A photographer’s guide to your wedding running order!

A wedding is one of the most exciting times in your life when you get to celebrate a new beginning in the presence of your loved ones. It’s the day you want to enjoy dancing, laughing, and having fun while creating the most special memories. With so many events happening, the last thing you want on your special day is to feel rushed and stressed: you don’t want anything to impact your happy moments! Hence one of the most challenging parts of your planning is figuring out how to organise your wedding day for a seamless wedding running order. Trust me, it is one of the essential aspects that can make or break your photography session.

Many couples often don’t realise that the role of the wedding photographer is not just confined to capturing beautiful images; it goes beyond that. The photographer plays an important role in managing the timeline of the day. They are often like your planner, who guides you through the hours. You can rely on them to make sure that everything runs smoothly. That being said, I have put together a general guide to help you plan out your wedding running order and allocate time accordingly.

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Be realistic with your timings and locations

I am sure you don’t want to spend all your day travelling from one location to another while missing all the fun of your wedding. Therefore, I always recommend taking photographs at the church or the wedding venue, so you get to enjoy and celebrate maximum time with your loved ones. Allow for the shoot to take place 30-45 minutes before the ceremony, and ensure that everything’s completely set up with no guests or vendors in the area ready to capture the scene at its best.

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Plan the schedule in advance

Make sure to plan the wedding running order schedule in advance with your photographer. This way, everyone knows what is happening and how the events will flow. Share the details with key family members and other suppliers for a seamless day.

Travelling time between the location

It’s very common to have the ceremony and the reception at different locations. Just be mindful that everything happens as per the scheduled wedding day timeline. My recommendation to avoid delays is to learn how long it takes to get to and from different locations involved. Don’t forget to leave cushion time for traffic delays and unexpected last-minute changes.

Timings involved

When planning your wedding running order, and considering how much time you need to plan for the ceremony, you should think about the elements that affect what happens when on a wedding day, including:

  • Is there a fixed time for the ceremony?
  • At what time will the guests be getting to the ceremony?
  • Travel time to and from the ceremony location.

For instance, a church ceremony typically takes an hour and a civil ceremony around 30 minutes. These are the rough timelines, but I always prefer to schedule a little bit more time in case the ceremony runs over or is delayed for any reason. Accordingly, I keep the standard list of family photographs ready so that they can be completed the soonest – about 10 minutes. A structured plan lets you enjoy and spend quality time with your loved ones without the stress of thinking about what’s happening when.

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How can the couple get the most from their photography?

Here are a few tips that can help you get the most from your wedding photography to make your day more memorable and enjoyable.

Create a shortlist in advance with your photographer

It’s a great idea to put together a list, so your photographer knows of your expectations. 

Prepare and gather items for detailed photo shots.

Don’t forget the bouquet, cufflinks, rings, and other essential items. It’s helpful for the wedding photographer when these things are organised and ready, so make sure to keep them close.

Having a first look before the ceremony

I love this modern concept that gives you the opportunity to see each other for the first time in a private and exclusive setting. It allows the photographer extra time for detailed couple portraits while you look your best.

Schedule time for a quick golden hour session

It is the most beautiful time of the day, in terms of natural light. To capture the magic of the moment, I recommend planning at least 20 minutes with your photographer before sunset for the golden hour photos.

In the end, celebrate, dance, and have fun like no one’s watching. Enjoy and have the most iconic celebration ever. These are some essential tips for the wedding running order that I believe will help run your day smoothly. If you need assistance with wedding photography, let me know, I would be honoured to be part of your special day!

For more helpful wedding planning tips you can stay tuned to my blog each Tuesday. If you would like some advice on when you should book your wedding photographer you can read all about it here. Bride Magazine also have a very useful article on this topic.

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