After being an award-winning wedding photographer for over 20 years I’ve gained loads of experience on How to plan your wedding day and Id love to share them with you to hopefully help make your wedding day go as smoothly as it can.
Once you’ve carefully chosen all the suppliers that you want to help make your wedding day perfect it’s time to create a timeline so that all the people working for you on the day know both where they are expected and what you are expecting of them.
In my humble experience, the best two parties to talk through your thoughts on How to plan your wedding day are Your wedding Planner if you are engaging with one or the Event planner at your wedding reception venue and your wedding photographer.
I recommend both of these people as photography can take over your wedding day so it’s best to make plans so this doesn’t happen!
The best time to start with is your desired ceremony time and then work back from this point allowing yourself enough time for hair, and makeup for you and any other people such as bridesmaids and mums and finally getting your dress on and then meeting with the registrars!
Allow longer than you think and then add in a few little 5 min breaks so that this time is not rushed. When as a photographer I enter the bride’s room where you’re getting ready I can always sense the anticipation of the day and the more relaxed you can make this the better so order some champagne for the room and put some great background music on and let the hair and makeup teams do their job.
When you are planning this time speak to both your wedding hairdresser and makeup artist and ask how long they need and then add on 15 mins to allow for any last min changes and let them. Tell them prior to the day that you would like to be ready about 45 mins prior to the ceremony.
This may sound like a long time but once your make-up has been completed you need to put on that fantastic wedding dress and veil and then meet the registrars to go both check your details and for them to go over the ceremony. This leaves about 15 mins for your wedding photographer to take a few beautiful informal posed pictures of you before your wedding ceremony.
TOP TIP. When deciding how to plan your wedding day ask your make-up artist to hang around so you can have your makeup retouched just prior to the more formal pictures or make sure you’ve got the same lippy so one of your bridesmaids can help you do a little retouching after all it could be a couple of hours before the family pics take place and sometimes some brides can get a little emotional during the ceremony whilst saying your vows.
The wedding ceremony
Just enjoy the day, take your time walking down the aisle, and TRUST your wedding photographer to capture all those lovely moments that will just happen.
The same once the ceremony finishes and you walk back down the aisle as a married couple, TAKE YOUR TIME and WALK SLOWLEY and stop and say hi to your friends if you want but just enjoy the moment as it goes so quickly.
The wedding drinks reception
Mingle, mingle,mingle move around and try and say hi to as many people as you can. I say this as so often I hear brides say they didn’t get to talk to everyone on the day.
This is part of the day when your guests are normally served champagne and a few tasty canapes prior to the main meal. Also, it’s part of the day when any group photographs are taken with your family.
I can’t stress enough that this part of the day just flies by so it is really important to pre-manage it especially if you want some family group photographs and also want to enjoy your wedding day and not spend it rooted to the spot taking endless group photographs.
Pre-planning your photographs
Whilst deciding how to plan your wedding day draw up a list of all the family group photographs that you would like on your wedding day taking into account that for each group you should allow 3-5 mins ( sounds like a long time but people move slowly and chat excitedly as there is a lot of catching up to do ) You can see my recommended groups here.
Whilst winter weddings can need a little more thought when deciding how to plan your wedding day. Often the light can be beautiful and romantic and the light is a lot softer and can be more magical, but on the other hand, it could be really windy or just plain horrible outside so please remember to plan everything a little earlier if you plan on having your photographs outside, weather permitting of course.
Other things to bear in mind
If you are traveling between locations take a worst-case scenario and plan ahead by factoring in traffic delays and checking out if there are any local/national events that may cause diversions or even roadblocks.
The Key for how to plan your wedding day is to do as much pre-planning as possible and build in little time buffers to allow for things overrunning as they always generally do.
I’ve personally photographed nearly 1000 weddings so if you’d like to chat about your wedding day with me and figure out a plan that’s going to work best for you please get in touch with me either by phone or e.mail here.
I found this resource on Hitched for a little further reading about How to plan your wedding day