Not every bride is as anal about their wedding day as I was, but here’s why you should be…(at least when it comes to your timeline)
It helps vendors (Dj, Event Coordinator, Florist, Photographer, etc) know when you want key things to happen. Nothing is worse to me than being outside taking pictures of details only to find that the bride’s friend is singing a special song! Let me know when things are going to happen so I can make sure that I’m there!
It gets people off your back. People will ask you “What time are we cutting the cake?” or “What time is the makeup artist getting here?” or “When are the flowers getting delivered?”. Developing a detailed timeline will help get some of these people out of your face on your wedding day by having a nice little sheet you can pass out and everyone can reference.
It helps create a more relaxed wedding day. If you are like me, you can’t relax unless you know what you are supposed to be doing and when you are supposed to be doing it. One of the best ways to make your wedding day super stressful is to fly by the seat of your pants without a timeline in place.
Some things to think about when creating a timeline:
The season your wedding is in. If you are getting married in December and have your ceremony scheduled at 4:00 or later, more than likely it is going to be almost pitch black after you say I do. In that case I would strongly suggest adding a first look to your schedule (I would always strongly recommend a first look, but in this case even moreso).
Hair and makeup take longer than you think. For some reason when I was writing out our wedding timeline I thought that hair and makeup would take like an hour tops. My hair took at least an hour and the makeup took around 45 minutes/hour. Unless you go to a salon where there are multiple stylists to work on you and your bridesmaids and you have multiple makeup artists, this can be PER PERSON so plan accordingly.
Traffic. If you aren’t already familiar with traffic patterns around your wedding location, you need to get familiar and pad your timeline for traffic…especially if you are getting married in NOVA or Hampton Roads.
Speaking of padding the timeline, a good habit is to always add extra time into the schedule by padding every entry with a few minutes so you have some room to breathe. Things WILL come up and you will feel a lot more zen about the little things if you know you have planned ahead!
Decide on a rain plan. I have a lot of outdoor weddings this year (holla!) that are going to be absolutely beautiful, completely dry, sunny celebrations. Fingers crossed. Unfortunately the reality is when you’re getting married outside you have to consider your contingency plan in advance so that if mother nature decides to go crazy you are prepared and everyone knows what the game plan is. If you are planning an outdoor wedding I would suggest creating two versions of your timeline, a regular one and an in case of rain plan. That way the only wedding day decision is whether or not to pull the trigger on your backup.
Since I like to practice what I preach (or preach what I practice??) here’s a sample wedding day timeline so you can see what one looks like and even adapt it to fit your wedding day.
Wedding Day Timeline
May 21, 2011
Katie + John
11:30 AM Hair appointments at salon
12:00 PM Drive to getting ready location/pick up lunch
12:30 PM Makeup begins
1:00 PM Photographers arrive/begin taking detail shots
1:30 PM Start getting ready (Bridesmaids first)
2:15 PM Bride gets dressed
2:00 PM Coordinator arrives at reception venue for setup
2:30 PM Drive to first look location (Nelson House)
3:00 PM First Look (Nelson House) / Portraits /Bridal Party Portraits
4:20 PM Family Portraits
5:00 PM Arrive at Ceremony location
5:15 PM Processional starts
5:20 PM Ceremony begins
5:40 PM Recessional
5:45-6:00 PM Guests file out/parade to reception venue begins
6:20PM Dinner is served
6:50 PM Dance Floor Opens
8:30 PM Cake is cut
8:40 PM Bouquet/garter toss
8:50 Resume dancing
9:55 Bride + Groom exit
Pssst…Style Me Pretty and Google Docs have teamed up to create this sample timeline that you can edit and make your own! Such an awesome resource!
Did you miss the first installment in the series?? Check out part one here!