How to create a wedding day timeline! But first, grab your free copy of our Ceremony Cheat Sheet for useful tips to help keep your planning. A timeline for a wedding is crucial and nailing that timeline is ever more important! Couples who take the time to create one help ensure they get everything they want out of their wedding day. Any event or celebration will benefit from adequate planning! Most professional wedding planners rely on them to deliver on everything they've promised their clients. We always recommend hiring a wedding professional if it's within the budget. If not, then join us on our podcast this week where we share our wedding timeline tips! We've got five tips to make creating your wedding day timeline a breeze!
List every single highlight you would like to achieve, from the cake cutting to the ceremony itself. You want to start with a complete list of highlights to make sure that everything that you want to happen on your wedding day does happen. Remember, this day can go by pretty fast and it's easy for things to get lost or confused when there's so much going on in such a short amount of time. More specifically you want to go over each part in more detail after you list the most important highlights. So for example, you might have listed your ceremony, but within your ceremony, you're going to have a precessional reading, a unity ceremony, and then the recessional when you walk back down the aisle. Once it's over, you want to review to make sure that you aren't forgetting anything important to you and you're remembering all of the moving parts for each highlight that you want to hit. Don't forget that there's more to a wedding day than just the event. Your wedding day timeline and your agenda are going to start in the very morning, right when you first wake up and go into hair, makeup, and photography, and maybe you might even want to include arrival times to the venue.
Estimate the time for each event on the agenda to be completed. When you're doing this you can work with your hired wedding pros for more accurate estimates. We've got a great list of wedding planning experts on our website! Don't forget to pad your time so you know that you have a little bit of wiggle room if you run behind. So pop in a few extra spots where you can take five or 10 minutes where you can relax and take your time and not run over. When you work with your wedding pros, they can give you the most accurate estimates so you know that you're doing a good job in estimating your timeline.
Start creating an order list for your highlights. Now you want to make sure to confirm vendor timing with your order. So for example, you can't schedule eight hours' worth of photography time if you only purchase the six-hour package. You're going to want to start from the very beginning when you're arriving on-site at the venue and getting your hair and makeup done. Then just go through the day in your mind and try to think of what order you want everything to happen. And again, when you're working with your wedding pros, they can give you some really good advice on what order things should happen. It's their job to make sure that you're not forgetting any important things like sunset photos. Wedding timing has to be specific throughout the day.
From set up to tear down, you want to make sure that you know the arrival times of not only your wedding pros but also any VIP guests that are going to be important to you the day of. So for example, if you're considering the timing for family photos, you want to make sure that the flower girl and the ring bearer are going to be on-site when you're doing family photos. If they're a family member, but also the flower girl and ring bearer, they need to be onsite when you're doing wedding party photos because they're part of that as well. So you want to consider their arrival time to make sure they can participate in both of those things. But also it's always better if little ones arrive later so they're more likely to have a nap and less likely to be fussy at the event. Thinking about things like this, for each individual that's going to play a big part in your day, can make it through the day so much more smoothly. And also your VIPs are much happier, more relaxed, and ready to have a good time.
This is crucial because you might be able to identify a mistake that you made in creating your timeline before the wedding even starts. That way it's not a problem! For example, a classic mistake is having your cake delivered too early! If you’re doing an outdoor summer wedding, you don't want the icing to melt and ruin opportunities for more amazing pictures. Looking for any logistical issues that might come up or any timing issues, like maybe you have photos scheduled before a certain person will be arriving. Just reviewing things like this to make sure that there are as few issues as possible will make you feel much more confident when you're handing out your timeline and much, much less stressed when you wake up the morning of your wedding.
For more expert wedding planning advice, follow us on the @thebridelink!