After you and your photographer have agreed to work together, the photographer will plan a conversation to review all the details. I like to have a real brief conversation at our first meeting just to get a sense for the day. When is the ceremony? When is dinner? How much time is there? If we see any timing that looks troublesome, we can have additional conversations.
On the One Month planning conversation, I have many very specific details I need to get and I also want to listen to your thought wishes and needs for the day. After a discussion on the day in general, I get into specifics.
I start with the schedule for the day. Typically there are 2 times that cannot be moved, the ceremony and when dinner is served. Once we have the ceremony start time, I’ll ask about the length of the ceremony and what events happen. I’ll then ask if you want to photograph the Formals after the ceremony. This gives me a time we will be done at the ceremony. I then ask what time dinner is planned to be served. I like to be finished with all the Bridal Party and Romantics photography and be at the reception 30 minutes before serving dinner. This gives the Bridal Party time to get a refreshment, gives the DJ time to organize the Party and leaves 15 minutes for announcing the party, cutting the cake and toasts.
Once we know what time we can leave the ceremony and what time we need to be at the reception, we know how much time we have for Bridal Party and Romantics. We can than plan how much drive time and how many locations we can do.
I then look at the timing after dinner. I conservatively schedule 90 minute for dinner for the dancing to start. The DJ will then coordinate the formal dancing and gets the party started. Typically the garter and bouquet toss come after the guest have danced some. I find we have enough images of people dancing and partying about 90 minutes after the dancing starts.
I then look to the beginning of the day. Typically I like to start about 2 hours before the ceremony.
That is pretty much the scheduling conversation. I review the schedule with the couple the week of the wedding and do everything in my power to keep the couple on time, letting them know as the day goes whether we are on behind or ahead of schedule. Because I like to build a conservative schedule, I find most of the day runs ahead of schedule.