There are a lot of things that you can do to avoid a stressed timeline. But what do you do when you're in the middle of it all and everything is just simply running behind? Today I'm sharing my 7-part strategy for making up time on a wedding day.
Talk with the Coordinator
Wedding coordinators are lifesavers on the day of the wedding. If you have the luxury of working with one, she is going to be on top of the timeline and move things along. Afterall, that's her job! Take her suggestions for adjusting the timeline and reap the rewards!
Know the Timeline
When you have the schedule memorized, it saves so much time! For timelines that are a little more detailed, I just break it into sections and memorize it throughout the day. Then, when Isaac tells me what time it is I don't have to respond with, "where are we supposed to be right now?" Instead, I can make adjustments without the bride ever worrying about running behind!
If the bridesmaids are still in hair and makeup 15 minutes before the bride needs to be in her dress, things are behind. Because of this common occurrence, I suggest that bridesmaids get dressed 15-30 minutes before the bride is supposed to be in hers.
If I notice that something is running particularly slow, I will talk with anyone who has the ability to help us move things along! That could be the makeup artist who is tending to the last bridesmaid or the person steaming the veil. Anticipating possible problems will help you save as much time as you can and possibly even get it back!
Switch things around
I was at a wedding recently where everything was happening in one location. I love those types of weddings for a lot of reasons and one of them is that it's easier to get my lost time back! I do this by switching the timeline around when possible.
For example, if I am supposed to be photographing the bride getting in her dress and she isn't ready, I will switch that with photographing the ceremony or reception details. I always discuss this with my bride before disappearing for a short time. I have never had a bride who wasn't completely relieved that I could work on something else while her bridesmaids finished getting ready.
move quickly, shoot slowly
This may be the most important piece of advice that I could give to a wedding photographer. When you are crunched for time, you want to move quick and shoot slow.
What does that look like? Hustling with class and slowing down long enough to make people feel cared about. If I am photographing the reception, I work slowly while the camera is in front of my face and quickly while it's not. This helps me to remember to be creative and not just move through a to do list.
I could absolutely shoot a wedding by myself, but Isaac makes things go so smoothly while he serves the couple and vendors. He is also there to shoot different angles and photograph things that I cannot. For instance, he can photograph cocktail hour while I photograph the reception if necessary. This isn't ideal, but if that is the best way for us to serve our clients and make up some time, we will do it!
move family photos along
If we are running behind, I ask a bridesmaid and a groomsmen to go round up the family while I snag a few more photos of the couple. I will start with the side that arrives first and then address the whole group with a greeting similar to the following:
"Hi everyone! I'm so excited to photograph your family today! We are running a little short on time so I am going to do my best to move through these photos as quickly as possible. I need the bride, groom and parents to start with and the siblings on deck. If everyone could be ready, we will be able to make this happen quickly for the bride and groom!"
I hope that these tips give you insight into how I make up time on a wedding day! Ideally, a great timeline will keep us from facing a stressed timeline, but realistically it doesn't always happen. How do you make up time on a wedding day?