Developing a Wedding Timeline with Your Bride and Groom
by, 06-28-2011 at 08:41 PM (1625 Views)
Paxton Portraits Wedding Photography : Marysville, Washington
I typically meet with my wedding clients twice before the actual wedding day. The first meeting is usually 6-12 months before the wedding. We chat about style and generally get to know each other during the first meeting. Sometimes I coordinate the first meeting with an engagement session. The first meeting is a great ice breaker and kicks off the relationship between the photographer and bride/groom.
It's not uncommon for quite a few emails to fly back and forth between the first and second meeting. Depending on the bride, I might get an email every week about all of the little details of the wedding. I am always quick to respond back and reassure my clients that I am paying attention and care about the details.
I try to schedule the second meeting about 3-4 weeks ahead of the wedding day. By this time the bride and groom have figured out most of the details of their wedding and are ready to discuss the timeline for photographs. One of the biggest things I have learned photographing weddings is to work closely with the bride and groom to develop a timeline. If you don't, there won't be a game plan for capturing all the wonderful images they are going to expect from you after the wedding. The best time to scratch out a timeline is a few weeks before the wedding when the bride and groom have locked in most of the details for the day.
Informally documenting the timeline gives us (wedding photographers) an opportunity to help steer the ship a bit. The attached document helps create a solid timeline for the day. Going over a timeline (like this one) is a wonderful conversation starter. Most brides will thank you for asking them to fill it out with you. It helps them organize the day in their mind and gives them peace of mind knowing that everything will happen in a orderly manner. It also shows your clients that you care and that you are genuinely interested in making sure things go smoothly. Brides love that!
It is critical (for you, as the wedding photographer) that there is sufficient time built into the day for photographs. You are helping the bride and groom choreograph their big day. If you schedule an hour for formal portraits, you can bet that you will get 30 minutes or less. Time is always compressed at weddings. I try to fill out the timeline with my clients rather than just emailing it to them. Undoubtedly they will have questions. It's better to fill it out together if you can. The list of events is laid out in the way that a typical weddings naturally unfolds with the images of the bride and groom getting ready at the beginning and reception images last. Of course, not every wedding is the same so you may find yourself moving things around a bit.
You are welcome to modify and and use the timeline sheet for yourself - pulling it out in front of your clients will make you look like a true professional!