Hair and makeup, check! Food for everyone, check! Your day is coming together and the morning has already flown by. Now that hair and makeup is complete, it's onto the next portion of your day. [Photo by Havana Photography]
Once your hair and makeup is complete, your photographer will likely begin directing you through your first set of photos. These may be some casual shots with your friends as you finish getting ready or you might jump right into getting your dress on. The photographer can also provide instructions for when your bridesmaids should begin getting dressed.
Getting Your Dress on
Don't underestimate how long this might take. It definitely depends on your style of dress but we find that this usually takes some time! While getting your dress on you will likely have someone helping you (usually mom or MOH) and you can talk to your photographer about when you are comfortable with photos being captured. Once the dress is on, it'll be time for the details like your jewelry and shoes and of course some more photos!
First Looks all around
Lots of people choose to do a first look with their father and/or wedding party. If you are doing a first look with your partner, now's the time where you will likely head out for that. If not, it will probably be time to head to the ceremony space.
It's time! Next up in your day is your wedding ceremony. If it is at a church, typically the groomsmen and groom will arrive well in advance. For the ladies, you can figure out what makes the most sense but usually an arrival right before the start works just fine! The bride can stay in the vehicle, if comfortable, until it's almost time to head down the aisle.
Post Ceremony, Pre-Reception
Typically this is the time for photos. Often family photos are taken immediately following a church ceremony. If you are having your ceremony at the same place as your reception, it's time for cocktail hour! If you didn't do a first look, you'll likely miss some of your cocktail hour to take photos.
Make sure you are organized with your transportation plans if there is going to be a stop for photos on the way to your venue. You'll also want to make sure your guests have the details they need for exactly what time their transportation will be leaving from the hotel, if you are providing it. Between your website, welcome bag and a sign at the front desk, we're sure you've already covered that ;-)
If you are able to buffer your timeline and add in some extra time to get into the bridal suite at your venue and RELAX, even if it's just for 10 minutes, it is important. It's already been a long, but exciting day and there's still a night of dancing ahead.
Cocktail Hour & Reception
Cocktail hour is a great time to relax and mingle with your guests. There are a lot of people who want to talk to you so it can feel overwhelming at points, but try to relax and soak it all in! Most importantly, don't forget to eat. It is easy to get caught up in conversations and let the hour fly by but it's probably been a while since you've eaten (and who are we kidding, cocktail hour food is the best!).
Your reception will be filled with your formalities, lots of food and plenty of time for dancing. While everyone is seated and eating is a good time to try to make your way around the room and greet people at their tables.
As the reception concludes, it's up to you and your partner if you'd like to continue the party elsewhere. Have a lan in place ahead of time which can be communicated to guests with their welcome bags for on the wedding website. You don't want to have to field lots of "what's next" questions late in the evening.
Whether you plan to continue the party or end the night there, we hope that your wedding day was everything you wanted and more!
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