Planning your wedding is no easy task. Let’s be honest here…. every couple has been faced with the popular question:
how will we fit everything in the day and make it run smoothly?
There is no right or wrong answer there. However when it comes to photography and your most precious moments, you should have a game plan. We have compiled a few tips for you to consider when planning your timeline for the most effective usage of time.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Do we want getting ready photos?
These types of photos tie the entire wedding day together. Should you wish to have these types of photos, we typically spend 30 minutes with the groom and 60-90 minutes with the bride. Your timeline should have us start 2 hours prior to the ceremony.
What about the extra 30 minutes there that are left over? These are used for travel from room to room, and gives us time to get photos of your immaculate setup on the beach.
When should the bride start hair and makeup?
You will hear us say this time and time again. Make sure you are one of the first if not the first to be in and out of makeup. So often we have seen brides run behind on time due to this. What happens in turn is, that lost time eats into your photography time. Let’s not forget the added pressure and stress! You are probably worried that your makeup will not look fresh when it’s go time. No worries, as long as you are relaxed and in your room with AC and Moet, you will be just fine. You can have the MUA touch you up quickly before they leave the room.
Do we want to do a first look?
The first look is not a must,. Even though we recommend it. The best way to get rid of the jitters is to have the first look. Your private time together. First looks are quite short in time themselves, however it takes up roughly 30 minutes in time. If you plan a first look it should be 30 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony. This sound like it’s way too early right?
Here is why: Getting from the rooms to the 1st look location could take while. Making sure no one crosses paths on their way takes careful 007 tactics. After the first look it allows you to get your bearings together and any potential touching up of makeup if the need be. The additional time can also be used to get a few family photos out the way.
When should my ceremony start?
On time. Wedding planners are professionals and they set forth a start time of the ceremony. There is no such thing as making a fashionably late arrival to your own ceremony. Especially not in Aruba. We are constantly racing the sun. Ceremonies should start 1 hour or more prior to the sunset. Any time between early September and early March, we recommend to have your ceremony start at 530pm or earlier. The sun sets earlier these months. Between late March and August 6pm is a great time to start the ceremony.
How much time is needed for formals and couples photos after the ceremony?
This one is a tough one to gauge. Formals are notorious for eating up valuable time during sunset. We recommend to keep your list of family photos short and sweet. If you can combine groupings and save time…. do that! A great example is when you want a photo of all the uncles separate from all the aunts. You can save 5 minutes by getting them all in the same photo at the same time. When making your family shot list start with furthest family and friends in big groups and move in towards the closer and smaller family groups. This way they can be released and go to cocktail hour.
Family photos take the most time. Keep the list short and sweet, so you can also enjoy cocktail hour. We can always get more photos there or at the reception. If you have a huge shot list, great! Then you should move your ceremony up 30 minutes from the time it has been set to, to ensure we go off the entire list
6pm ceremony start scenario, with all the above!
Groom prep: 3-330pm
Bride prep: 340-445pm
First Look: 5-530pm
Setup Photos: 535-6pm
Formals and couples photos: 630-715pm
Reception: 8pm – up to you!
What about the reception?
We are sure you want amazing photos of you getting your groove on and everyone busting a move. These are the epic dance moves you told us you had remember? We have a simple theory for this. We recommend you have us at least for the first 2 hours of the reception.
What about my dancing pics and cutting the cake? What we do in so many cases is capture the entrances, followed by the first dances. Now, right after the first dances you can instruct the DJ to play something uptempo where everyone is eager to get on the dance floor and get loose. In a photo no one knows what time you started to dance. What they will do is ask you:
How did your makeup stay on all night after dancing so much?
After the dancing we immediately go to the cake cutting. We stage it most times, however couples end up actually cutting the cake anyways. And the makeup still looks great.
We rather be open and honest with and nothave you book us for a 4 hour reception. after 2 hours all photos look the same. There is also an hour where you have dinner and we do not take photos. So it makes more sense to use our services wisely and efficiently.
These are simply recommendations for you, no obligations. We are here to help you in the best way we can. Your day means just as much to us as it means to you.