25 Tips for writing your own wedding timeline

In my last post I stressed how important it is to have a great timeline for your wedding to run smoothly. And I said I would help you figure out how to write one.

So here I am doing that. One really easy way to get help with that is to hire a wedding planner. The End. I’m kidding. (Seriously, planners are super awesome though.)

If you’re the DIY type, here are some things to think about:

  • Use a timeline planning tool.
  • You can use examples from online to help, but make your own timeline. Your wedding is yours and you may need more or less time for things than examples from other weddings.
  • If you have friends and/or family who got married recently, ask them if they have any advice for your schedule.
  • Delegate. Make sure the people who are setting up know that’s their task and they know what to do, when to do it, and where things go.
  • Communicate with your vendors. Ask them how much time things take. They can help you estimate time for parts of the day.
  • Think about how much time you have contracted with your vendors and when they will arrive and leave.
  • How many people are going through hair and makeup? 
  • Are you getting ready in the same place as the ceremony?
  • Plan 10-15 minutes of seating and shuffling between the ceremony time on the invite and the actual start of the ceremony.
  • How long do you want your ceremony to be? Do you have readings or singers or other special ceremony items to include?
  • Is the ceremony in the same place as the reception?
  • Don’t forget to include travel time between locations.
  • How much family will be in family portraits? 
  • Will you do a first look?
  • Include 15-30 minutes of alone time for you and your love to be alone and take it all in together. Either after a first look and before the ceremony or just after the ceremony when you can sneak away. 
  • When are things being set up and delivered? Who are the points of contact for vendors? Who is setting up?
  • Make sure your guests are entertained and taken care of while they wait for your entrance at the reception, especially if you’re planning extra time for portraits. 
  • People like to eat and they get cranky when it’s supposed to happen at a certain time and it doesn’t. 😉 
  • Make a schedule for toasts, dances, cake, garter and bouquet and anything else you’re doing at your reception.
  • How many toasts do you think you’ll have?
  • Will you do a lot of special dances?
  • When does the party end? 
  • Is there a send-off?
  • Is there an after-party?
  • Who’s on clean-up? Very important. Hopefully not you. Get someone else to clean up. It’s your wedding day.

Some extra advice:
A lot of these things take longer than you think. Estimate a time and pad it a little. 
Take that little slice of alone time. For real. 
The most important thing … things may run late or go wrong. Remember you’re there to celebrate your love and to have fun.

Have a question about weddings that you think I can answer in a blog post? Send me a question!

 

A review! Sleeklens Forever Thine Wedding Workflow presets

A while ago, I was asked to review a set of presets for wedding editing that are compatible with Lightroom…the Forever Thine Wedding Workflow by Sleeklens.

First, I have never been asked to review anything before, so I feel pretty great about that. Thank you, sleeklens!

Second, I should note that I don’t regularly use presets in Lightroom or actions in Photoshop in my wedding editing workflow. I have some presets and actions I made myself of things I do to every raw image and I apply those to speed up my editing process so that I don’t have to do the same things over and over. Other than that, I do everything myself and by hand. I have tried presets and actions before though, so I have some previous knowledge to work with.

So…after saying that…This is a pretty great workflow set. It’s not just a set of presets. It’s a big set of presets AND a set of brushes. There are 11 SETS of presets and 5 SETS of brushes, with a bunch in each set. The presets: All-in-ones, bases, exposure, color, tone/tint, polish, vignettes, film, fashion, matte, vintage, and black and white. The brushes: color, face, haze, light, wedding.

You can start with a preset, tweak it how you like, and then use the brushes to do fine adjustments. They send you a PDF with a few recipes to do just that, to get you started.

I chose a few images from one of my weddings this summer to do a few examples.

First…This was my edit from this wedding. The one I sent my client.

This next one is the one I made using the Forever Thine Wedding Workflow:

This is “Base – warmer” with “Tone/tint – Fading Dream” with a bump in tint, clarity, and temperature. This formula is pretty much straight from their instructional PDF.

Honestly, I don’t love it as much as the one I sent my client. But I could probably tweak it a little more and get it there.

Here’s another of my own that I sent my client:

 

And one I made using the workflow:

This is “Wedding Film – Breakfast at Tiffany’s” with “Fix Over-exposure” brush on their bodies.

I know, they’re not the same. But it could be done. I’m trying to showcase what can be done with their presets, not my own editing.  This is more like an editing style that is popular right now. Muted greens and grayed tones. If that’s your thing, this set of presets has a few muted tone and film style looks.

And here’s a look at a raw version of another photo with my edit:

And two versions from the workflow:

This is “Wedding Film – Gone with the Wind” with the “Add Golden Sun” brush on the left and “All-in-One – Best Man” with the “Add Golden Sun” brush on the right.

These are both beautiful as well.

A black and white of my own:

Another popular style…the dark and moody black and white. This one is made using “Repulsion” (They may want to reconsider that name? haha), using the brush “Fix underexpose” on the face and shoulder area, and pulling exposure up a bit.

There are so many things you can do with these presets. Depending on your style, it would be really easy to come up with a formula and dramatically reduce the amount of time you spend editing. And for $31, it’s pretty much a steal to get this many presets and brushes.

Emily + Ron – Hamilton, Montana Wedding July 2017

Are you ready for some wedding blogs? The software I use to make albums has a blog collage feature! What an awesome thing! This is a fraction of the photos, but I can post so many more this way!

Ok. Enough about me…

Emily and Ron’s wedding, you guys! Not only are they completely adorable with each other, their wedding was super. It was on private property in the Bitterroot with a glorious view of the mountains and a private little field. They couldn’t have asked for a more gorgeous sunny day (we could have turned the heat down a little…100 degrees most of the day) and during the ceremony we got some clouds which made for really nice light.

They had this RZR driving around that was super fun, and they had a horse and carriage! The guys rolled up on the RZR for the ceremony and the ladies were brought over in the carriage. So many cool details at the reception area too. There was a big sitting area with hay bales and a chandelier next to the dance floor and there was a sweet little family memory area.

And the most important part. All the love going around all day. So much love from friends and family and for each other.  Everyone should have someone who looks at them the way Emily and Ron look at each other. <3 <3 <3

Vendor information for their wedding:
Planner/Coordinator: Erika’s Event Planning
Catering: Caffe Firenze
Flowers: Flower Happy Florals & Gifts
Cake/Cupcakes: Petals & Pastries (Red Rooster Artesian Bakery)
Music: RMF Entertainment DJ Services (Jordan Waldo)
Horse/Carriage: Pioneer Carriage Services  (I don’t think they have a website, but they’re in Corvallis 😉
Rentals: Hamilton Party Rentals 

The Paige Marie Photography workshop!

I know I mentioned it before, but I absolutely love continuing education. For one thing, it’s important to remember that you can always learn something new. And it’s really fun to meet other photographers and see how they do things.

So, someone couldn’t make it to their spot at the Paige Marie Photography workshop at The Loft a couple of weeks ago and they posted it on Facebook. I snapped it up. Lots of fun things to talk about, a styled shoot at The Loft and in Greenough Park by Soirée 99 Events, tips from Brian Powers, a talk and Q&A session with Aimee Miklovic, an SEO guru who helped us with our Instagram accounts (seriously, check her out @assistantextraordinaire on Instagram).

The light at the end of the day was magical with cottonwood catching the sun (and my sinuses haha), so the styled shoot in the park was perfect. And we ended with dinner at Cafe Dolce, which is amazing. It was a very good day.

If you’re looking for a local workshop with a “rising tide lifts all boats” kind of feel, then I can’t recommend it enough. It’s so great when people work together.

Here’s a list of vendors for the day and styled sessions:

Venue: @theloftmissoula
Cookies: @upthehillcookiesbyjill
Rings: @rogersandco.finejewelry
Invites and Graphic Design: @heytayler
Floral: @soulandstemfloral
Dress: @velvetbride
Coordination and Tablescape: @soiree99events
Makeup: @skinchic406

Trying a new blog image layout…what do you think?

Booking for weddings and sessions is here. I’d love to talk to you!

Sunset styled shoot/workshop!

I strongly believe that once or twice a year, you should continue your education, even if it’s in small ways. I pay for yearly access to an online wedding school, buy classes on Creative Live, and take workshops when I can. Never stop learning!

And so last night I attended a sunset styled shoot/workshop given by Jackie Haugen of Jacilyn M Photography. The weather was uncooperative, to say the least. haha It poured! But the couple was gorgeous, the dress was seriously amazing, and the bouquet was one of my favorite ones I’ve ever seen…with CACTUS! I have such a soft spot for cactus.

The field was filled with flowers, there were dramatic storm clouds and occasional spots of light, and it was windy. You might think the clouds and wind would be bad, but wedding photographers shoot in all kinds of weather. I personally love dramatic and gloomy weather.

The dress was from Velvet Bride, the makeup was done at Skin Chic, and the oh so lovely bouquet was made by Habitat Floral Studio.