Making a Wedding Day Timeline
One invaluable tool you can use to help your wedding day successful (and reduce stress) is to make a wedding day timeline. Some brides will do this with their planner/coordinator, some with moms and/or bridesmaids, and some will plan the day with their fiance’! Regardless of who is involved, it is important to have a starting point and include some key details. These details will help the loving couple enjoy the day, the photographer and videographer know when important memories should be captured, vendors to know when to have their services available, and all those involved will be clear about when their role(s) come into play.
Here are some important details that you won’t want to forget when planning your timeline. These are not in a specific order as these will vary depending on your individualized day:
Couples’ Arrival Times (Brides and bridal party often arrive first! Grooms often arrive with their party a couple of hours later)
Photographer/videographer Arrival (they often arrive while the bride is still getting ready in order to incorporate this process into the memories)
Vendor Arrival Times
When Bridesmaids, Groomsmen, Flower Girl/Ring Bear, and Groom should be fully ready.
Time for Bride to Get into Wedding Dress
Bride and Bridesmaids’ Portraits (If Groom is present, arrangements should be made for him to stay in Groom’s Room or be otherwise occupied away from this area)
First Look (not all couples will have this, but it needs to be scheduled if it is part of your day)
Wedding Party Photos
Family/Close Friends Photos
Ceremony Start Time (Formal)
Actual Ceremony Start Time (Usually 10-15 minuets later that formal start time that was listed on the invitations)
Ceremony Times (ex. 5:30-6:00). Most ceremonies last approximately 20 min., but this is up to what elements that will be included in the individualized ceremony. During this section, order of service should be listed as a reference for your officiant, coordinator, and all of those involved in the ceremony. Exact times for each part of the ceremony are not necessary.
Cocktail Hour or Refreshment Time (This is often scheduled while pictures are being taken after the ceremony.)
Official Entrance and Introduction of Bride and Groom
First Dances (Bride and Groom, Bride and Dad, Groom and Mom)
Bouquet and Garter Toss
Now it’s time to get started! Start early, so you can play with the order, add or take away from things you want to include, and get an idea of what your perfect day will look like. While these times may not play out exactly to the minute, and a lot should be said for flexibility, but your wedding timeline will be INVALUABLE!