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Planning for your big day is of the utmost importance. One special day; one moment for you to walk down the aisle; one dance where all eyes are on you; and one chance to make this one of your very best days. I believe that each and every wedding needs two very specific things: a well organized plan + an overall vision. 
One key component of that “organized plan” is to have a well crafted wedding day timeline. However, where to begin? I can’t tell you how many weddings I’ve done that have ended two hours early, because couples insisted on a “free flow” timeline. In this no regrets wedding series, I am going to share why it is such a vital part of having a wedding day with no regrets.
Have you ever been to a wedding where everything just seemed to flow naturally? There was never any awkward downtime. The bride and groom didn’t feel frantic or rushed. Everyone stayed till the bitter end dancing and celebrating. It may have seemed very organic and completely unorchestrated. We’ll let me let you in on a little secret. Every wedding that flows like this has one really good, highly orchestrated timeline behind it. Events throughout the night are scheduled down to the minute and there’s a flow that keeps everyone engaged.
Wedding timelines can be confusing when you’ve never done one—even if you’ve attended a lot of wedding days you probably haven’t paid much attention. I am going to share some key benefit to have a wedding day timeline and how to keep your wedding day moving, no matter what kind of wedding you’re having. As I tell all of my clients, it’s the extremely rare wedding that hits every single point at the minute it’s supposed to. Starting and ending the wedding on time is the key—hitting everything in the middle in the approximate right order is important, but you usually have to adjust a little to fit your event with the kind of guests experience you are envisioning.

3 Key Benefits Of Having a Wedding Day Timeline

  • People Know Where They Need To Be
Picture this: all of your bridesmaids text you and ask, “hey, um when am I supposed to be at the salon to get my hair done?” One text is totally fine, right? I quickly learned that people often have the same questions and rather than answering the same things over and over again, you can referred your bridal party and important family members to a timeline! It is such a stress-reliever – for them and YOU! Everyone knows when they need to get dressed and all the other necessary details without all the overwhelm of answering all those questions.
  • It Helps Your Wedding Vendors
If you don’t have a wedding planner, your vendors will most likely be reaching out to you to confirm where they need to be and when. Your vendors will be arriving and setting up at different times, so including them in your timeline allows your to the time to focus on enjoying the day rather than having to coordinating everything. Share a wedding day timeline ahead of time so everyone’s so everyone know what and where.  It will be less you will be need on the wedding day.! (Are you seeing a trend yet?! hehehe).
  • Build in Time (Think early. Like, really, really early!)
Let’s face it, your wedding is going to be a long (but awesome!) day, and there’s no such thing as starting the getting-ready process too soon—particularly if you’re planning on taking photos, before your ceremony. If your ceremony starts at 4 p.m., for example, we recommend starting to prep at around 9 a.m. Yes, it may seem insanely early, but realize that it can take 90 minutes (or more!) for you to get your hair and makeup done. And if your bridesmaids are also getting their hair and makeup professionally done, that adds even more time. And an entire portrait session, including couple’s portraits and family photos will likely take about an hour or more, as well. Add more time if you’re planning on taking portraits at different locations! So yes, starting your wedding day as early as possible is a great idea.
There is no right or wrong way to celebrate your wedding day…
But, when you bring together a team of vendors & a large room full of your nearest & dearest friends and family, you really should have a crystal clear plan for the day.
A WEDDING DAY TIMELINE OUTLINES THIS PLAN!
As a professional wedding planner or coordinator, this is generally the BIGGEST part of what we provide before your wedding.
The timeline should be shared with all vendors & wedding day VIPs. 
Now, you don’t need to create this timeline until a few weeks before your big day, but it is a good idea to start reflecting on these questions now.
  • What is the flow of the day for you?
  • Who are your wedding VIPs and vendors?
  • Who needs to be where? And when?
I can not stress enough how important it is to sit down together and work through your wedding day timeline. It will be time well spent! Your wedding party will enjoy it, your guests will oh-and-ah to you for it and you will never regret it!