Staying organized is a sure key to a successful wedding day and it’s important to create yourself a detailed timeline for the day of. Why? This allows everyone involved from wedding party to vendors to be on the same page. Of course none of it is written in stone and things may take a little longer but it gives everyone an understanding of how the day is going to go. This is also a great avenue to open communication with your vendors and see what amount of time they need as well. You don’t want to be disappointed when you walk into your reception and your DJ is still setting up because someone thought it was a good idea for them to show up ½ hour before cocktail when it takes them at least 1 hour to set.

Your vendors are the expert of their own art and are a great source of information. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You should be starting to put your timeline together about 6-8 weeks prior to your wedding day and shared with everyone involved by rehearsal time.

Tip #1: First things first – Getting ready is probably going to be the first thing on your timeline. Depending on how many bridesmaids you have will depend on how long it’s going to take and how early you are going to get up that day. When the hair stylist arrives, have them start with your bridesmaids. This way when your photographer arrives they will be able to catch those last minute “getting ready” shots and you the bride will look your freshest.When should you photographer arrive? This depends on your contract, if you have a full day coverage your photographer will most likely arrive within the hour of you getting ready so they can catch some of those moment. But let’s be honest, there are only so many photo opportunities here and with your photographer on the clock let’s not have them sitting around.

Tip #2 – If you are travelling anywhere to get your hair or makeup done make sure to allow double the time it would normally take. It’s always better to have too much time than not enough.

Tip #3 – It’s going to be a long day and it might start very early. During the prep time is a good time to have snacks. A pre- timeline event can be organizing who is bring what such as coffee, snacks and desserts. Don’t forget about the boys- they maybe sleeping in but they still need to eat.

Have you discussed with your photographer a “First Look”. I must say that this is one of my favorite shots next to the ring shot. If you need some convincing google “First looks”. The moment is priceless and it’s a moment only for the couple. It’s a moment that is intimate, special and probably the only time you will have to be with one another ALONE till the end of the night. Defiantly have a breakdown of picture moments you want and your photographer will be able to tell you how long each should take. Remember the tip of travel.

Your reception timeline is where a lot of details are going to take place. I like to give the timeline to all the vendors as well. Even though the DJ knows your first dance I still enter it on the timeline. Don’t forget to include when your vendors are arriving at the ceremony or reception. This will outline your expectations of them or any concerns that can come up and a discussion can be had.

I tell my couple do what you feel best doing. I don’t believe in a “traditional” timeline. If you would like to do your first dance upon coming into the reception before dinner then do it. If you want to do speeches between courses than do it. Just remember that the timeline will give everyone heads up and everyone will be on the same page.

Tip #4 – Write down the evenings events than enter them into your timeline.

Tip #5 – Some other things I include on my timeline.
– Who is involved in the task
– Phone numbers or contacts
– Names

The last thing you want to be doing on your day is fiddling around on your phone trying to figure out who’s who and their phone number. Don’t want to have to deal with any of this, then think about working with Lighthouse Weddings where we will bring you to and through your special days. Happy planning.