The big day is drawing near! You’re finalizing the last details, and everything seems to be falling into place.
But don’t collapse into that comfy recliner and exhale just yet, there’s still something important to do: You’ve got to put together the timeline of the wedding day itself.
Creating your wedding timeline isn’t as simple as guessing how long you think something is going to take, and then penciling it in.
There’s a lot more to it than that.
Since each wedding is different, we’ve created this guide incorporating 9 essential tips for crafting your perfect wedding timeline.
- 1 1. Get together with the people who are involved
- 2 2. Plot out the day from start to finish
- 3 3. Check in with vendors
- 4 4. Check in with your photographer
- 5 5. Take your list, and create a timeline
- 6 6. Look before you leap
- 7 7. Take care of your vendors
- 8 8. Time your ceremony
- 9 9. Be prepared… and roll with it
1. Get together with the people who are involved
Gather your bridesmaids and anyone else involved in setting things up and helping you on the wedding day.
The venue will let you know when you can begin setting up, so make sure everyone is aware of when they need to arrive, who the point of contact is, and what will be expected of them.
2. Plot out the day from start to finish
You want to create a list that fully encapsulates everything that’s going to take place on your wedding day, from start to finish. Things like decorating the venue, getting hair and makeup done, slipping into your gorgeous dresses, the ceremony, reception, and cleanup.
3. Check in with vendors
Go through your list of vendors.
Based on when the ceremony and reception are, make sure you know when they’re arriving and when everything needs to be ready.
It’s vital that you get a realistic idea of how long hair and makeup will take, and have a little extra time baked in, just in case.
4. Check in with your photographer
You and your photographer have hopefully already discussed the type of photos you’re going for (and if you haven’t, here’s your reminder!). Perhaps you want to take advantage of Golden Hour, but also need to squeeze in shots of the wedding party as well as the family portraits.
5. Take your list, and create a timeline
Now that you’re aware of how long everything will take, you can create a realistic timeline, allocating the appropriate length of time for each. Use the list you made, and plug in the number of hours needed for each task.
On average, hair and makeup for a bride takes 60 to 90 minutes, and the bridal party look can take 30 to 45 minutes to achieve. Make sure you give yourself enough time.
Another important moment to pencil in is solo time with your spouse. Because weddings are celebrated with everyone you love, you’re most likely not going to get any time together as newlyweds on your big day unless you schedule it in. Make a plan to sneak off somewhere and relish in the significance of this moment, just the two of you.
6. Look before you leap
A half hour before the ceremony is set to begin, designate someone to make sure that everything is ready for the guests when they arrive. If you have a wedding planner, they will take care of this for you. Otherwise, it’s crucial you appoint someone who knows your vision to check and make sure everything’s perfect.
7. Take care of your vendors
Don’t forget your vendors! Schedule a time for your vendors to eat, and if it needs to be staggered so that it doesn’t interfere with their duties, that’s fine.
8. Time your ceremony
You should have an idea of how long your ceremony will be… including those 10-minutes (no longer) of you being fashionably late.
You and your officiant can work out how long you want them to speak for, and you and your fiancée can add the appropriate amount of time to accommodate your vows.
9. Be prepared… and roll with it
Just because you create a timeline, doesn’t mean things are automatically going to go according to plan.
Once you’ve put it all together, take a look at it. Are there any areas you are worried something could go awry? And if something were to happen, what are possible contingency plans? be proactive. Find areas that may need a plan B, and have that in place, just in case.
Another area to pay attention to is you. How are you going to react if something doesn’t go perfectly according to plan?
Take a moment now, before the wedding, to make a conscious choice about how you’ll respond.
We suggest keeping the big picture in mind. This is your wedding day, one of the biggest moments in your life. Don’t let the small stuff, a dropped cake, a slip and fall, a momentary screeching PA system… make a choice not to let anything put a damper on this precious moment.
Through careful realistic planning combined with the intention of embracing this once in a lifetime moment, you’re guaranteed to get the most out of the experience.
Give yourself permission to enjoy it to the max! Bask in the significance of your big day; a day you’ll cherish for the rest of your life.
Also Read: How to Choose the Perfect Wedding Rings