A smooth, well-thought-out timeline is crucial for any event to be successful. Without a great timeline, the event will be sloppy and the great details and creative pieces will be overshadowed by chaos and unpredictability. I used to think that all brides had been dreaming about their wedding day since they were 12. I have recently been proven quite wrong. When I started to discuss the teeny-tiny details of the day with two of my brides, I could almost see their eyes glazing over – on the phone!! We started talking about the importance of a solid, yet flexible timeline for the Big Day and I realized that they might need a little more guidance than most… so I sent them a template for a wedding day timeline which also included questions to help each of them determine the individual features of their day that they would have to include in the timeline. I thought that some of you might benefit from as well. Enjoy!
10:30am: Hair appointments for Bridal Party and Mother of the Bride
11:30am: Hair/Makeup for Bride & Bridal Party
2pm: Bride and Groom get ready in separate rooms
Photographer and Videographer arrive to start shooting
2:30pm DJ arrives to set up
3:30pm: Guests arrive at ceremony
DJ begins playing
Unity ceremony (wine pouring, planting seed, readings by family, pouring sand)
4:30-5:30pm: Cocktail Hour
4:30pm: Bridal Party photos
5:00pm Bridal Party joins cocktail hour
5:30pm: Guests enter into Reception
5:40pm: Grand Entrance:
Grandmothers are announced and wave from their seats.
Parents, Bridal Party, and Bride & Groom are announced and make entrance into ballroom and gather on dance floor
5:50pm Music continues and all guests are invited to Dance
6:15pm: Guests sit / Bride and Groom First Dance
6:20pm: All sit / Best Man Toast
6:25pm: Maid of Honor Toast
6:30pm: Father of Bride welcomes guests
6:35pm: Slideshow (while Dinner 1st course is being served)
7:35pm: Bride & Groom thank guests
7:40pm: Father/Daughter dance
7:45pm: Mother/Son dance
7:50pm: All guests are invited to Dance
8:45pm: Cake cutting & service
8:55pm: Bride presents bouquet to her Grandma
10:30pm: Reception ends
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER FOR YOUR TIMELINE/PLANNING
• Which of your vendors will need payment on the night of the event?
• What, if any, special items (guest book, escort cards, etc.) need to get to the ceremony/reception site(s)?
• How will your special items get to the ceremony and/or reception site?
• Will you have programs?
• If so, how will they be distributed to guests?
• Will you have a guest book (or something for your guests to sign)?
• Will you have a gift table at the ceremony site?
• Will you have a “unity display” during your ceremony (wine ceremony, candle lighting, sand ceremony, etc.)?
• Will you have special items at your ceremony (parasol umbrellas, fans, bubbles, etc.)?
• Who is breaking down the ceremony site?
• Will you need escort cards (table assignments) at the reception site?
• If so, how will they be displayed to guests?
• Will you have a gift table at the reception site?
• Will you have other special features at your reception (a photo booth, a candy station, etc.)?
• Who will bring your gifts to you at the end of the night?
• Who will collect all of the special items (guest book, centerpieces, etc.) at the end of the night?
• How will the special items get to you at the end of the night?