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The Wedding Timeline: Perhaps we can do better?

By: Megan Clouse, Megan Clouse Photography 

The topic of “our ideal wedding” has been coming up quite a bit in our local photography group, and these conversations got me reflecting on a couple of recent weddings that were absolute dreams.

Two, in particular, came to mind, so I started digging deep into why they were so ideal. There were the elements that you’d expect; joyful couple, sincere toasts, lovely setting… all things that definitely add to the day.  However, I realized that one of the key factors, that is not always prevalent, was that the timeline for both weddings was heavily padded for just being, visiting, smiling, talking, and sitting.

It was amazing!

What was even more important than me loving all the time I had, was how my couples were so at ease! There was no need for incessant tapping on the shoulder reminding them that it was time for the next thing on page 3; there was no need for conversations about the 7 minutes that are allotted for cake cutting and we’re 12 minutes behind.  We just moved about a little more naturally, and this allowed for some amazing spontaneity like the groom jumped in with the band and played one song. And when the light was perfect for sunset portraits, I smiled at them and said, “Let’s take a walk up to the barn.”

I know, I know, I can already hear you thinking of your response to me, that it’s just not that simple! I get it. I too love a well-thought-out timeline, but what if we took a step back to reevaluate what we always do and consider something new?

After what I’ve learned from this year, I’m now ready to improve my approach for even better results! Part of my new plan is to encourage a longer booking time for photography, so the planner doesn’t have to cram the schedule so much while educating my couples about the downside of a rushed day. I’m looking forward to teaming up even more with planners so we can all have the structure we need for the wedding to run smoothly while allowing some breathing room for all of us; including the couple.

Here are some recent wedding day areas that were expanded, and it really made a big difference!

  • A longer cocktail reception so the couple could really mingle.
  • Two hours of getting ready photos at the hotel, so the day began relaxed.
  • Skipping the garter and bouquet toss, so the fun dancing was not interrupted.

We all are hard-working pros who are currently in the thick of it all, but I believe strongly that if we structure the wedding day a little bit broader, we’ll all be able to take a more time to sigh, admire and enjoy.