Are you feeling like you’ve done so much wedding homework. Signed all the contracts. Spent a fortune and still unclear on how it’s all going to come together? You aren’t alone.
Together we need to map out your Event Flow. Grab our Event Timeline template below and let’s get you some clarity. This simple document will become your wedding security blanket.
You won’t have all the details yet and that is MORE THAN FINE. Start by filling in your timing for the core elements of your day; ceremony, cocktails, dinner & dancing. Even putting just this on paper will have you breathing so much easier.
You will spend more time with your photographer on the day of your wedding than the person you’re marrying! Make them your friend and work together on your formal shot list. This will be a major part of your Wedding Timeline day of.
I suggest keeping your formal shot list to a minimum. Think of these as the photos you’re likely to frame or include in your album. You likely don’t need a portrait of you with each family and wedding party member individually. Ask your photographer for guidance or grab our shot list template here.
Once you have your list finalized add the groupings to your Event Timeline. If you’re doing a first look you can likely get through most of your shot list prior to the ceremony. Save your biggest groupings of extended family and friends for after the ceremony or even during the reception.
Make sure every formal portrait you want captured is listed in your Event Timeline. You don’t need to remind your photographer to take shots of the key moments they’ll be all over that. But they don’t know your people so guide them.
Make a note in your Event Timeline of when you need to be getting in your gown. Your hair and makeup team will work towards this time.
There are pros and cons to both. If you know your family is notoriously hard to wrangle or you have visions of photos in multiple locations a first look could be a great idea. Chat it through with your photographer.
When possible, I love to move guests outside for cocktail hour. Add the time of sunset to your Wedding Timeline and make the most of the golden hour. This is a great time to sneak away for a few couple portraits.
Cocktail hour is the major transition of your celebration. Set it up to be ENJOYED. Talk to your venue about passing red & white wine and sparkling water to avoid lines at the bars. Consider offering a signature drink to also be passed and served at the bar.
Have fun with your signage and use it to infuse the vibe you want into your day.
If you didn’t do a first look ask your venue if you can extend cocktail hour to 90 minutes. This will give you plenty of time to capture the shots you need without feeling rushed.
Greet guests with a full bar and hors d’oeuvres as soon as they arrive. After 30 minutes transition them to the ceremony space. When we’ve done this the feeling in the air during the ceremony was electric. Follow it up with another 45 minute cocktail hour post “i do”.
After cocktail hour it’s time to move people into the dinner and dancing space. The party is kicking up a notch!
Think about who you want the band or DJ to introduce. Your wedding party and family can be hard to find in the midst of cocktail hour. If someone is in the restroom or already took their seat things can start to get delayed. I find the smoothest transition is when we introduce just the couple. It’s really your moment!
Make note of how you want to be introduced in your Event Timeline. Add a music note to let the band or DJ know what song you want to walk in to.
Here is my biggest Event Timeline day of tip and one we incorporate for every single one of our clients.
You heard me right, get everyone up and dancing BEFORE dinner is served. This will change the whole vibe of your day and have every guest excited to celebrate you! It doesn’t need to be more than 10-15 minutes. From there you can move into your Welcome Toast and dinner.
The key to Event Timeline day of success is to add all the small details and moving pieces into your Event Timeline. This document will become your road map and will really help you and your entire Dream Team visualize the flow of the day and advise you of any potential pitfalls.
Take the FREE and start planning a wedding that feels uniquely you.
The truth is I hated planning my own wedding. I felt like I was going it alone and was surprised by how hard it was to find partners who embraced my vision. Thankfully, the guy was worth it and that experience is what led me to become a wedding planner. After a decade of planning luxury weddings I am bringing my process to you.