August 10, 2022

Why weddings run late (and how to avoid it) // six handy tips

FILED IN: Wedding Tips

Weddings can be stressful enough as is, the last thing you want is to be running behind schedule and needlessly adding to that stress. The trick is to ensure the timeline you come up with is reasonable (you can check out this post on how much time we need for photos), but here is a list of 6 common things to consider if you want minimum stress:

1) It will take longer for your bridesmaids to help you into your dress than it took the dressmaker at the shop.

Just because the dressmaker was able to get you into the dress and have all the straps and bits and pieces all put together in double quick time doesn’t mean the process will be so quick and easy when your mum or your bridesmaids try and do the same thing on your wedding day! Even something as simple as tying up the back of the dress can get pretty complicated without an expert on hand. I recommend either doing a practice run in the lead-up to the wedding or allocating way more time than you think you’ll need on the day.

2) Hair and makeup should ideally be finished at least 90 minutes before the bride leaves for the ceremony.

An hour and a half?!? Really?? I generally arrive at the bride’s place two hours before it’s time to leave for the ceremony, this sounds like a long time but this time will absolutely fly, and in order to make sure we’ve got plenty of time to get some relaxed and stress-free photos it’s important that hair and makeup doesn’t cut into this time too much.

3) Old cars take longer to travel long distances or up hills.

If you are using classic cars (or a double-decker bus for your guests) for your wedding you should be aware that you may need to factor in extra travel time. For instance, it might take 30 minutes to drive from the bridal preparations to the wedding venue in your car, but that vintage Jaguar isn’t so quick up the freeway and might take 50 minutes for the same trip. Make sure you speak with your driver well before the wedding and find out how long they think it will take.

4) “Everyone expects the bride to be late”.

In some cultures, it’s expected that the bride will be 30 minutes late. If you plan on being late (even 10 minutes late) that’s absolutely fine, but please let me know in advance so we can factor that into our running sheet for the day. The most critical part of the day time-wise is between the ceremony and reception, so any delay to the start of the ceremony cuts into this precious time.

5) Family photos can take forever – but they don’t have to!

With a bit of planning in advance, we can generally take care of the family photos in around 15-20 minutes. Without any planning, this time can double. Take a look at this post for a closer look at how to make this part of the day as quick and easy as possible.

6) It takes longer than you might think to load an entire wedding party into (and out of) the wedding cars.

If you’re planning on travelling for your wedding photos it’s important to factor in the time it takes to round up your wedding party and load them into the wedding cars as well as the travelling time. The bigger the wedding party the longer it takes. If time is limited then it may be worth considering some photos with the wedding party at the venue and then leaving them behind when we go off-site.

This post is part of a series that answers questions Adelaide wedding couples may have about their wedding. Weddings can be a bit confusing if you’ve never been in one before (or even if you have), so I’m using my 14+ years of experience as an Adelaide wedding photographer to demystify the whole process. The other posts in the series can be seen here, topics include:

How to get natural-looking wedding photos – I hate having my photo taken!

How much time do we need for photos?

How do we organise family photos at my wedding?

Do people still get wedding albums these days?

(I haven’t actually finished writing all these posts as of now, but over the coming weeks I hope to have them up and running)

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