Don't be Late for School! Study! Study! Photography, Work, Wedding Photography

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For an outside Wedding have an alternate location for the ceremony if it rains / snows / a hurricane arrives etc. (Rent sun / rain canopies?)

Designate a person to coordinate the wedding ON THE WEDDING DAY. This person SHOULD NOT be a person IN THE WEDDING PARTY. That means no mother, father, groomsman, bridesmaid or anyone who participates in the wedding in any way.

We have seen that if a person who is part of the wedding party tries to actually ensure that everything is getting done they:
Don't have time to enjoy themselves
Never get to mingle with the guests
Are stressed
Make mistakes
Are not objective as to what is important
Never have enough time to do it all
Usually not in any pictures

Plan on any travel time taking 50% more time than normal. The vast majority of weddings take place on Saturday - - a busy shopping day. If a normal trip takes 20 minutes plan on 30 minutes to get from point A to B.

Hair appointments always take longer than planned. Plan for at least two hours to get all hair-styling done for the bride and bridesmaids (four people). Add 30 minutes for each additional person. Any hair appointment that is set to start less than two hours before the bride is supposed to arrive at the church will never be done on time.

Allow at least an hour and a half (1 1/2) for the bride to get dressed from the time she arrives till she is ready for any formal photographs. It could be longer if dresses needs to be pressed. The bridesmaids usually take about 1/2 the time of the bride. Their outfits are simpler but sometimes they are helping the bride and doing other errands as needed so they may end up taking the same amount of time as the bride. Know in advance if you want the photographer to take pictures the bride as she is getting dressed! Some women are very shy and only after the dress is on do they allow a (male) photographer in with them. Some feel okay in their underwear - - they are basically wearing a bikini. Ask the bridesmaids also. They too are going to be dressing in the same area. If a woman does not not mind being seen, but she does not want to be photographed with just her underwear on, that is easily accomplished by any photographer through the use of various lenses and angles to "edit her out" in the camera.

To take pictures of the bride's side of the party before the wedding reserve at least 1/2 hour of time that ends 30 minutes before the wedding starts. If the wedding starts at 2 PM, then the bride must be dressed and ready to take pictures at 1 PM. Counting backwards she should then be at the church by no later than 11:30 AM and had her hair appointment set for 9:00 AM.

Avoid using children under six (6) years of age. It may be emotionally wanted but any child younger than six does not have the attention span to last four hours that a wedding takes. Learning what to do, then standing still for 15 to 30 minutes during the ceremony, may be too much to ask of a kid that young. Ability varies child by child but be aware of it.

Groom and groomsmen take around 30 minutes to get ready. If they arrive at the same time as the bride then it is possible for the photographer to take pictures of the grooms while the bride is still getting ready.

After the wedding ceremony is over the complete wedding party pictures are taken. Immediately following the reception line everyone involved in the wedding should return and allow at least 20 minutes to get group and individual pictures taken. This is why, as noted above, people in the wedding party should not be in charge of the site setup, reception, teardown or any other operational wedding needs. They need to be available to have their pictures taken. If they are busy working then they cannot expect to have themselves included in the group pictures — or any other pictures.

The bride and groom should NOT have any tasks to do on the wedding day. Other than showing up and exchanging vows, they should NOT have do ANY physical tasks.

This is especially true AFTER the wedding. They should just enjoy themselves. If they change into regular clothes after the ceremony the only thing they should concern themselves with is getting into their car and going away. No teardown, putting items away, cleaning up or ANYTHING like that. That just distracts from their wedding day by making them think and work when everyone should be doing that FOR them.

If any special pictures are to be taken write them down in advance. The photographer does not know everyone nor can he / she read minds. With a list, and someone to point out who is who, then the photographer can take the pictures desired. This is another reason to have someone designated outside the immediate wedding party to coordinate the event.

Groomsmen, like fathers, shed their tuxedos in half the time it took them to put them on. The longer you wait to take pictures the less likely they will still be dressed like they were during the ceremony. This even applies to the groom at times.

Don't delay between wedding stages:

The longer the delay between the wedding stages the more people leave. Immediately after the ceremony some people will always leave. While the reception is being set up (or while people are traveling to it) is when the complete wedding party pictures are taken. Allow 40 minutes for group pictures, property collection and travel time to the reception location. Now the reception is going on. Once the bride and groom arrive at the reception people get to eat. It takes 15 minutes or so for the people to go though the food line. Wait 5 minutes after the last person has gone through and cut the wedding cake. The toasts can be done at the this time since everyone is gathered around. Now wait another 15 minutes and do the first dance; wait another 10 and do the money dance, another 10 and do the garter / bouquet toss. This means from the end of the vows to the bouquet toss around 1 1/2 hours has elapsed. About the limit for most people to stay in one place. 1 1/2 hours is the same length of time as a standard movie. Now regular mixing, saying hello and dancing can occur. After a 1/2 hour to 45 minutes of free form entertainment all the presents should be opened. By this time only 1/2 of the guests can be expected to still be there. Mainly those who brought gifts!

Rent a car:

If you do not want your personal car to be decorated then rent a car for the weekend. I don't know if the rental firms charge extra for cleaning. This is good if you are going immediately away on a honeymoon the next day. No worries of cleaning the car, no parking fees at airport etc. Just drive and go. If not traveling away, but going to a local Hilton, Doubletree or other premier hotel then renting a limo would work. The driver will not allow any decorations on his vehicle of course but you can go in style. Limo prices vary from $80 / hour and up.

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