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I am a marriage & family photographer based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. When I'm not editing your photographs, you can find me gardening with my boys or exploring the local hiking trails.

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5 Wedding Day Timeline Tips | Lancaster Wedding and Portrait Photographer

You’re getting married and the big day is getting close! There’s so much to do and think about! Well, your wedding timeline is one of the most important things to consider in planning your day. There aren’t many things as stressful as running late on your wedding day when you’ve hired vendors until certain times and your guests are waiting and you’re running out of light for the photos that you had your heart set on… whew.  Now that I have sufficiently made any brides reading feel panicky, I would like to add that I have put together a list of 5 tips that may lessen your wedding day stress.

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1. It takes a while to get dressed (& out the door!)

You may have practiced getting into your dress a few times before the big day for fittings and because WHY NOT, but you may not realize it really does take 30 minutes to get into your dress and have someone button or lace the back for you. You also need time to put on your shoes, jewelry and headpiece. Even if you’re sure it won’t take quite that long, it is still smart to give yourself a little more time than you need. It also takes time to get out the door! You should give yourself at least 15 minutes for you and your bridesmaids to gather everything they need and walk to the limousine/car/trolley/whatever you’re travelling in!

_MG_3129s2. Consider traffic

If you live in an area with a higher population or somewhere known to have traffic, take that into account! Remember to think about factors like the day and time that could affect how much traffic you’re facing as well. If you’re not sure, then Google Maps is pretty handy. There’s an option to choose the day and time that you are departing and it will give you an estimate on what to expect. You may also want to research if any other big events are happening in the area.  For example, any Philadelphia weddings were facing MUCH more travel time than they originally would have during the Pope’s visit last year.

3. Give yourself wiggle room

You never want to think of cases where things run longer than you expect them to. A bridesmaid ends up arriving late. Your parents get lost on the way to the ceremony. Uncle Bob decided to go grab a drink when he was supposed to be in family portraits. Unfortunately, it happens. Leave some wiggle room here and there in your timeline to avoid any stress this might cause.  Don’t forget to allow for time to walk from place to place either. If you are planning to finish getting ready by 2PM, then your ceremony can’t start at 2PM, unless you’ve figure out how to teleport.

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4. Do a first look

I totally understand wanting to have the traditional first look as you walk down the aisle during your ceremony. I do. I would still at least consider a first look. Having done some or all of your portraits (yes, family and bridal party included) before the ceremony even starts means that you get to go to your cocktail hour. It means we can take time with your portraits. It means you can have a few moments alone with your soon to be husband or wife before the whirlwind begins. Are you afraid of losing that moment walking down the aisle?  I don’t believe that you will. Instead, I think you will gain a moment. I recommend having first looks being between just the bride, groom, myself, and my second shooter. I also try to stand a little further from you so the two of you have a little time to soak in the moment. This is likely to be the only time during your wedding that you two will have some time alone together until everything is over for the day. After the two of you spend a little time together during your first look you may even be able to go into your ceremony with more of a clear head.

5. Think about LIGHT

If your wedding is starting a little before sunset and you don’t want to do a first look, then your portraits are going to be taken when it’s dark. That means no dreamy golden hour photos and that flash will have to be used. There is a difference in the mood of the result. If your reception is taking place during the golden hour, maybe just let your photographer steal you for 10 minutes or so for some extra portraits. On the other hand, you also do not want your portraits taken when the sun is right over head. That will cause unflattering shadows under your eyes, which kind of makes you look like a raccoon.  It’s called solar noon and it’s not always at 12PM! Again, Google, is another handy tool in figuring out when that might be.

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June 3, 2016

For Couples

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Rebecca is a wedding and motherhood photographer based in beautiful Lancaster, County, PA.

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