Ensuring that your wedding day runs smoothly is largely determined by the vendors you hire and the timeline they follow. The timeline is the backbone of the whole day, making sure that every person is where they need to be and giving cues on the many events of the day. Each vendor, as well as you and your wedding party, rely on the wedding day timeline to guide them through the wedding. Overall, most weddings allow for 30min-1hr for ceremony and 3-4hrs for reception if both take place in the same venue. From there you can build outward to complete the full timeline for the day. Many couples opt to utilize a Wedding Coordinator to create and execute the timeline. We highly recommend this option! It’s imperative to work with a professional to align all parties involved so that your best day ever goes off without a hitch.
That being said, it is important to understand why a timeline is so necessary. Every vendor involved in your wedding is connected together via your timeline. The venue dictates the hours in the space, as well as load in and strike parameters. All of your vendors need to know when they are allowed into the space. Once they have this information, they will then inform the client or coordinator the time they plan to arrive onsite. Your makeup artist will need a certain amount of time based on the number of people receiving HAMU services while balancing between when the venue is available, when the ceremony begins, and when the photographer will need the wedding party ready.
The florist and your rentals need to know when the ceremony and reception spaces should be ready and plan their time accordingly. Not to mention when they can come back to breakdown and strike after the wedding. Your photographer has a huge role in the creation of your timeline. How many hours is the photographer booked for? When should they begin shooting and end? The timeline serves as an outline of the key events to capture throughout the day. The photographer also needs to plan for first looks, family photos, and other desired photos.
The reception also needs to be scheduled out. Your Band or DJ will need to know the order of events for your reception such as cake cutting and first dances. Throughout the evening, the emcee will direct the flow and needs to be aware of the time constraints and expectations. Your catering staff also needs to know when to begin service. And lastly, your get-away transportation will need to be on time for your exit.
There are hundreds of small details that get laid out in the timeline. This is definitely not a “one size fits all” situation. Every wedding is different, with varying traditions and plans. Again, having a point person like a Wedding Coordinator will save drastically on stress and management of the day. But remember, the timeline involves much more than just the time you are supposed to walk down the aisle and the general logistics of the day. Talk to your vendors. Share your expectations and ask them to outline exactly what they will be doing day-of. It takes a village and the timeline is our map.
Photography Credit: Beatbox Portraits