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You’re wedding is right around the corner and it’s time to start working out the logistics of your big day! It’s time to make the TIMELINE! I love helping couples make good wedding day timelines, because I know with a good timeline and a little planning we can make your day run smoothly and help you achieve beautiful dreamy wedding photographs you can cherish. So, let’s get started!

amanda olivia photo, wedding details, invitation suite

Sample Wedding Day Timeline

First, I’ll say this is just a sample timeline to give you an idea of how I would plan out a wedding day. You may need to shift these times around due to the time of year you are getting married or if you need to add additional time to any of these parts of the day. Here is the sample wedding day timeline I send all my couples and how I approach an 8 hour wedding day in terms of photography.

Bridal Details 2:30 – 3:15 pm

Every bride loves having those beautiful shots of her details! Detail shots are important because they tell so much of YOUR story. Here is when I can capture your ring, your grandmother’s broach, the letters you’ve written to your groom, the gifts you plan to give your parents, your dress, your shoes, and the list goes on! I normally like to schedule myself ~ 45 minutes for details so I can be sure to capture all your details with care.

Getting Ready / Bridal Prep 3:15 – 3:45 pm

Now it’s time to ‘get ready’! Here we’ll capture photos of you getting into your dress and putting on your jewelry, you and your mom sharing a moment, and you with your bridesmaids. At this time we can sneak in a few extra bridal portraits too!

amanda olivia photo , kentucky wedding, bride and groom portrait

First Look 4:00 pm

This is probably my favorite part of the wedding day! This is a private time you get to have between you and your groom. And have no fear, I’ll find you the perfect place for your First Look to take place so no other wedding guests will see you. This is a chance for you both to see each other and interact before the ceremony takes place and you see all your guests!

Bride & Groom Portraits 4:15 – 4:45 pm

After you have your First Look together we can take some time to get some romantic portraits of the two of you while your initial excitement is still present! No worries, I’ll find beautiful locations for these shots too! As we are doing these portraits, the bridal party can start making their way over for Bridal Party Portraits!

Bridal Party Portraits 4:50 – 5:20 pm

Now it’s time for the whole gang to get together! Here we’ll get photos of all the groomsmen and bridesmaids! Doing the Bridal Party Portraits before the ceremony saves us lots of time later on so you can get to hanging out with your friends and family quicker.

reception details, summer wedding, amanda olivia photo

Bride in Hiding / Reception Details 5:30  – 6:00 pm

This is the part of the day where the whole Bridal Party goes into hiding while all the guests start arriving for your ceremony! At this time I’ll head over to your ceremony and reception space to capture all the beautiful details you’ve put together before all your guests arrive.

Ceremony 6:00 – 6:30 pm

Now, it’s time to get MARRIED! Most ceremonies are 30 minutes long or less. If your ceremony is longer than 30 minutes we’ll just make adjustments to the timeline. Cherish this time. Cherish this part of the day because this is what it’s all about. This is why you are throwing a wedding party. Your ceremony will pass by so quickly, so soak it all in and don’t rush it.

Family Portraits 6:40 – 7:10 pm

Family Portraits usually take place directly after the ceremony. This is best time of day to do these portraits because everyone will be accounted for an present by this time in the day. They will have all just attended your ceremony after all. It will take about 30 minutes for Family Portraits. I’ll send you a questionnaire before your wedding day so I can have a list of all the family arrangements you’d like photographs of. This way you don’t have to remember everything and I’ll have the list printed out and ready to go!

amanda olivia photo, sunset portrait, bride and groom portrait

A few Sunset Portraits 7:15 – 7:30 pm

This is the BEST time of day for portraits (at least in the Spring/Summer) because it is so beautiful, glowy, and golden outside! Taking some portraits at this time will help us get those beautiful dreamy photos you’ve been wanting, so don’t skip out here!

Reception Begins! 7:30pm

Now it’s time to line up, do your bridal party introductions and start the party! Now it’s time to mingle, have your first dance, toss that bouquet, eat some cake, and enjoy your day with your friends and family.

The Exit 10:00 pm

Woo hoo! We’ve made it! Here you might want to do a sparkler exit or something fun to end the night!

I hope this sample timeline gives you an idea of how to plan your wedding day well  while keeping photography in mind. I want you to have beautiful wedding day photographs you can always cherish. By sticking to a timeline like this one, you can achieve just that.

Have any questions about making your wedding day timeline?

Leave them below and I’d be happy to answer them! Stay tuned for more wedding tips coming soon.

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You’re going to propose! You’ve got a ring in hand, a plan, and you’re ready! You’ve even hired a photographer to document the moment.

Photographing proposals is becoming more and more popular and I LOVE IT! This is such an important moment and will be a great memory in your relationship, so documenting it is a great idea. Proposals happen quickly, they are full of all the happy emotions, and then they’re over….Just. Like. That. Having your proposal photographed will allow you to cherish this moment through photographs forever.

However, having your proposal photographed can take a little bit of planning and work! Here are 3 tips to having a photographer present without spoiling the big surprise:

 

1. Propose in a place where a photographer can blend into the background.

If you propose in a location where a photographer would naturally be then the photographer doesn’t have to hide at all. The photographer can blend into the scene and your bride-to-be will never be the wiser. Your photographer can pretend to be photographing something else entirely, and then once the big question is popped, they can move their focus over to you and get everything. Often your bride-to-be will be so involved in the moment she might not even recognize that the camera is now pointing at her.

Here are some example locations for this scenario:

  • Public Locations (i.e. – Park, Trails, Restaurant)
  • Popular Tourist / Photography Spots (i.e. – Downtown, College Campus, National Park, Theme Park)
  • Big Events (i.e. – Concert, Performance, Art Fair, Sports Game)
  • A celebration where a photographer is already expected (i.e. – Birthday Party, Anniversary, Family Session)

2. Hide Your Photographer And Blend Them Into The Scene As Much As Possible

This is a little tricky, but can always be done! This is always the most fun option too as the photographer! If you go with this option do a little extra planning ahead of time with your photographer. You will need to have a specific plan, good direction, and a specific hiding spot for your photographer ahead of time. If you cannot meet with your photographer beforehand, make sure you can clearly mark the photographer’s hiding spot and communicate this with them. This way your photographer can know where to hide and be ready to go!

Here are some examples for how the photographer can hide in this scenario:

  • The photographer hides in the natural surroundings (i.e. – bushes, trees, landscape) and shoots through the hiding place.
  • The photographer hides around the corner and then slowly sneaks out to shoot the proposal once you’re on your knee!
  • The photographer hides in a balcony or shots from a window in a nearby building. This allows the photographer to capture the proposal without being directly in the scene.

 

3. Propose when she is already expecting a photographer to be around.

This scenario allows for you all to be interacting with the photographer beforehand and pick locations with good lighting in the moment. Your bride-to-be will be camera ready and feeling good! Now guys, the ladies will appreciate this one! They want to look good in those proposal photos.

Here are some examples you could already be in with a photographer in this scenario:

  • Taking holiday portraits
  • Taking family portraits (You have to be comfortable proposing with family around!)
  • Claim to have entered and won a photography session through a contest of some sort

P.S. – Here are some additional things to keep in mind during your proposal:

  • Communicate really well with your photographer beforehand. You want to make sure that you are both on the same page. Leave nothing up to interpretation. You want to make sure your photographer captures this moment beautifully.
  • Leave space in your schedule to take some portraits with your photographer after the proposal is over. Your bride-to-be will LOVE this and you’ll get some additional portraits to remember from this big day!
  • Do a little practice beforehand. If you can, do a practice run through with your photographer so you can both work out any kinks before the actual moment.
  • Get excited!!! You’re about to get married!

Now you’re ready to go! Good luck with your proposal!

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Choosing the right vendors for your wedding day can be overwhelming. There are LOTS of options out there. I have had the opportunity to work with some of the most talented and amazing vendors on wedding days, and whenever possible I love helping my clients create an outstanding vendor team. I frequently refer my clients to vendors who I have worked with and believe will do an amazing job for their wedding day.

Today meet Whitney from Whitewood Events and her team of planners and coordinators. Could they be any cuter??? Whitewood Events is one of my favorite wedding planning and design businesses based right here in Athens, GA. I know that whenever I work a wedding with them, everything will be stunning and everyone will be in great hands.

Here’s some Q & A to help us get to know Whitney and Whitewood Events better.

Who are you? What do you do?

I’m Owner and Lead Planner + Designer at Whitewood Events.

How many people work on your team? What areas do they serve?

Whitney, Erica, Caty, and Caitlin. We serve Athens, GA and surrounding areas, as well as destination location weddings

When a bride first contacts you, what information do you ask from her?

When I hear from a bride, the most important thing is making sure that we are a good fit for the couple aesthetically, financially, as well as personality wise! We like to know when and where they are planning their special day, and from there we love to set up a phone call to chat and talk further about what services they see themselves needing.

What information do you send to her?

Once we get an inquiry, we send them an Investment Guide, which breaks down our different levels of involvement and lists the services that we offer along with the starting cost.

What is the difference between a Planner? Coordinator? Day of Coordinator? Or other positions on your team.

Because we feel that we do our best job when we are fully in the know on all things associated with a client’s event, we do not offer a ‘Day Of’ only option. Our coordinating package allows to to begin communication and finishing details one month out from the special day. This way, there is less room for unwelcome surprises, and it allows the client to be more at ease in the weeks leading up to their big day .

When we are able to step up into the role of being the Planner, whether it’s Partial or Full Planning, that’s when we are the most fulfilled and flourish. We are able to get to know our clients, keeping open communication with them throughout the entire planning process, ensuring they are educated on their options and how to execute them. In the event that we are hired on to be the Full Planner for someone, we ensure that all design and implementation is taken care of, allowing the client to fully enjoy the process while also making sure everything that is important to them and their guests’ experience is included and created especially for them.

How do I figure out what is the best for me (i.e. should I hire a planner, coordinator, etc.)? Do you help brides decide this?

Assuming they have reached out to us based on the content they’ve seen from our social media and website + blog, and they feel they are a match style-wise, we go into their overall budget and vision for the day. It’s often within that initial conversation, that both our planners and the client get a good idea of how much assistance they need or want.

However, sometimes we are asked to jump in and be more involved if the client begins to feel burdened by the planning process, and that is the last thing anyone wants! We really do love to learn about our clients, and the more we know the more we can do for them and make sure that they remember their wedding planning experience as a fun memory and not a stressful one! That level of involvement for us is determined not just by price but how much time the client has to dedicate to planning, or how much they feel comfortable making design or vendor decisions, or how familiar they are with the location and logistics that come with that, etc. There are a lot of variables, so sometimes creating a custom package for them is ideal.

No two clients are alike, and no two weddings should be alike either. The one constant should be, enjoy the process!

What is the value in hiring a Planner? Coordinator? Or Day of Coordinator?

When we send our list of services to potential clients, it’s not ever going to fully list what all we ‘do’. The value is in how involved your planner is and how they help shape your experience, not just in helping choose linens and talk about flowers. You can place value on the ways they help you save money, or the recommendations they offer, or especially in the hours of research and communication they put into making everything perfect. The feeling of not playing hostess at your own wedding, and fully entrusting a professional with years of experience who is EQUALLY as excited about this special occasion as you and your guests…there is no way that can be put into words or in a list of services included.

Do you help with overall design? Or does someone else do that?

Because the overall design is so tightly woven by who the couple is and what is important to them, we offer full design services in our full planning package. This way we can offer up the best options, within their aesthetic and budget, and make sure it speaks true to them and not just a pretty event. With our design services, we first get to know the couple and what their priorities are. From there, we source and crunch the numbers, offering them options that they love and that fit their budget and season. Finally, we implement and handle the logistics that come along with creating that final vision.

Will you be there for the whole day of my wedding? When will you come and go?

I am always on site for at least 9 hours of the wedding day, in addition to the rehearsal that typically takes place the evening before the wedding day. We check in to make sure things get off to a good start, and that the bride has their planner on call for that 48 hours in case they need something before the planner or coordinator arrives. Our lead planners and coordinators typically arrive as hair and make-up is coming to an end, and we stay until the venue has been checked out of.

Do you send out wedding invitations for us?

Depending on the level of service, we certainly can offer mailing services. We like to be a part of that whole process anyway, as we are paper lovers at heart.

What are the biggest tips you would offer a brand new bride-to-be?

Be realistic in what is important to you at the end of the day. Be realistic in how many hours you have to spend on planning your wedding, and don’t underestimate the power of having a planner or even just a coordinator. If you are unsure of what you need, reach out to some that suit your style and offer prompt responses. In the end, you will want to remember the fun and ease of the entire experience – from engagement to ‘I Do’.

Do you coordinate with all my other vendors?

Yes, absolutely!

Will you help me create a wedding timeline?

Of course! Every package we offer has us heavily involved in the timing for the entire day, and often the days leading up to and after the wedding. Getting further involved, we create a checklist for the planning, based on how far out you are from the big day, as well as keeping up with payment due dates and reminders.

Will you help me stay on budget?

Our goal is to keep you within your budget, but if you start to venture outside of that number, we are always looking for ways to cut elsewhere and overall make sure you are educated in actual costs. Some of the biggest misconceptions in planning come from a client not being made aware of how much certain aspects cost. This is why our knowing your priorities and what’s important to you is pertinent to us. For example, you may really just care about the flowers, and then with the invitations you want something simple and more streamline affordable. It’s always about balance.

What else would you like brides-to-be to know?

I sometimes find myself with a client who says they just want help with design and coordination, thus cutting us out of planning help. Whether it’s because the client feels they’ve ‘got it’ on the planning front, or they want to try and save on our services, it’s important for them to know that it is often hard to assist in some things without being involved in others.

A great example of this is if you are asking for design help, yet I’m not involved in the budget planning or vendor shopping, etc, then I won’t be able to offer reasonable design suggestions that fit your vendor’s capabilities or your budget. Embracing your planner’s expertise and trusting them, if you’ve chosen the right one for you, is key in making sure you get the most out of your experience.

Why work with Whitewood Events?

Whomever you work with, make sure you connect with them on the level of service you are looking for, their personality with yours, and be sure that they are in line with the type of event you envision for you and your fiance. Ask your venue who they recommend if it’s a destination wedding, google and read testimonials, and don’t hesitate to reach out and set up a phone chat or in person meeting with the planning company you are considering.

You can learn a lot about them and how you ‘jive’ from a simple conversation! We consider it a win when we book a client who is equally excited to work with us as we are with them. As true with anything for us, it’s more about quality not quantity. Everyone is happy when you match up with the right vendor for you. If you book the right planner, you can rest assured that you’ll be working with the best vendors for you across the board, and then you really can have the perfect wedding day.

Make sure to head over to the Whitewood Events website to see all the amazing work Whitney and her Team of talented planners do!

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