One of the biggest concerns I hear from people is that they want to spend as much time with their family and friends without sacrificing photos.
The key to achieving this is simple planning. Yes, it’s that easy. Well, OK as easy as you want to make it on yourself.
In order to understand how to accomplish this, we first have to look at what takes up the time you’ll spend away from your guests.
Anyone knows that after the ceremony there are pictures, pictures and more pictures. Anyone that’s ever attended a Croatian wedding photographer knows what those photos are. Formals of the wedding party, family and Bride and Groom photos. Because of the amount of people, we are dealing with, it takes time to maneuver through it all.
What it really comes down to is priorities and planning. Formals of the wedding party are a given, what’s not however is when they are done. Best case scenario is to knock out as many of them as possible before the ceremony. Are you willing to see each other beforehand? Some are, while others are not. Either way you can still make some headway. A lot of the formals include photos of the Bride with her girls, the groom with the girls the guys with the girls, the guys with the guys and so on. Either takes the other to get them done. After the ceremony, the only other photos are with them as a couple as groups.
After the ceremony, the attitudes of people tend to change. They’re in PARTY mode and who cares about photos. Photos are important, so the next best thing is to get them in picture mode. The sooner the photos are done the sooner they can party. Organization in this phase can make the difference between 15 minutes and 30 minutes. If everyone knows what’s going on and to keep it together, everything will go faster and smoother.
Another factor, for the photographer anyway is knowing who’s, who. If you make out a list of certain groups of people to be photographed and assigning a family member or friend to assist, the photographer can run through the list and the helper can get the people where they need to be.
Delays can also be caused by well-wishers. People wanting to congratulate you. The best way to avoid delays is to hide from everyone after the ceremony. Out of sight-out of mind. In short, get everyone moving on to the reception and the others can get back and get the photos done. Have a plan where everyone will meet away from everyone else and once the others are gone, re-group for the photos. If you want to have a receiving line do it later at the reception venue and not after the ceremony.
If you are going to have as many photos taken prior to the ceremony as possible, make sure the key people are aware that they need to be wherever at the designated time. My recommendation is to tell them to be ready and available 30 minutes before you actually want them to be there.
Lastly, one thing that can destroy all of your planning and intentions is delays in the ceremony. In eighteen years, and hundreds of weddings, I’ve seen only a handful that actually started at the appointed time. Hair dressers late, someone getting lost, shoes or clothing forgotten, limos getting lost and so on. The best rule of thumb is getting people there earlier than you want them and checklists to follow. If you have out-of-town people, make sure they know exactly where they are going and expected to be. The best intentions can fall apart in a instant and can snowball rapidly, so take the time to plan everything out beforehand.
Your photographer has a commitment and duty to get the photographs you want. They can only accomplish that goal in a timely manner if everything falls into place as expected.
One last thing. Everyone want pictures! Major delays can be caused by people wanting photos while the photos are taken by the professional. “Wait, one more for me”, can add a lot of time to the process. Telling family and friend to hold off until later can make a real difference in time. After all isn’t that why you are hiring a professional?
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