Your wedding is all about celebrating your love with the people you care about most. It's really important that you spend time with your guests. You don't want the whole day to go past and you've not had the chance to speak to everyone. But, you probably also want to have amazing wedding photos. So, how can you plan your wedding so that you get both?
It is all in the wedding planning
I have done weddings where everything was done in 7 hours, it didn't feel rushed and the Bride & Groom had the best time with all their guests. I have also done weddings that laster 14 hours and it felt as though we were constantly pushed for time.
Your wedding day timeline
The first thing to consider is the season you are getting married. With summer weddings the sunset is obviously later. If this is the case for your wedding then you can take time during the pre-drinks and join your guests to mingle and chat before your photoshoot. You can also do this in winter, but then you have to plan your wedding to begin earlier so that there's enough 'precious sunlight' left for when it's time to do your photoshoot.
One thing is for sure: if you don't leave enough time for photos you can't expect the best results. For this, you really need to consult with your photographer and follow their recommended timeline.
Making memories and capturing moments
Secondly, you have to be prepared to go-with-the-flow on your wedding day. For example, let's say you plan to mingle with the guests during pre-drinks after the ceremony. And then you have left 45 minutes for the couple photoshoot leading up to sunset. Now let's say their has been a 20 minute delay of some kind before the ceremony - unfortunetly it does happen, quite often. Now, you still have to fit everything in and 20 minutes has to be made-up somewhere.
Everyone dreads to think that their wedding might run late. It's not something I mention to scare you, but something I mention so that you are prepared in the event that it does. From experience, about 60% of weddings run late. If it happens to you, just make the simple decision: more mingling or more photos?
Saving time for more fun with your family and friends
Another thing you can do to make sure that you have more time with your guests is to plan your reception so that all the formalities are out of the way as soon as possible. Give each person making a speech a limited amount of time and have the MC make sure they stick to it. Cutting the cake, throwing the bouquet and garter, and your first dance can all be done in about 20 minutes if you do them one after the other. So, my point is; if you compress the formalities you will free up more time to be with your friends and family.
If your wedding photos are important to you I will offer this last piece of advice: when in doubt ask your photographer. If you do this you will have great photos and great fun with your guests.
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Happy Planning :)