The Importance of A Wedding Timeline – another wonderful blog post voted by you. This is one I’m really excited to get stuck into as I know it’s a part of wedding planning that a lot of you find challenging.
Wedding timelines are something you will hear me talking about A LOT! This is because your wedding timeline is absolutely crucial to the smooth running of your wedding, set up and supplier coordination. It is fundamental to making sure all the plans you’ve put into place come to life just how you imagined.
Do not underestimate the importance of a wedding timeline! It’s one of the main reasons your wedding day runs smoothly and to plan.
So here is my run down of the elements you need to be thinking about when establishing your wedding timeline.
1. Venue Access
This is a big factor – the time you/your suppliers can gain access to your venue from. This plays a big part in the setup of your wedding. If you can gain access to your venue the day prior, then bonus. If not you will need to be even more organised with your schedule.
Things to consider
How much time your suppliers need to set up. This will vary depending on your suppliers, their needs and the elements they are providing for your day. The main suppliers to consider will be your caterers, florist and stylist. These suppliers will usually have the most to set prior to your arrival onsite.
The earlier you can gain access to your venue the better, you can never have too much set up time.
2. Your Ceremony Time
This is the most crucial timing of your whole wedding day – the time you get married. The length of your ceremony will vary depending on the style of ceremony you opt for.
A Civil Ceremony will usually last for 30 minutes whereas a religious ceremony will take longer. For instance, a church ceremony will usually last 1 hour.
Things to consider
I would always advise you to be in your wedding outfit ready to go 30 minutes before your wedding ceremony, no matter which ceremony style you choose. This gives you plenty of time to have a make-up refresh, grab a drink of water (or bubbles) and make sure you can have a couple of photos. The morning of your wedding will fly by so give yourself plenty of time to get ready.
Do factor in time to travel to your ceremony. If you are getting married on site, then you may only be a 2 minute walk away. However, if you are getting ready off site, make sure to factor travel time to your ceremony into this.
If you have opted for a civil ceremony be mindful that you will both have to meet with your registrars before your ceremony. This pre-meeting will be conducted separately, so they can ask you a couple of questions in private. One of you will usually meet the registrars up to 30 minutes before and the other 15 minutes before. You must be on time for this, your registrars keep to a very strict schedule on wedding days.
Now consider the time you have your venue until, the time your bar closes and your epic wedding party has to come to an end.
You now have the 3 crucial timings which the rest of your day will be factored around. Now you need to work out which details will fall where in relation to these timings.
Always liaise with your suppliers. Most of your suppliers will advise what they need from you before your wedding day. For instance, most hair and makeup artists advise how much time they will need per person to get everyone ready. Your caterer should advise how long your wedding breakfast should take to serve. Your florist should let you know what they require from your venue and how long they will need for setup.
However, don’t be afraid to ask these questions yourself. Don’t wait for your suppliers to tell you. You can never be too organised when it comes to the timeline and the logistics of your day.
Remember there is only so much you can realistically squeeze into one day. Be mindful of this, step back and really consider what is involved in your day. Make sure you have allowed time to enjoy your day.
You can almost overfill your day, remember sometimes less is more.
Identify who needs to be at your venue for setup and how long they require.
2. Wedding Prep
Liaise with your hair and makeup artist to establish how much prep time you will need to make sure everyone is ready prior to your ceremony.
Discuss with your photographer what time they will be arriving to take ‘getting ready shots’ prior to your ceremony.
Make sure to give yourselves plenty of faff time – time to eat, drink, have a chat and take a breather.
Guests will typically arrive up to an hour prior to your ceremony. Make sure you have someone on site to greet them.
After your ceremony factor in time for photos.
4. Drinks Reception
Be mindful of travel time – if you have to travel from your ceremony to reception venue allow for this in your timings. This will be crucial for your caterers to know.
Your drinks reception typically takes 1 hour 30 minutes and allows the perfect amount of time to say hi to your guests and have photos taken.
5. Wedding Breakfast
Be mindful that you have to get your guests seated – I would typically allow 15 minutes to seat 100 guests.
Speeches play a big part in the timings of your wedding breakfast. This must be communicated to your caterers prior to your wedding day as it can play a big part in service. Be strict with your speeches, make sure you set a time limit on these and stick to them.
The timings of your wedding breakfast vary drastically depending on your guest count and menu choices.
6. Evening Guests
The time your evening guests arrive usually depends on when your wedding breakfast finishes.
7. Band/Evening Entertainment
You need to be mindful of when they require access to your venue to set up.
As well as what time they will start playing.
8. Cake Cutting & 1st Dance
Both traditionally happen once your evening guests arrive.
Your 1st dance usually kicks off your evening celebrations.
9. Evening Food
Again the timing of this depends on what time you have your wedding breakfast and when your evening guests arrive.
One of my favourite times for evening food service is 9pm. Not too early, but just when guests start to flag after all that dancing.
So there we have it, my insight into not only the importance of your wedding timeline, but what to consider when creating yours. This is by no means an exhaustive list as there is just so much to consider. Please remember every wedding is unique and will involve different factors, so this really is only a guide.
Creating your wedding timeline can definitely feel overwhelming, so why not take the stress out of it by creating yours together? Take advantage of my little Christmas discount. I’m offering my wedding consultancy hour at £35.00 per hour instead of £45.00 until 31st December 2020. This is the perfect opportunity for us to discuss and create your wedding timeline. To make sure you have all the little details of your day accounted for.
To redeem your wedding hour all you need to do is contact me via the get in touch button below. As long as your wedding hour is confirmed in my diary before 31st December 2020 (your consultation can take place anytime in 2021) it’s secured at the discounted rate of £35.00.
I can’t wait to help you create your beautifully detailed wedding timeline.
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Image Credits – Freya Raby / Emma Cox Floristry / Ponden Mill / Kelly Hanks Hair Design / Natasha Jane Makeup / The Aisle Ilkley / Haworth Menswear / Hannah Rachael Weddings