6 Wedding Day Timeline Tips

wedding day timeline

Whatever stage of wedding planning you’re in—recently engaged or a few months out to the big day—it’s our strong belief that every couple should at the very least hire a wedding planner to manage the wedding day. BUT if you can’t afford a planner or want to DIY, it is pertinent to have a thorough and realistic timeline of how the wedding day will play out. Here are six tips on how to create a perfect wedding day timeline:

Add extra time for hair and makeup.

H&M is generally the start of the wedding day, and if that’s running late, the rest of your wedding will run late too. Allow ample time to get ready, especially since bridesmaids may add additional services on the day itself. (Eyelash extensions, airbrush, etc. all take time!)

Create a photo list for your photographer.

A list of formal photos to be taken before and after the ceremony is an absolute must. Your photographer can organize the list based on relationships and will use it to streamline the process, which is time-consuming in itself but can be even lengthier if there isn’t a list in advance. The same goes with detail shots. If you want your dress or heirlooms to be photographed as well, make a list. (And make sure they’re out of their packaging to not waste time on the wedding day so your photographer can jump right into it!)

Be thoughtful about locations for pictures.

If you don’t plan on taking wedding party pictures at your venue site(s), find a location close to the venue so you don’t waste too much time traveling to and from all the sites. If you plan on taking pictures outside, make sure to have an indoor plan B location in case of inclement weather.

Sprinkle wedding activities throughout the reception.

We highly recommend getting the cake cutting out of the way after the wedding party and couple enters the reception so the catering team has enough time to cut and serve it to guests. (Also, the last thing you need is the cake on the dance floor during first/parent dances.) Interspersing speeches (with a time limit of course) during the meal’s courses instead of having all of them before or after the meal gives more time for guests to dance and drink, which is what they’re waiting for. First/parent dances after the meal has ended is a great way to open the dance floor to all guests.

Create a timeline for each vendor.

Vendors come and go at different times throughout the wedding day, so don’t forget to include deliveries, setup times, what services they’re including, locations and time restrictions by your venue. Consider color coding a master timeline with each vendor’s services or send individual timelines to each vendor with their specific responsibilities.

Add buffer time throughout the timeline for delays.

Long story short, we’d rather allot more time for each activity and be ahead of schedule than not have enough time and be behind. Don’t forget to talk about overtime with your vendors ahead of time to see what their rates are, so if you want them to stay longer for any reason, there are no surprises.

Friday, March 15, 2019

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This digital wedding planning resource has over 300 questions engaged couples must ask venues and vendors before booking your wedding team—all through the viewpoint of a professional and experienced wedding planner.

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