It’s important that you allow sufficient time for everything that will happen on your wedding day. Your day will be a whirl of excitement and prior planning will help everything to go smoothly.
If in doubt, allow longer. Even a small delay can impact throughout the rest of your day and as the time of your meal is fixed, any time that needs to be made up will reduce the amount of time that is available for photographs.
It probably goes without saying, but the more people there are to have hair and makeup done, the longer it’s likely to take and your hairdresser/makeup artist will be able to guide you on the time you need to get ready.
If you are having photographs of you getting ready, we will need to leave in time to get to the church or Registry Office to photograph the groom and best man – and to make sure they’ve gone inside before you arrive! As a rule of thumb we really need to be there at least half an hour before the ceremony is due to start.
Although it’s traditional for the bride to be a couple of minutes late, if you cut it too fine, we won’t have enough time to photograph you when you arrive! Please try to allow 10 minutes for us to take those photographs at the car.
A Roman Catholic church service can take up to an hour and a half, perhaps longer with Mass. Services at other churches are usually around 45 mins.
If the main photography is being carried out at the church it’s useful to allow about an hour for this.
Don’t forget to include travel time to your reception venue. If you are getting married on a Saturday, the traffic is likely to be heavy and if you are travelling some distance, do allow a margin for roadworks and other hold ups that may affect your journey time. Do allow time for your guests to arrive too – many of them might not be familiar with the route and they’ll need to get to their car after the ceremony as well.
If you are having photography at the reception venue do allow sufficient time. We’d suggest half an hour, but we’ll need ten minutes or so to set up some shots of you ‘cutting’ the cake before you and your guests sit down for your meal.
Formal ‘line ups’ where the wedding party greets every guest as they enter the reception room can add half an hour or so on to your timing.
Your meal is likely to take up to two hours.
The venue will need at least half an hour to clear away and re-arrange your room for the evening entertainment.
All these timings are intended as a guide only so do check with the venues and service providers. And please remember, all your guests will naturally want to congratulate you and this will eat into your time a lot, so build in as many cushions as you can!