“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” – the famous quote we often hear when we talk about planning. The key to ensuring that your wedding runs smoothly is to plan ahead. As much as a chore as that might sound, planning ahead is the only thing that’ll help you stay level headed on your big day. To do this, you first need to break down every sequence into the littlest detail, and this will help you keep everything organised into a comprehensive timeline.
However, what we often find is that almost every couple overlooks key details that will help them tremendously improve the quality of their photos and film; and let’s face it, everyone wants to look their best on their big day. But fret not, we’re here to help. We’ve broken down the most common sequences in a wedding ceremony and will be providing you with insights on some of the factors that you can take into consideration when planning for your wedding.
Makeup and Veiling
Our first stop would always be at the bride’s house, the hotel, or wherever you choose to get ready. 7 – 8 a.m is the best time to start shooting the makeup and veiling portion, and we recommend this because the sun has just risen and natural daylight always captures better on cameras compared to fluorescent light. It’ll be an added bonus – if applicable to your location – to be able to capture streaks of light peeking in through the windows adding more depth to the setting.
Gate Crash and/or Unveiling
8 – 9 a.m is where the sun is at an optimal position – so make use of this! Since the sun is still near the horizon, sunlight coming in from a low angle will provide a more contrasted and cinematic look. This ensures that your silhouette and the environment will stand out sharply against one another and that everyone looks their best.
Tip: While the groom is unveiling the bride, it is a great opportunity for the bridesmaids and groomsmen to take the time to cool down and touch up their makeup before moving off to the next activity set for the day.
When you are doing your outdoor photography or videography shoot, avoid doing so when the sun is at its highest point in the sky at noon. 9 or 10 a.m is when the sun is most favourable and when it’s not too warm out, meaning you are less likely to be perspiring in your beautiful outfits! With excellent lighting, the shoot will translate into stellar stills and motion.
We believe that the outdoor photoshoot should be scheduled before the tea ceremony to make use of this window of good natural light. Outdoor shoots that are done after the tea ceremony usually end up in a sweaty mess and harsh overhead lighting from the sun is unflattering, to say the least.
Tip: Be sure to set aside an allowance of 30 minutes as sometimes things do overrun and you don’t want to be late to your next stop!
Traditional or religious ceremonies, such as Chinese tea ceremonies are recommended to be done after the outdoor shoot as it will be held indoors. Natural light is the brightest between 11 a.m – 1 p.m, and the ambient light should be sufficient to fill the room, therefore, is not necessary to use fluorescent lighting.
We highly recommend holding your solemnisation outdoors if you have the opportunity to do so. At 6 – 7 p.m, the warm, vibrant colours of the golden hour will elevate your visuals by leaps and bounds, giving them a distinct mood and feel to them. The timing is also great as temperatures are usually milder and your guests won’t be sweating buckets!
During your march in, go slow to take in the moment – this will give us more time to capture more shots from different angles as well! Don’t forget to smile and also interact with your guests, wave to them and have fun while at it, it’s your big day after all so revel in it.
Heartfelt messages for your speech always translates the best on camera. Capturing the raw emotions of your partner or family in tears gives your photos and film an emotive quality that tugs at the heartstrings of your viewers.
We also recommend that you arrange your same day edit to only be played after your second march in. This will ensure that you have the opportunity to watch it for yourself and laugh and cry along with the crowd.
Tip: Make sure you grab a bite of food after your first march in because you might not have time to do so after! You don’t want to be wasting all that money you spent on your banquet now.
Tip: Get your bridesmaids and groomsmen to prep the tables in advance to get ready for the table to table photos. This will definitely help speed up the process and prevent some sore jaws the next day!
Despite all the planning that you can humanly do, you should always expect certain things to not go the way you planned. Just remember that you’re not alone in this and that you always have your trusty entourage of bridesmaids and groomsmen to help you out. It’s useful to always have some contingency plans in the back of your pocket just in case. But more importantly, don’t freak out! It’s your big day, just go with the flow and enjoy the entire process.
For a sample of an ideal schedule, click here.
To help you out with your planning, read The Only Wedding Planning Checklist You Need.