When it comes to your wedding, timing is everything! That’s why creating a marriage day timeline is absolutely vital-even owning a few minutes past due can throw the whole day off-track
Consider your wedding’s unique logistics
There are several decisions you’ll need to make before you start creating your big day timeline. When you can answer these questions, you’re probably ready to start out creating your wedding program!
– Will you be planning at your service location or someplace else (such as a hotel with an area stop reserved for you and your guests)?
– Are your ceremony and reception in split locations? If so, you’ll have to factor travel time into the wedding timeline.
– Will you be providing transportation for your marriage party members and/or friends? If so, this may make travel a little smoother and quicker.
– Are you thinking about possessing a “first look” and doing images before the ceremony? Or could you rather put it off until cocktail hour to do couple and group portraits?
– How long will your wedding ceremony be? This will demand a conversation with your officiant.
– Will your cocktail hour take place between the service and reception or prior to the ceremony?
– Will you have a receiving line?
– How many toasts or special dances do you want to have?
– Will your reception place have a curfew, so this means you’ll have to get rid of the reception at a particular time? Your wedding reception timeline will be tighter if you have to end the get together at a predetermined time.
– Are you doing a first dance or other ceremonial dances in your reception?
– How much time is roofed in your vendors’ contracts? How long will your professional photographers (DJ/strap, videographer, etc.) be present at the wedding?
– Are you hosting an after-party or celebrations?
Start your wedding timeline from scratch
Every wedding differs, so copying a wedding timeline template you on the internet word-for-word is probably not going to improve your wedding day (of course you may use these templates as inspiration, though!). Start fresh, and use your service time as a starting place. Make a set of every one of the happenings (getting ready, photo trainings, cocktail hour, first boogie) that need to happen before and following the ceremony and then determine how long each of these will take. After that you can start to story your big day agenda accordingly.
Speak to the experts
Wedding planners and venue event organizers are usually the go-to sources to work with you in creating your “standard” wedding agenda. They’ll have a good idea of how to map out the day based on their experience, and learn how to adjust your perspective to match the realities of time. You’ll also want to consult with your other vendors to learn just how long they’ll need for set-up and prep to be able to schedule them appropriately and provide them with plenty of time to complete their tasks.
Then add buffers…
There are going to be some little (but important) details that you might forget to include in your wedding timeline-including eating breakfast (super-important!), signing the matrimony license, and much more. Your wedding planner or place event manager should know very well what they are and will help you schedule them in, but ensure that your plan allows for lots of pillow time. If there’s any form of transportation included (to the wedding ceremony or from the ceremony to the reception), make sure to allow at least a 15-minute buffer in case there’s unexpected traffic or other delays. You’ll be glad you designed ahead!
…But not on the invitation
If you’re concerned about your friends running late, it can be tempting to place an earlier ceremony start time on your invitation to ensure everyone arrives on time-or early. Our advice: Resist. The. Craving. Your friends are certain to get annoyed if indeed they arrive “promptly” and then have to hold back an extra quarter-hour or half-hour for the service to start (even more if you’re running late!). Instead, factor in yet another 5-10 minutes to your ceremony start time to provide everyone a chance to find their seating and get resolved. Also be certain to have ushers on hand to immediate any late arrivals with their seating at a proper time following the ceremony has began.
emember your photographer
Wedding photography packages usually are the number of time your photographer will continue to work on your wedding day-this is super-important. If you’d like your photographer to photograph all of your complete day-including you and your staff getting ready-you’ll need to cover at least eight time of coverage-and that might not exactly even take your photographer to the end of your reception. Think about how precisely enough time you have with your photographer, so when you’d like him or her to begin and finish firing on your big day. If you’ve payed for less than eight time, you’ll need to be tactical about when your photographer begins and surface finish and decide if it’s more very important to your photographer to shoot your getting-ready activities or the end of the night time.
Don’t make friends wait to consume
Despite the fact that your wedding friends will likely have just enjoyed cocktail hour, you shouldn’t make them wait too much time before evening meal is served (lest they get hangry!). Evening meal should be offered at most around 30 minutes to 45 minutes following the reception starts. The way you provide your food is your decision and your caterer and/or venue-but think about how exactly you agenda the meal, the toasts, and the dance part of the night. Do you want to stagger the training and invite for party breaks among? Or serve the complete meal first and then start the dancing?
Disperse your wedding agenda widely
Your big day timeline should be given to all of your vendors, as well as any VIPs (family, marriage party, etc.) the week of the marriage. Like that, everyone understands where they are really said to be and when. On the day of your wedding, your wedding planner or event manager should be the “keeper of the timeline,” ensuring things are running smoothly, but also enlist a family group or marriage party member to monitor the clock and enforce the schedule.