Timeline, Timeline, Timeline!
Timeline, Timeline, Timeline! In the Bible they say words three times in a row when they want to make a point or emphasize an idea, and when planning your wedding the timeline should definitely be emphasized!
A lot of my (Adam) background has been working for churches and ministries and I’ve learned the importance of timelines from those experiences.
The difference between pulling off a Sunday morning service and a wedding is that during a Sunday morning everyone involved has worked together before, know each other, know the church or venue, and have a run through the morning of. Even with all that preparation things can still go wrong.
With weddings you have multiple vendors (who haven’t worked together and may not even meet until the day of), working in a venue they may be unfamiliar with, and have not done a run through (unless they went to the rehearsal). As you can see, things are bound to get out of control without planning, making a detailed timeline, and making sure everyone is on the same page beforehand. Leave little room for error in your timeline and everything should work out!
Here are some tips to help get you started, putting together a wedding timeline has been described as putting together a jigsaw puzzle, start with the corners and edges first!
Start with the main events which are typically:
Now, however you’re making your timeline, whether a spreadsheet or just a document, make sure for each event that you include the 4 W’s: When, Who, What, and Where. I like to use Google Docs and Google Sheets because you can add vendors, your wedding planner (if you have one) and other key people in one place who can see whenever you edit and update your timeline. It also makes it easy to send to people who ask last minute for a timeline. There are also mini-events in each category, so you can break it down even further:
-Nails, Hair & Makeup
-First Look/Any Photos Before Ceremony
-Transportation to ceremony
-Sequence of events
-Transportation to photos/reception
-Entrance Into Reception
-Special Dances, Speeches, Bouquet/Garter Toss, etc.
Though this is not an exhaustive list of things to put in your timeline, it should give you a format to work with. Talk with your vendors about each of the events you want to do, ask them how long things should take, and make sure to add buffer time for events that tend to go longer than you think (Hair, nails & Makeup, Photos, Dinner, and Transportation to name a few). I’ll be adding more in-depth posts in the future, so if you have any tips not mentioned here comment below!
Throughout this process remember that this is your wedding and ultimately you have the last say! Go over the weddings you’ve been to in the past and write down all the essential things you want to do, the things that you enjoyed about other weddings, and cut out the things you don’t like or feel pressured to do.
The goal of a good timeline is to not have to think about it at all the day of your wedding. You should be able to hand it off to your vendors, your day-of team, and anyone else involved so you can just enjoy the day!