Common Wedding Timeline Holdups: Getting Ready | Friday Chatter

Hello, friends! Anyone else counting down the seconds ’til real Spring finally arrives?! I’m not sure about you, but this girl is ready for some warmer weather!! My busy season officially kicks off this weekend, with two engagement sessions at the Jefferson, and I cannot wait to be back behind the camera with sweet clients!! Over the last couple of months, I have spent some time planning out timelines with some of my clients, and it got me thinking about a mini series that I wanted to start!

I find the timeline process to be such a joy, and it makes me SO excited for all of the fun that is soon to come! It makes everything start to feel real and helps me get a better feel for the incredible day that my clients are dreaming about. This process also made me think about a few great tips and tricks that I have found to be SO necessary when it comes to planning the logistics of your big day! Planning and prepping well for your wedding really helps to eliminate stress, it’s that simple. I have a lot of brides tell me that they want a relaxed, chill and laid back day, and I want you to know that it is totally achievable! However, planning and prepping well is the only way to get there.

By prepping not only yourself and your vendors, but also your bridal party, your family and your guests, you eliminate so much stress and uncertainty that could come on a wedding day. (Usually in the form of everyone asking you a million questions at once!)

One of the BEST ways you can prep for your wedding is by having a solid timeline prepared that also takes into account that there are some crazy things that can occur on a wedding day. Something to keep in mind: when we get behind on a wedding day, something will have to be cut short. Your ceremony has to happen at a set time and your reception is scheduled at a specific time, so what typically gets cut short? Your portraiture & your time to enjoy. Portraits on your wedding day are so incredibly important to me. These are the photos that you hang on the walls in your home, that you will flip through on a daily basis after you return from your honeymoon, that you will share with your grandchildren in 50+ years. They are important, and when our time together is cut short, I truly know that I am doing you a disservice. A tight timeline is a stressful timeline, and it is SO important to me that you are able to enjoy your day.

The exciting news?! I’m getting ready to dive into a mini series that discusses a few of the most common timeline holdups I have identified, and the ways you can fix them! Today specifically, we will be diving into common holdups that happen during the getting ready portion of the day! Over the next five weeks, I will be chatting about common holdups that happen during the following parts of your wedding day:

Getting Ready (That’s today!)
Prepare your Bridal Party
Ceremony and Family Portraits
Travel and Reception

Other Delays & Mother Nature

YAY! Let’s begin!

The getting ready portion of your day sets the tone. I believe that the getting ready portion of your day should be relaxing and fun, but at the same time, it should also be kept on-time & productive! I have found that this time of the day has the biggest potential for throwing off a wedding day timeline. It is the first thing that happens during the day, and it kind of has to happen in its entirety! (No bride wants to be showing up to her ceremony with her hair half finished!) Each task that happens during the getting ready portion of the day takes time to be done well… from your hair, to you & your girls’ makeup, to placing jewelry, to tying on a bow tie for the guys… you get the point! You need to account for all of these things in your timeline and you need to prepare for them to happen beforehand. I hope you find these potential getting ready pitfalls & solutions helpful as you plan out this part of your day!

The messy suite: 

  • When I arrive in your suite, I like to get started right away! I have found that a huge holdup on my end is when I have to take time to clear away dishes, brunch/lunch leftovers, dress bags, etc. Before my arrival, especially if my arrival is after noon, you should have eaten lunch and have had someone clean it up. After all, no one wants to be photographed eating a sandwich, right? Remember: your bridesmaids are there to help you out! Please assign one or two to be on tidy duty throughout the morning. Having a clutter free environment will not only make you feel more relaxed, but it will also help me get started right away! Bonus tip: remind your groom and his guys to prep and tidy up their suite too! Often, messy groom suites are one of the biggest holdups too! Our time together is typically less than what I get to spend with the bride (only because I know that grooms don’t love being in front of the camera for long!!), so every second counts!

The missing detail box: 

  • Like I mentioned above, when I arrive in your suite, I like to get started right away!! Typically, your pretty detail photos are first on my list. A few weeks out from your wedding, I will send you a list of items that I need you to prepare and set aside for me. I’ll let you know that all of the items on the list should be placed in one bin, box, tub, bag, etc. When I arrive in your suite on your wedding day, I will ask for your this very box right away! Please have your details set aside in a container and let one of your bridesmaids know where where the container is. From there, I’ll grab your box and will get right to work, instead of tearing apart your suite, looking for rings, bracelets, stationery, heirlooms, and all of your other pretty details. This will really help keep your hair and makeup process on track! To learn more about preparing for my arrival and what you may need to prep for your detail box, click here!

Missing bridal bouquet

  • This isn’t one that I have found really sets back timeline, but is more of a disappointment to my brides if they aren’t aware that they should have their bridal bouquet delivered to their getting ready suite. I know your florals are something that you have poured a lot of time, thought and heart into. I know your bridal bouquet means a lot to you, and that is why it is so important to me that I am able to include it in your detail photos! Your pretty petals make the perfect accent to your stationery and jewelry, so please have your bouquet delivered prior to my scheduled arrival. As a bonus, your bouquet will be ready to go for your bridal portraits and for the rest of the day!!

Under-budgeting time for hair and makeup

  • By far, this is one of the most important things that happens during the getting ready portion of the day, just after you getting into your gown! It is also the number one thing that can throw your wedding timeline off! Hair and makeup takes quite a bit of time, and when we don’t budget the appropriate amount of time for it to happen, that is when things get delayed. Your team of pros knows best, so please ask them for an accurate time estimation well in advance. Then? Add about 20-30 minutes to the time estimation they have given you per person. It sounds absolutely crazy, but you will be so grateful to have the extra time to finish prep without feeling rushed and will love having a moment to enjoy a mimosa with your girls! Be sure to include all those that are having professional hair and makeup done in your time estimates. From bridesmaids to moms to flower girls and grandmothers, having an accurate time estimate for everyone involved is key. If your hair or makeup artist recommends having an additional stylist there, please go for it! They truly know best and you will be so glad that you spent the extra money when you are able to enjoy a stress free morning and can get to your ceremony on time. Brides: please plan to be ready at least 30 minutes prior to the time we have scheduled for you to slip into your gown! This will give you plenty of time for touchups, bathroom breaks and maybe a mimosa!

Underprepared Groomsmen

  • After hair and makeup, this one seems to be the most common thing that can put a wedding timeline behind. Preparing your groom and his guys for their getting ready portion of the day is so important! Guys are lucky and typically only take a few minutes to get dressed and ready for the day. However, it is so important that this time is taken seriously and that they are dressed and ready to go for their getting ready photo time. I often have the groom and his groomsmen reenact these moments (I don’t think there are too many guys that would want to be photographed putting on their pants…), and if groomsmen are ready by the time my second shooter or I arrive, we can get started right away! I can’t tell you the amount of times I have arrived and have had groomsmen searching for shoes, socks, coats, shirts, etc. This takes up valuable time and can easily be avoided!

Unfamiliar Accessories

  • To my guy friends, I don’t know how y’all do it. Tying ties is really hard!! If groom and groomsmen attire includes a tie or bowtie that requires tying or a pocket square that requires folding, it is a great idea to do a practice round or two beforehand. I have spent quite a few weddings helping guys tie their bowtie from a video on YouTube, and trust me when I say that it takes a TON of time! As a rule of thumb, at least two guys in the wedding party should be familiar with the accessories and should be able to help the others out! If your guys have boutonnieres, please have these delivered to the groomsmen’s suite around the time the bridal bouquet is delivered. The groomsmen should be dressed, tied, and pinned with their bouts before my arrival, and the groom will get his boutonniere on with his mom after I arrive in the suite.

I hope y’all found this helpful! Tune in next week for tips on how to prepare your Bridal Party to be helpful during portrait time!

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