Tips for Clients

Hey everyone! Kaylinn here! As the Studio Manager, one of my goals is to help our couples plan a photo-friendly timeline on their wedding day. Anytime a bride asks “What is the ONE thing I can do to get the best wedding photos possible?”… “Plan a good wedding day timeline!” is my answer. These 10 wedding photo tips will keep your wedding day on schedule.

What makes a good wedding timeline”, you ask? Plan MORE time than you think you’ll need for everything. Weddings are unpredictable. Plan a timeline with wiggle room for dress bustling, makeup retouching, groomsmen running late, finding Uncle Leo for formal family photos, etc! Avoid having to cut your photo time short in order to make up for time lost somewhere else. If your hair/makeup person says she needs 1 hour, plan an hour and 1/2. If it typically takes 15 minutes to get from your hotel to your ceremony site, plan for 30 instead.

If you are in the middle of your wedding planning adventures, here’s a list that will help you (and everyone else!) stay on time!

10 Reasons You'll Run Late on Your Wedding Day



Make-up and hair are the top two reasons why brides run late.  Allow plenty of time for your hair and make-up and tell your beauty  team you need to be done one full hour before you really do.  That way, you’ll be able to take your time getting dressed and taking photos (without feeling rushed or stressed!) Annnnd, if things run behind, it’ll be no big deal because you will have already planned for the worst-case scenario.



Depending on the your hair and your wedding-day hairstyle, ample time needs to be allowed for the beautification process.  The longer your hair, the more time you should allow for curling, pining, and styling. Ask your stylist how long your hair will take, and then add at least 30 minutes to that estimate (just in case!)



Hair/makeup in the wrong order

If you are getting your hair and make-up done at a salon or location other than where you will marry, it’s a good idea to drive yourself or travel with just one bridesmaid. You and your maid of honor should be the first ones in the chair and the first ones finished.  That way, you will be on time (even if other bridesmaids or family members run behind). We typically take bridal party photos before the ceremony and family photos afterwards, so after you and your MOH, the bridesmaids should be next in line. Mom, Grandma, and other family members should go last — this means they will likely be in the chair while we are out taking your bridal party photos!


Family or bridal party members running late

If you have family or bridal party members that are habitually late, it’s a good idea to fib a bit about the time they’ll need to arrive for pictures. We suggest 30-45 minutes depending on their tardiness.


Poor communication

Don’t forget to remind your family/bridal party members of the time they need to arrive. Before your wedding, we will work closely with you to create a customized timeline that will give specifics on when everyone should arrive, be dressed, etc. We suggest emailing the timeline to all friends/family that need to arrive before the ceremony. And be sure to remind everyone again at the rehearsal dinner (extra reminders are always a good thing!)


Too many group shots

Before your wedding day, be sure to speak with your fiance and key family members about which family groups need to be photographed. Keep your list as short and concise as possible. We will arrange your family shot list ahead of time in a way that is efficient and stress free! This way, you and your family members will get to the party sooner!



Believe it or not, the guys run late just as often as the ladies! Be sure that your groom and his groomsmen learn how to tie their bowties and pin their boutonnieres before the wedding day arrives. Or, if it’s too overwhelming for each guy to learn, designate one groomsmen to be the bowtie tie-er and boutonniere pinner!


Underestimated Travel Times

San Antonio traffic can be brutal (especially downtown!)  Check ahead of time for possible road closures due to city-wide events like The Battle of Flowers Parade or Fiesta (We San Antonians like to party!) If your wedding is taking place downtown and is scheduled on a “party holiday weekend” (like St. Patrick’s Day), it will be especially important for you to plan extra time for travel, parking, etc.


Hired transportation

When you hire a limousine, shuttle, or classic car for your wedding day, make sure you purchase ample time to get to your destination (just in case there is traffic or other delays!) Also plan for the car to arrive 10-15 minutes before you actually need them to be there. This will ensure they are there as soon as you are ready for them.

…there you have it! Ten tips to help you stay on time on your wedding day! And of course, I’m always here to answer your questions and give advice about your wedding day timeline (about anything, really!) Feel free to call or email me anytime, that’s what I’m here for! To read more of our tips for clients, click here!


Bend the Light Photography specializes in wedding photography and engagement portrait photography in San Antonio, Texas and surrounding areas. San Antonio Wedding Photographer.

The End