One thing that we believe strongly in is the Custom Day of Timeline that we include in each of our packages. We’ve talked at length here on the blog about why we do a custom day of timeline but for those of you that are new let me give a little backstory on what it is and why we do it. In our first year of business we priced our packages according to time – just like every other photographer out there (still) typically does. That seemed to be the standard and we didn’t have enough experience to think we should do any different. We had a double header weekend where the first wedding ran an hour behind as the bride frantically finished a DIY project. They had booked a modest package and at the end of the night when we were due to leave they hadn’t had their first dance, toasts, or cut their cake. We were faced with the decision of whether we should ask the bride to pay us more to stay or stay and work for free. In the end I think we stayed past time for free. The next night we were at a wedding downtown where the couple had overbooked their package because they were concerned about not having enough coverage. It was not a dancing crowd and when the after dinner crowd had went home there weren’t many people left. We were contracted at the wedding for another 2 hours knowing that we had already photographed everything that needed to be done. There were a few small children on the dance floor and all the guests were sick of getting their picture taken, but we had been paid to stay. It was right then and there that we realized we owned this business and just because that’s how everyone else did it didn’t mean that was how we had to do it. And thus the Custom Day of Timeline was born.
A Custom Day of Timeline is not unlimited time, it’s the right amount of time. We don’t arrive the second you wake up and we don’t stay until you walk out the door. We work with you throughout your wedding planning and then meet 30-60 days before your wedding to flush out all of the details of the wedding day. Most of our couples have never been intimately involved in planning a large scale event with so many moving parts so we ask that they come in with the hard and fast times (ceremony & reception start times) and their formal family photo list. From there we build the timeline based on travel times, the number of photos needed, and our years of experience that tell us how much time we need for each set of photos.
Sarah and I work like a well-oiled machine on the wedding day and the Custom Day of Timeline is crucial to our success (and a huge benefit to our clients). This week we had a 30 day planning meeting with an upcoming couple that reminded me of why having this flexibility in your package is a MUST. It’s not a nice benefit or something that you should forgo – it’s a MUST. There are so many moving parts and things that change throughout the wedding planning process that it is nearly impossible to know a year or more before your wedding how much time you will actually need on a wedding day. Also – imagine that you’ve planned your whole wedding and figured it out exactly the way you want it and then when it comes down to setting your timeline you realize that you are short on coverage and will have to 1) pay more money 2) rearrange your plans to fit in a pre-determined amount of time or even worse 3)miss having parts of your wedding covered. What would you choose to do when it’s that close to your wedding and your budget has already been allocated?
Courtney and Mike came into our planning meeting with a couple of things that could have easily thrown a typical time-set package into a tizzy. They are not planning on getting ready at the ceremony location. The venue and ceremony location are 20-30 minutes apart. The formal list is 51 photos (which is on the larger side), they have to be out of the ceremony location half an hour after the wedding. The venue details won’t be set up until after they leave for the church. These are all things that eat time on a wedding day and unless you have it planned to a ‘T’ in advance (our timeline planning skills are close to ninja level) your wedding day could very easily spiral out of control fast and leave you wondering ‘what happened’ at the end of the day.
Our clients have thanked us over and over for this feature in our package and it’s not something we are likely to change anytime soon. If you are in the midst of wedding planning and haven’t yet booked your photographer click here to contact us to see if we have your date available. If we do we’d love to talk with you about how our Custom Day of Timeline will work for your wedding day.
Want to know what our clients really think of our Custom Day of Timelines? Read our reviews on The Knot.