There's a phrase I hear 98% of my newlyweds say: "I can't believe the day went by so fast!" There's always a lot going on in wedding days and you want to make sure you make the best use of your time. Not only is time valuable: it can be costly. Having shot over 300 weddings in Puerto Rico, there's a few things I have observed that can become time wasters. A time waster is something you spend a lot of time doing that is unnecessary or does not produce any benefit. They can be different things to everyone!

Here’s a few things to think about if you're short on time, from a wedding photographer.

1. Deciding to wait for guests that are late

There's a reason this is number one in my list. Waiting for other people can significantly delay you. Let's keep in mind that every hour delayed at the beginning is one hour less that you get to enjoy your reception. It can also mean extra fees from your venue or vendors. This happens commonly during the getting ready when brides/grooms decide to wait for delayed bridesmaids/groomsmen for pictures. I've seen it happen at the ceremony, as well.

2. Duplicate posed group portraits

Posed group portraits are already time consuming (and usually, all of my couple's least favorite part). Duplicate group portraits can look like:

  • Photo with siblings in room
  • Photo with each individual sibling in room
  • Photo with siblings at the ceremony
  • Photo with each individual sibling at ceremony
  • Photo with each individual sibling reception, etc.

If you're short of time, prioritize key posed group family photos. Think of what you'd actually display in your home. While it's a nice detail to have, you probably wouldn't display individual photo with each individual sibling in every location of the wedding.

3. The receiving line

Okay, this can be tricky. A receiving line is essentially, when the bride and groom (sometimes accompanied by parents) stand in the entrance and welcome each guest individually. Guests usually stop to have a quick chat and hug before making their way to their assigned seats. There are certain scenarios where the receiving line can work, but if you're short on time remember you will have time with your guests during the reception. During most weddings, newlyweds usually go around tables greeting guests or giving wedding favors, too.

Establish your priorities

While planning, discuss what's more important for you as a couple. Is following traditions essential for you? What are you okay with sacrificing? Will you be okay with less 'party time' if you wait for a delayed bridal party member? Think about what you're willing to compromise and not. Every couple is different. In the end it should be about how you envision your ideal wedding day like!