Even for the most organized couples, the thought of creating a wedding schedule can be a bit daunting. There will be a lot happening on the day of your wedding, and it might seem impossible to fit everything in! Thankfully, the task doesn’t have to be as difficult as it may seem. Follow this helpful guide if you are in the process of crafting your wedding day schedule.
Consult with the Professionals You’ll Be Working Closely With
As you are crafting your wedding day schedule, you should be talking to your photographer and videographer, makeup and hair artists, as well as your wedding planner if you are using one. These are the professionals who you’ll be working with the most throughout the day, so it is a good idea to get their input!
Discuss with your photographer and videographer about what your photo plan is (are you taking your wedding photos before or after the ceremony?) and how much time is needed. Talk to your beauty team to see how much time they’ll need for getting the bride (and anyone else) ready. If you are working with a wedding planner, it is a good idea to work on your schedule with them so that they can give you professional guidance. These wedding professionals have done this before – they’ll have an idea of how much time is needed for each moment in the day!
List Out the Logistics
You are going to need to look at the logistics surrounding your wedding that affect the schedule. This will influence how much time is needed for certain portions of the day. Your unique needs will vary, but here are a few logistics to keep in mind:
- Transportation: Are you staying at your venue the night before the wedding, or will you be coming from a separate location? How much travel time do you need? Will your wedding party be travelling with you or meeting you there? Are you providing transportation for guests to the venue? How much travel time is needed for guest transportation?
- Set Up: When can vendors have access to the venue(s)? How much time do they each need for set up?
- Getting Ready: How many bridesmaids and wedding party members will be getting their hair and makeup professionally done? How much time is needed for the bride and other wedding party members to get fully ready? Keep in mind that you’ll need time for eating, taking getting ready photos, getting full makeup and hair done, and getting dressed.
- Ceremony and Reception Venue: Are the ceremony and reception at the same venue? How much travel time is needed? If you are providing transportation, how much time do the transportation professionals need to load and unload guests?
- Ceremony: Are there any readings, performances, or religious elements in the ceremony? How much time is needed?
- Cocktail Hour: Will there be a cocktail hour before or after the ceremony?
- Photos and Videos: Will you be taking photos before or after the ceremony (or both)? Are all photo spots around the venue, or do you plan on going further away to get some special shots? How much time will be needed?
- Reception: What toasts and dances will be happening? Are there any special performances or ceremonial moments that will occur? What time will dinner be served, and when will the cake be cut? How long do you have the venue space? How much time does the staff need to break down the space?
- After Party: Will you be hosting an after party? How much travel time is needed to get to the after party spot?
Make a Draft Schedule
With all of the information you’ve collected from the above questions, start to make a list of the events that’ll happen throughout the day – starting from when you wake up to the final moments of the celebration. Using the timing information you’ve gathered, start to actually schedule these moments for certain times.
One important piece of advice: be generous with time as you are creating this schedule. Sometimes little things don’t go as planned, or a certain part of the day runs longer than anticipated. Rather than keeping your schedule tight, give cushion to certain moments (especially getting ready!) so that you aren’t feeling rushed. This just gives you more time to enjoy the process of the day, and less time feeling stressed.
Get Feedback and Finalize the Schedule
Once you’ve created the first draft of the schedule, have other people look it over to see if you’ve missed anything or if any changes need to be made. It is a smart idea to run it by your photographer, wedding planner, beauty team, or any other wedding professionals who will be affected by the schedule. After you’ve received input, you can finalize your schedule – and it is ready to be distributed to the people who need it!
Keep in mind that a few things might not go totally as planned. You may need to shift the father-daughter dance to later in the night, or maybe the ceremony will end up running longer than anticipated. This schedule serves as a guideline to help plan the day – but don’t panic if you need to do a bit of schedule shuffling the day of!
If you are in the process of planning your wedding, come to the next Georgia Bridal Show near you. You will have the chance to meet with wedding professionals from Georgia and the Southeast who can help bring your vision to life!