Wedding Day Timeline:
1. Order vs. Time: When we are constructing a wedding day timeline for a client the order is more important than the exact time. While it’s helpful to map out time blocks, picking an exact time will only set you up for failure. For example: 7:25pm-First Dance, 7:28 Father/Daughter Dance is way too specific. While the song you selected for your first dance may be 3 minutes and 30 seconds this scenario leaves no time for the band to interact with you and set up a meaningful introduction for your father/daughter dance. And chances are, some things will take longer than anticipated and others a little shorter. Instead, identify the order that works best for you and your fiancé and trust your vendors to implement it! A little Flexibility and Trust are key.
2. Ask For Feedback: Once you have a good idea of the flow you and your partner envision for the day, it’s a great idea to reach out to your vendors for feedback. Your band will have some great ideas about how to generate that atmosphere you are looking for and we work with you to ensure everything is set. If you want to create a party atmosphere we suggest a dance set early on to get people moving and on the dance floor. Or maybe having less breaks between speeches and dances so you are able to have longer dance sets.
3. Photo’s: Planning out your photo schedule with your photographer (and planner if you have one) in advance will allow you to capture all the pictures you and your family want and will leave more time for you to actually enjoy your wedding day! Again, you can block out the order for of each category (getting ready, first look, bride and groom portraits, bridal party, family portraits) and discuss how long each may take depending on your needs. Having a list of the people in the posed/group photos is also a great idea. You can give a copy to your photographer and one to your planner. It makes organizing the group shots much easier if you have names in case you have to track people down (but they should know where to be from the rehearsal!).
And, how much time will all your pictures take? The average is about 3 hours. I know that must sound crazy but keep in mind that for a majority of this process your photographer is capturing you experiencing each moment. So, they are taking pictures of you putting your dress on, your dad seeing you for the first time, having fun with your bridal party…and those moments are priceless (and usually make for the best photos)!
4. Arrival Times: Most likely, your vendors have already indicated approximate times for their arrival and departure. Make sure to factor these times into you timeline. For example, if your officiant is arriving to the ceremony location 60 minutes prior, you may want to schedule the signing of the marriage license about 15 minutes after they arrive. This way the two witnesses you select to sign the license are prepared and no time is wasted tracking them down!
5. Flow: A key to any successful event is setting the right flow for your guests (bridal party included). Simplify your timeline by minimizing the travel time between ceremony, picture locations and the reception venue. While you want your night to never end, extending your reception past five hours will leave many guests exhausted (and add to your costs). Instead of adding an extra hour, consider hosting an after party where guests can attend, if they wish.
A Good idea- When your wedding day comes, identify a point person that you trust so you don’t have to worry about the timeline. The point person can ensure the flow of the entire day is seamless and everyone (including you and your fiancé) have a great time! But, it’s important to make sure this person can be there from start to finish, not just at the reception.
There is no set formula for creating the perfect timeline but there is an Art To The Flow, there is not a right or wrong. Count on your vendors to help guide you in the right direction (they’ve all done this many times).
And, most importantly on the day of your wedding…take a deep breath and let everything fall into place–
Remember-Its a Party!