Your wedding day timeline may seem like another tedious task or headache to check off the long to-do list prior to your special day. But it is actually an essential element that, if done correctly, will make your day feel as stress-free, seamless, and enjoyable as possible.
Your timeline serves two essential purposes:
First, ensuring that you and your loved ones know where to be and when. So that no one feels confused, lost, or even worse- has to bother you! We’re sure your ideal wedding day doesn’t consist of waking up to a slew of text messages asking minute questions that could have been answered in advance like “When should Grandma be in your suite for hair and makeup again?” or “Where do the groomsmen need to be meet for pictures?” A timeline minimizes those avoidable questions and serves as a resourceful reference for everyone involved. Plus, it can be another beautifully curated detail, personalized for your day, and included as a warm welcome to your family and special guests.
It also serves as the guide for your vendors and directs how all of their services will work in tandem to bring your dream day together. A good wedding day timeline should be as helpful and accommodating to those vendors as possible to do their jobs best. It allows all of those moving parts and plans you’ve worked so hard on to come together seamlessly. Most importantly benefitting you with a beautiful result.
So what makes a good wedding day timeline? Here are some of the most critical elements to think through:
You and Your Guests Experience: Always most vital to us is making sure you and your guests enjoy every moment of the day. We recommend having a separate wedding day timeline that will serve as the itinerary for you and all your loved ones involved in the wedding day. It should focus on the details that matter most to the involved guests but won’t have the intricate workings of the vendor set up for the actual wedding- after all, you want to keep all the special elements of the celebration magical for those guests too! Important things to include that will eliminate more of those avoidable questions and also essential to plan:
- Suite Numbers or Rooms that the Bridal Parties will Get Ready In
- Hair and Makeup Timing for each person with their name and stylist
- Timing for Breakfast and Lunch (You’ll want to make sure this is arranged to prevent any bridal party or family members having to go off-site and conflicting with your plans)
- Timing for when the bridal parties need to be ready for photos
Bottleneck Situations: It is important to consider any time where everyone involved is relying on a specific task or vendor to be complete in order to complete their own responsibilities. For example, if you have a stunning floral halo or ceiling installation, the venue cannot set the tables and chairs that go beneath it in their final places because the florist will need space for lifts and staging. And the lighting company cannot set pin spot highlights until all of the floral is in place, and your planner cannot put the place cards on tables and check that every detail is perfectly in its place until all of that is complete. So you see, the arrival and setup of even just one vendor can have a domino effect on the production of your day.
- Think through everything backward, from end to start. That way, you can determine how much time is adequate for everything.
- Always leave a little extra time in between to pad for any unexpected challenges.
Transition Timing and Logistics: Often, depending on your venue, a room flip is required from ceremony transitioning to the reception space, or rental items need to be moved from one space to another all in the short time span of cocktail hour. If either is the case for you, you should make sure to determine who is staying after the ceremony to assist with all the work there is to do. It may not seem like a lot, but all the little things add up! We know by that point, you won’t want to wait any longer for the big reception celebration to begin!
Never Too Prepared: A great way to maximize your valuable time in your timeline is by having anything that can be prepared in advance, ready to go. For example, have all of the unique personal details you want to capture on your day, like your stationery suite, in an envelope or box labeled for the photographer. That way, when they arrive on the wedding day, they can take care of those shots first while you’re still getting ready.
Our team always thinks through the perfect areas for styling, such as where to hang your wedding dress or walk-throughs with the photographer in advance, so we are not wasting time the day trying to figure those details out. That way you can spend more time enjoying yourself with friends and family instead of worrying about the little details.
A detailed timeline is essential to the day going smoothly, but it is only helpful if you have the right professionals to keep you and all the moving parts on the track. For more guidance on essential aspects that will make your day less stressful and more memorable, check out more resources we’ve created with you in mind.
FOUNDER, PRINCIPAL planner,
CRAFT COCKTAIL CONNOISSEUr
While I am extremely passionate about decor, design, and florals - my true passion lies in creating experiences for people, marrying the elements of their unique personality with their treasured traditions to ensure that their celebration is one their guests will remember for a lifetime.