Timing is everything when it comes to your wedding! It is crucial to have a timeline for your wedding. Even a slight delay can cause chaos and upset guests. Remember that every couple’s wedding day is unique and will depend on their vendors, venues, families, and other factors. So make sure you start from scratch when creating your wedding day timeline.
Consider the unique logistics of your wedding.
Before you can begin creating your wedding day timeline, there are several things you need to consider. These questions will help you to plan your wedding.
Are you getting ready at the ceremony location?
Is your reception and Wedding itinerary ceremony in different locations? If this is the case, you will need to include travel time in your wedding timeline.
Do you plan to provide transportation for your wedding guests and/or members of the bridal party? This can help make travel easier and more efficient.
Do you plan on doing “first glance” photos before the ceremony? Would you prefer to wait until cocktail hour for family and couple portraits?
Are you looking to do first look or wedding portraits at an exact time (i.e. “golden hour,” which is the last hour of daylight before the sun sets)?
Start your wedding timeline right away.
Every wedding is unique, so copying a template for a wedding timetable that you saw online word-for-word will not work. However, you can still use these templates to inspire you! You can start fresh and use the ceremony time as a guide. You can then make a list of all the events that will occur before and after the ceremony. Then, determine the time each one will take. Then you can start planning your wedding day.
Get started early.
Your wedding will be long, but it’s going to be amazing! It’s going to be a long (but wonderful!) day. You don’t want to start the getting ready process too soon, especially if you plan on taking photos prior. For example, if your ceremony is at 4 p.m. we recommend that you start to prepare at 9 a.m. It may seem crazy to begin so early for an evening ceremony, but it can take up to 90 minutes. for a bride’s hair and makeup to be done. Your bridesmaids will also need to have their hair and make-up professionally done.
Talk to wedding planners.
Your wedding planner and venue event manager are the best people to help you create your “official” timeline. Based on their experience, they will have an idea of how to organize the day and how to adapt your vision to suit the constraints of time. Talk to your vendors to determine how long it will take to set up and prepare so you can plan accordingly and give them enough time to complete their tasks.
Some buffers are needed
You might forget some important details in your wedding timeline, such as eating breakfast. You will need to sign the marriage license and other details. These should be known by your wedding planner or venue manager so they can help you plan them. However, make sure to allow plenty of buffer time in your schedule. For any transportation (to or from the ceremony) you should allow at least 15 minutes buffer to avoid delays or unexpected traffic. It will be a great thing to plan ahead.
It can be tempting to set a later ceremony start time to avoid guests arriving late. Our advice? Resist. The. Urge. It will frustrate your guests if they arrive on time but have to wait for the ceremony to start another 15 minutes to half an hour. To give everyone time to settle in and find their seats, add 5-10 minutes to the ceremony start time. You should also ensure that you have ushers available to direct latecomers to their seats after the ceremony.
Keep an eye out for your videographer and photographer.
This is a very important aspect of wedding photography packages. It usually includes the hours that your videographer and photographer will spend on your wedding day. You will need at least eight hours to cover your entire wedding day, including you and your bridal party getting ready. This may not include your photographer’s time until the end of your reception. Consider how much time you have to spend with your videographer and photographer, and the times you would like them start and end shooting on your wedding day. You’ll need to think strategically about the time your photographer will be available to you. Decide if your photographer should shoot the getting-ready activities first or the sparkler exit at the end. You can also stage a fake send-off to your photographer an hour before the reception. This will allow your photographer to capture those stunning newlywed photos in their limited time.
Do not make your guests wait until they are ready to eat.
Your wedding guests may have already enjoyed cocktails, but you should not make them wait for dinner. You should serve dinner no later than 30 minutes to 45 minutes after the reception starts. Your caterer or venue can decide how to serve your meal. However, it is important to think about how you plan the meal, the toasts and the dancing portion. Do you plan to stagger the courses or allow for breaks during dancing? Or, serve the whole meal first, and then get into the dance?