Ideally, your family and wedding party photos are taken before the ceremony to allow this to happen. It also means you’ll have great pre-golden hour light for your ceremony.

Ultimately, your end goal is to actually enjoy your wedding. Hopefully, with a little planning, you can both enjoy your wedding and receive the very best photo and video services!

Jared Haskell
Owner/Director, StopGoLove