If you have never drafted a wedding day timeline you probably have no idea what details you need to include, how long you should allot for each portion of your wedding, Today, I am going to share with you some of my tricks of the trade of how I draft my clients wedding day timelines. It isn’t really as straightforward as you might think, each aspect tends to tie in with another aspects timing, meaning that you will more than likely be jumping back and forth from the start of the day, to the end and then back to the middle again. However, I find this is the best way to play around with times and plug in the details of each part of the day.
Steps to Drafting Your Basic Wedding Day Timeline
- You’re going to want to start with a blank paper, and draw a line, preferably use a pencil so you can erase it, or you can ask us about how you can go about using our online wedding timeline template to plug in your times and tasks.
- Start with the important points of the day such as the Ceremony time and then the desired time you would like for your reception to start. There are a few factors you should consider here, such as will both your ceremony and reception be in the same location? Will you be having a cocktail hour? Are photos going to be done on site or off site?
- Next decide on how long you think it will take you to get ready, now, add on an additional hour to that length of time, if you have a larger bridal party, perhaps even add another additional hour as things can get a little chaotic on wedding morning with everyone getting ready together sharing your special moments. This also assists in tying in your photography and videography start times.
- You’ll want to include important times for your photographer and videographer, set their beginning and end times, you will probably want them to arrive about midway through getting ready to allow them time for set up and to have footage of everyone as they are just about ready considering most people don’t want photos to be taken until they “look good” anyways.
- Now you will want to start to put together the Reception side of your timeline, things such as dinner start time, bar opening time wedding party entrance and introductions, newlywed entrance, thank yous and speeches, meal courses (allow about 20 minutes per course) moving into the first dance, father-daughter dance and finally your cake cutting, bouquet/garter toss, opening of dance floor. (Please note, there is no specific order these details need to be done in, so feel free to create the schedule your prefer for your wedding)
- Now we’re going to think about all of your vendors, such as venue, decor, florists, cake, dj etc. You will want to input each of their expected arrival times as well as their end times.
- You will now want to input your transportation times and ensure that you allow a little additional time in the event of traffic or you are running behind. Input all pick up and drop off times and locations on your timeline.
- Now you can also input the times for your photography sessions; family and newlyweds photos, wedding party and newlywed photos, newlyweds by themselves. (Work with your photographer to help you with this part, I suggest allotting at least 1.5 hours if possible and even more time for larger wedding parties)
- After you have completed all of these important details, you are now free to add in the smaller details or other things you are looking to include in your wedding. This creates the perfect foundation for drafting your basic wedding timeline.
Cassandra’s Wedding Timeline Secret: Include details of who is responsible for each task along with any important notes that should be taken care of for that task
If you’re working with a wedding planner or day of coordinator, creating a wedding day timeline is likely something she will handle. If you are planning your wedding day on your own, you should definitely draft a wedding day timeline yourself to ensure that everyone knows where they are expected to be and when. An adequately drafted timeline will definitely assist in creating a smooth experience, helps your vendors, and cuts down on the amount of “managing” you’ll need to do on your wedding day!
Cassandra’s Wedding Timeline Secret: Weddings are notoriously slightly delayed, when creating your wedding day timeline, try to allow a little extra time for each task/event to assist in keeping the day’s events on schedule.