Tips for Brides

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How to create a wedding timeline

How to create a wedding timeline by Mabyn Ludke Photography
Creating your wedding timeline can be extremely stressful. Especially if you have to do it all on your own. Here are a few tips on how to create a wedding timeline that kicks butt!

A Traditional Wedding Timeline:

A traditional wedding timeline looks like this:
  • Getting ready time
  • Ceremony
  • Cocktail hour/ Formal photos
  • Reception
 
There are a lot of little spots in there to add subcategories, but we’ll get to that in a minute. The first thing you’ll want to look at is how your priorities fit into the basic timeline. I’ll use Daniel & my wedding as an example (photos not from our wedding day). When we got married our over arching priorities were guest experience, photography, & honeymoon. The honeymoon doesn’t apply here so we’ll remove that and focus on the others. Photography & guest experience both played a big roll in how we scheduled our day. I’m pretty biased when it comes to photography, so we centered our schedule around the best times for photographs!
We hired our photographer for these strengths: moments, artistry, & use of light (especially golden hour). She excels at all three and we wanted to capitalize on those strengths.
 
On the flip side of that, I also wanted to get married at sunset. There was something so romantic about saying “I do” as the sun set behind the mountains! Here in lies the problem with a traditional timeline. Had we kept the timeline above, we would have missed out on our photographer’s keen golden hour skills. We found that a traditional wedding timeline just didn’t work for us.
 Charlotte Photography Mabyn Ludke shows you how to create a wedding timeline
 

A Non Traditional Wedding Timeline:

Our non traditional timeline looked something like this:
  • Getting Ready
  • First Look
  • Cocktail Hour/ Formal Photos
  • Ceremony
  • Reception
 
There are a few unique things here, we chose to see each other before the wedding at the First Look. We also chose to have all of our formal portraits done ahead of the ceremony. This required our guests to arrive at the venue 2 hours prior to the ceremony! We didn’t want to compromise our guest experience, so we opted to position our cocktail hour before the ceremony as well. This insured our guests were well fed and had a good time while Daniel & I were off with our fabulous photographer!

 

A dramatic photo on the topic of how to create a wedding timeline by Mabyn Ludke Photography

Micro-Events:

Once you get the big events sorted, you’ll want to look at the micro events. These events are things like your unity candle, first dance, cake cutting, etc… Scheduling these events is mostly preference.
With a majority of these events take place during the reception there are 2 schools of thought. Get them all done at once OR spread them out through the night.
 
Again, think about your priorities and how they align. With guest experience in mind, we chose to have all of our events together.
We didn’t start our “party” until after the main events (i.e. formal dances & cake) were done. This allowed our guests to leave early if they didn’t want to drive down the mountain roads in the dark.
 
However, in some situations everyone is close by or staying at the venue so it would make sense to pace out your events for a long evening of fun!

Buffer Time:

There are a few places you’ll want to add in a little bit of “buffer time” in case things run late. Three big places to add in extra time is for hair & makeup, if you’re traveling for photographs, or you expect long winded toasts.

 

A hilarious wedding exit at this Charlotte, NC barn wedding captured by Mabyn Ludke Photography
Now that wasn’t so bad was it? You’ve got the tools, now go have fun & create a kick butt wedding timeline!
 
XOXOXO,
Mabyn

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How to Plan a Wedding Timeline

Couple laughs at the rain storm during their Charlotte, NC anniversary session

Engagement

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Rainy Anniversary Love in Charlotte, NC

Every so often the heavens align and my best friend Emily & I get to spend time together in person. Sure there’s Facetime & phone calls, but nothing replaces that silliness that happens when we’re together!
 
On this latest road trip, I stopped to see my bestie & her hubby and get some of that quality time we’d been craving. Being photographers, you know we had to break out our lenses and shoot each other. Thankfully we both survived!
 
I met Emily many moons ago in Syracuse, NY through several groups of friends. We liked each other, but never spent any real quality time together. Then she got engaged, hired me, and we became bonded forever!
 
As our time together drew to a close, her husband KJ returned home from work. All day storms in the sky threatened top open up and unleash their power, but they held off for just long enough. KJ wasn’t sure about shooting in the rain at first, he knows the photographic dangers and all, but we had to try!
 
I’m SO glad we did because these are some of my favorite rain shots to date! These two are clearly still in love after 6 years of amazing marriage and I can’t wait to see what the next 60 hold for them!
 
As always Emily & KJ is was a complete and utter joy to photograph your faces! I love you both oodles and oodles!
 
XOXOXO,
Mabyn

 

Charlotte, NC couple snuggles before it rainsSilly faces from a Charlotte, NC coupleA Charlotte North Carolina couple snuggles for their anniversary photo shootThe rain starts to pour at an anniversary shoot in Charlotte, NCRain through the leaves in Charlotte, NCCouple kisses under an umbrella in the rain in Charlotte, NCCouple dances in the rain in Charlotte, NCCharlotte, NC couple hugs in a rain stormCouple laughs at the rain storm during their Charlotte, NC anniversary sessionWet hugs in the rain during a Charlotte, NC anniversary photo shootRomantic rainy snuggles at this Charlotte, NC anniversary sessionwet kisses in the rain in Charlotte, NCHands inte rain during a Charlotte, NC anniversary photo shootcouple embraces the rain storm during their Charlotte, NC anniversary shootA black and white rainy kiss in Charlotte, NCCharlotte, NC rainy anniversary photo shootcouple loves the rain at their anniversary shoot in Charlotte, NCA rainy piggy back ride during their anniversary photo shoot in Charlotte, NC

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Charlotte, NC Rainy Anniversary – Emily & KJ

Engagement

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I love when couple’s take the time to really think about their engagement session. Adding in personal elements like pets, your favorite place, where he proposed, ect…add another level onto your photographs.

April & Dave love to read. More importantly, they love to read & go to book stores! One of their favorite local Greensboro shops is called Scuppernong Books. It’s one of my personal favorites as well. On top of the amazing book vibe they’ve got awesome sandwiches & coffee! It’s a fantastic little spot to grab lunch, a book, & snuggle up on their cozy little couch and read the day away. I loved being able to shoot April & Dave in our mutual happy place!

After I creeped around them in a tiny book store for awhile we went to a local park to get those beautiful backlight sunny shots that I love so very much. The entire time April, Dave, Daniel, & I had a great time bantering & laughing. There’s nothing like making new friends, having fun, & getting to take pictures all in one day. It makes that 90+ degree weather a lot more bearable!

After that we headed to Crafted: The Art of Street Food and concluded the evening with great food & great new friends! Thank you guys for letting Daniel tag along to his first photo shoot, I think you set the bar pretty high!

XOXOXO,
Mabyn

Charlotte, NC Engagement Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyCharlotte, NC Engagement Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyCharlotte, NC Engagement Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyCharlotte, NC Engagement Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyCharlotte, NC Engagement Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyCharlotte, NC Engagement Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyCharlotte, NC Engagement Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyCharlotte, NC Engagement Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyCharlotte, NC Engagement Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyCharlotte, NC Engagement Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyCharlotte, NC Engagement Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyCharlotte, NC Engagement Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyCharlotte, NC Engagement Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyCharlotte, NC Engagement Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyCharlotte, NC Engagement Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyCharlotte, NC Engagement Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyCharlotte, NC Engagement Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyCharlotte, NC Engagement Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyCharlotte, NC Engagement Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyCharlotte, NC Engagement Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyCharlotte, NC Engagement Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

Charlotte, NC Engagement Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

Charlotte, NC Engagement Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyCharlotte, NC Engagement Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

Greensboro, NC Engagement – April & Dave

The Depot in Hamlet, NC Engagement Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

Engagement

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This next session is a very special one. Lesley & Russell get the award for FIRST MLP wedding couple to book me in North Carolina! I can remember my first wedding in NY, at that point in my life photography was barely a hobby, but it was enough to hook me! Years later I am so grateful for that first wedding, so I can only imagine what significance Lesley & Russell’s amazing day will have on my NC career. I can’t wait!

It doesn’t hurt that my first wedding clients in NC are incredible people that I hope will become life long friends. After several long emails back and forth to Lesley I felt like I knew her.  So our “booking session” was really more like two girlfriends out for coffee. It was then that Lesley really revealed her vision for their whole wedding experience. The 1920s! Yup, each session is 1920s themed! Can you pinch me now please? I’m such a sucker for vintage themed shoots and now I get 3?! Please excuse me while I do my little happy dance before I continue on with this blog. *Cue Charleston music here*

Ok now that I’ve got that out of my system, onto my first session with this amazing couple. Their vintage inspired You + Me session. We traveled down to Hamlet, NC to their restored train depot and museum. It was a lovely afternoon of laughing, photos, and adventure. Neither of us had been there before so it was so much fun finding the best places to shoot. It’s probably my favorite thing about moving, fresh inspiration! I added in a couple of my vintage suit cases and a camera from that time period and VOILA! I present to you Lesley & Russell’s sweet engagement session! Stay tuned for Lesley’s bridals and their BIG DAY which is slated for January 4th. I have so much to look forward to when I get home!

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

XOXOXO,
Mabyn

The Depot in Hamlet, NC Engagement Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyThe Depot in Hamlet, NC Engagement Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyThe Depot in Hamlet, NC Engagement Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyThe Depot in Hamlet, NC Engagement Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyThe Depot in Hamlet, NC Engagement Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyThe Depot in Hamlet, NC Engagement Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyThe Depot in Hamlet, NC Engagement Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyThe Depot in Hamlet, NC Engagement Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyThe Depot in Hamlet, NC Engagement Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyThe Depot in Hamlet, NC Engagement Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyThe Depot in Hamlet, NC Engagement Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyThe Depot in Hamlet, NC Engagement Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyThe Depot in Hamlet, NC Engagement Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyThe Depot in Hamlet, NC Engagement Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

Lesley & Russell’s 1920’s Inspired You + Me session – The Depot in Hamlet, NC