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A Bride's Guide: Making Your Destination Wedding Perfectly Punctual

Picture this: a breathtaking sunset painting the sky with hues of gold and pink, the love of your life waiting at the altar, and all your loved ones gathered to celebrate your special day. A dreamy scene, isn't it? But here's the catch – time is of the essence. When it comes to destination weddings, running late can have surprising consequences that might leave you missing out on those magical moments. From capturing the perfect sunset photos to savoring every little joy of the day, staying on schedule is key. So, let's dive into the importance of timing and explore some friendly tips to ensure your destination wedding day flows smoothly and becomes the cherished memory you've always envisioned.

Destination Wedding - sunset

What happens when you run late?

There are a few things that can happen when things run late, and one of the biggest things to note is that, the sunset time cannot be changed. If the sun sets, it sets. If you wanted a sunset wedding, it'll be gone a the time google says it's going to set that day, and if you run even a minute late, you won't get that sunset during your ceremony. If you wanted sunset portrait photos for your wall after the ceremony, you may not get them if you run too late. Why is this? because people end up having a priority of items, such as family photos, it's important to do those to a of couples and it's harder to push it to after the sunset photos because you don't know if someone will leave, or you'll have to miss another part of the wedding.

If the ceremony runs late, the family photos runs late, and then the grande entrance and food being served will run late (which can mean cold or over cooked food), which can mean the sunset photos will be cut short or you'll miss sunset. Any professional photographer can capture your photos in any lighting, but that golden glow will only be there for sunset and cannot be faked later on. If you still have the bouquet toss, garter toss, cake cutting, special dances, speeches, and grande exit to all do too, that could run late as well and you may lose time for just enjoying the night. Whether thats dancing your heart out, using the photo booth you paid for, enjoying the extra sweets like cookies or cupcakes, or even just catching up with everyone who came. You want that time to enjoy those things, so the more prep work you can do in the beginning before the wedding the smoother your day will run.

Ways you can help your destination wedding run on time:

Show up ready:

Ladies, you need to be ready for your big day, you can't do everything the day of and expect things to run on time. Your face, and your bridesmaids faces, needs to be prepped for makeup. As a professional photographer in the industry I knew this, but i forgot to communicate to my brides maids that they should be prepped. I exfoliated the day before, washed my face the night and prepped with a face mask before bed, and morning of I washed again to make sure I was ready. My brides maids didn't and when the makeup artist got there she checked their faces and then made them go wash with a little scrub. I only had two brides maids, but I know plenty of ladies who have 5-10 brides maids, and this is something that'll add time to your makeup lineup and cause it to run later than it was supposed to.

Another prep, make sure your girls pick out their makeup and hair styles before hand. This will save time and pressure for your girls on the morning of so they don't have to start scrolling Pinterest for 30 minutes to find the looks they want. if 1-2 girls forget and this ends up happening it's not as a big deal, but it will eat into the time and cause things to run a little later.

Also, make sure you and your girls come with your hair ready to be worked with. If you have a shower, make sure to dry it, even if you think your hair "dries fast", it needs to be in a certain stage of dryness to be worked with. If you know your hair styles better if you dry it the night before, make sure to dry it the night before then. Your girls need to be aware of this too. If they all come with wet hair or take a shower at the venue to wash their hair, they need to make sure it's dry and ready to go when their booty hits the chair to be fixed, otherwise this can add ~30 minutes to your with the stylist, or longer depending how many girls do this.

Your details for photos:

Ladies, if you want your photographer and videographer to capture your details, they need those together when they get there. Have them in a shoe box all together and ready to go or in the same bag. They will take those first thing when they get there, and if you are busy getting your hair and makeup done and you don't have it all together, they can't just take them and leave, you either have to stop and help them find everything, unless one of your girls can help look through everything to find it, but then it's starting to eat up time. It take any photographer about ~30 minutes for detail flat lays, plus dress photos. So if you don't have to add 5 minutes to everyones time then it'll run a lot smoother.

P.S. this includes both your rings! Yours and your husbands wedding bands, and engagement ring if your engagement ring is separate from your wedding band.

Make sure when you are talking to your stylist, you are not just picking the lady that promises they can get everyone done in 2 hours, especially if she's the only one saying that and everyone else is quoting you 3-4 hours. Unless they are bringing the extra help to make up this time, it will either be a quality issue or time really will not end up with 2 hours and you'll all start running late, which will eat into all your professionals time. I had this happen where it delayed the bride's wedding 2 hours, none of the guest were happy, no one got fed on time, and it ultimately ate into the bride and grooms time to do the things they wanted.

planning your destination wedding

Plan for extra time:

Always always always, build in a buffer to your timeline. As a professional photographer and a recent bride (June 4, woot woot!), I highly recommend this, and here are two stories why. I built in an hour and half buffer into my timeline of when i wanted to be ready vs when is the hardline of ceremony and first look. I told my makeup artists before the day of that I needed to be ready by 3pm, and they were like, your wedding is not till 5:30, why? And I told them that I wanted to make sure there was plenty of time before my first look (4:00pm) and after incase i needed to fix anything or whatever may happen. What ended up happening? my girls needed time to wash their faces, dry their hair (1 of them), and one of them still needed to pick out her hair style, so this added to the time. Plus, i had a last minute substitution of my grandma with my MIL, which ended up adding 45 minutes- an hour to our timeline since she had way more hair and a different style. This little last minute change ate up a lot of the buffer.

I had this happen with a bride I also made her timeline. I have her 1.5 hours buffer in 30 minute chunks throughout the beginning because I knew her brides maids were all doing their own hair and makeup, and she had a lot of people getting ready with her. And even that ended up not being fully enough because she had a 6:30 wedding and the sunset was at 7:30 so she wanted to do photos with her family and bridal party before hand, along with 2 first looks, and to start her couples portraits so she had some that were in the bright daylight and some at sunset. It ended up eating into this time and we had to cut out the family photos and portraits from before the ceremony and rushed to squeeze it in after the 30 minute ceremony. She still got the photos, but she didn't get as many, and everything went from "we have time" to "what can we live with cutting out?". I hate having to tell my brides we have to cut something in order to make sure they get what they want, so making sure you build in enough buffer to your wedding day timeline is always a must.

In summary:

  1. Ladies, make sure you and your bridesmaids are ready for the big day. Prep those faces for makeup in advance so we can stay on schedule. Trust me, it'll make a difference!

  2. Plan ahead with your girls and pick out their makeup and hair styles before the morning of the wedding. This will save time and help them avoid any last-minute stress.

  3. Speaking of hair, let's ensure everyone comes with their hair ready to be worked with. If there's a shower involved, make sure it's dry enough to style. Smooth sailing, right?

  4. Oh, and don't forget those important details for photos! Have everything together in one place so our photographers can capture those lovely memories without any delays.

  5. When you're discussing with your stylist, choose wisely. It's not just about getting everyone done in the shortest time; quality matters too. We want you to look and feel amazing!

  6. Always, always, always plan for a buffer in your timeline. Trust me, this can save the day! Unexpected things can happen, like last-minute hair changes or surprise switch-ups, so having that extra time will give us some breathing room.

So, let's make your wedding day a smooth and joyful experience from start to finish. I'm here to support you every step of the way, and together, we'll create beautiful memories that you'll cherish forever! 😊💕

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Makenzie's Design Photography

Hi, I'm Makenzie! Your quirky/fun elopement and destination wedding photographer, and your best friend that will be with your every step of the way till you say "I do!"

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