Weddings: You Need a Game Plan!
Blog post titles don’t allow formatting. Otherwise, that would read “Weddings: You Need a Game Plan!” It’s that important. It will absolutely save your butt. A wedding game plan is a collaboration between you, the bride, and the wedding planner (if she has one). You all sit down together, and talk about the big day, from start to finish, and cover everything. Get as much detail as you can.
Start with contact info. You need cell phone numbers for as many of the following as possible: Bride, groom, Planner, Bride’s parents, Groom’s parents, best man, and the maid of honor. Redundancy is key, because sometimes people don’t answer their phone on their wedding days. Imagine that…
Get locations. Exact addresses are important. Check them out on google beforehand anyway, just in case. Know the lay of the land beforehand and you can’t get lost Where will the bride be before the wedding? The groom? Where is the wedding? Where is the reception? Where is the parking? Where is the bathroom? (I kid, but it’s good to know, anyway)
Who is coming? How many people are coming? Which guests are important and will be in the portraits?
Talk portraits. Think of an estimate for how long portraits will take you, multiply it by 1.5, and tell them that, instead (Always better to end early than run long!). People often vastly underestimate the amount of time portraits take. Make sure you give yourself enough time to do the job right (I will write a blog post about running a wedding portrait session).
Reception rituals! Get a detailed breakdown of the reception, and what things will be happening and when. Will there be a band or a dj? Do they want photos of either? How, when and where will the bride and groom be arriving?
Are there restrictions? Can you use flashes in the ceremony location? What about monolights? Same for reception location? What areas are off limits all together?
Establish the timeline. You should put together a timeline for the whole day. When does the bride start to get ready? The groom? Will they be getting ready in the same place or different locations? When do they leave, and what time do they arrive at the ceremony location? When does the ceremony start? When does it end? When do pictures take place? For how long?
Plan B. This one is all on you, guys. Like an extension of the wedding emergency kit, having some good Plan B’s will save the day. You should have the number for a tux rental place with whom you have a good relationship. Same for hair stylist, dog sitter, mechanic, florist, seamstress, etc. Anything can happen on a wedding day. You won’t be prepared for everything, but sometimes you can whip out your phone, say “I got this.” and save the day.
That should about cover things. You don’t need to run through these as a big list of questions. Start a conversation about the wedding day, and get the information you need as you discuss, back and forth, the important details of the day. You will always be surprised at what new information can pop up in these discussions, which is why it’s absolutely essential that you have them.