As a wedding photographer I’ve been to a lot of weddings and so I really really know how important time is! I talk to every couple about the importance of time on their wedding day, so it’s likely that I’ve already spoken to you about this very topic!
So many people will tell you that time goes quickly on your wedding day. One minute you’re getting ready and the next you’re getting ready for bed! I’m lining up to agree with those people because they’re absolutely correct.
Many couples book me as they want a relaxed day and my approach to wedding photography and my photography style suits a relaxed vibe. But the only way to make the wedding day FEEL truly relaxed is to make sure you give yourself plenty of time for everything when planning the day.
Give yourself ample time between reception and dinner
You want to make sure that from the time your reception starts, you have at least two hours before the guests are called for dinner.
I say from the time the reception starts (and not the time the ceremony finishes) because if your ceremony and reception are at different venues, you don’t want travel time to eat into the reception time.
This reception time is super important for you both. It’s when we’ll do group photos (keep the number low – more on this here), couple portraits and – most importantly in my opinion – the pair of you will get to mingle with your guests and soak up your wedding day. It’s really important to me that you feel like you’ve enjoyed your wedding day and not just been pulled around for photos.
I truly believe that two hours is not a long time and your guests will not be bored – a common response when I chat about this in person!
Ideas to keep guests entertained
We don’t socialize in person together like we used to, especially since 2020. Your guests will be thrilled to mingle and catch up with each other, take selfies, eat the canapés, explore the venue, play the lawn games, hug their relatives and friends, watch the magician, enjoy the music and soak up the wedding day. If you’re worried about guests being bored, use some of these ideas!
More time means better wedding photographs
Leaving a good amount of time at this point in the day also means I get time to walk around and photograph everything I’ve mentioned above. These will be the storytelling images of your wedding day. Those natural and candid moments I know you love and the reason why you booked me.
I’m more than happy to listen to what you want from the day and then help you plan out the timeline. Venues can absolutely help with this too – but remember they may possibly push you to a timeline that serves them.
For example, one couple told me that a venue wanted them to marry at 3pm – why? So that guests could check into the hotel before the ceremony. But where does this leave you? If the ceremony is 3-4pm-ish, you’ll likely be called for food at 5pm, which leaves you with just one hour for the reception.
Nah. You’ve paid big bucks for this day at your dream venue. Marry earlier and have time in the afternoon to enjoy your wedding. Guests can nip off and check in throughout the reception if they need to. Neerali and Ketan left four hours between the ceremony finishing and being called for food so that guests could do just this, while we had a nice chunk of time for portraits without feeling rushed.
Remember this is your day, so do things your way.
If you enjoyed this, you’ll like this blog all about my top tips for stress-free wedding planning.
If you’re planning a relaxed wedding and you think we sound like a good fit, you can contact me about being your wedding photographer using the contact form!