It's a dream come true for every couple to book their favorite suppliers and for all their guests to show up on their big day. But you know what can ruin this streak? A disorganized wedding schedule.
There’s no point in copying wedding schedules that you see online because each couple has different circumstances and preferences. However, there are several things you can keep in mind when you’re putting together your own wedding schedule.
1. Address the most glaring unique factors of your big day.
Will you do your preparations, ceremony, and reception in one venue? If not, how far does the wedding party have to travel from the preparation area to the ceremony? How about from the ceremony to the reception? Transportation from one point to another takes up a lot of time, especially for big wedding parties. You may want to provide transportation for your wedding party so that they get to the ceremony and reception venues on time and at the same time.
There are suppliers that package their services within a limited time frame. You may want to plan out your shots if your photographer only agrees to 7 hours of service. The reception venue may only allow a limited time for ingress. These are the factors you need to consider before you map out your schedule.
2. Arrange the big boulders before you sort out the rocks.
Key events may mean different things for every couple but in general, you need to put your ceremony and start of the reception in order since you will be deciding on the other activities based on these two elements. If it takes an hour to get to the courthouse or church from your prep area, allow an hour and 30 minutes for the travel, plus 15 minutes grace period for the bride before the ceremony starts.
The ceremony and reception will naturally be your key events but perhaps, there are other parts of your wedding you would consider non-negotiable. Maybe the first look or one of your parent’s speeches? You can schedule photo shoots around these key events, for example.
3. Allow ample buffer time in your schedule.
So many things happen at the same time during weddings. Accept that things won’t always go as planned and one part may take longer than expected. The more people involved, the longer it will take. Allot a buffer period of 15-25 minutes in between activities.
If the girls are meeting up with the bride for wedding preparations, allot at least one hour for each person to get the hair and makeup done. The more people there are to handle, the earlier hair and makeup should start.
4. Don’t abuse cocktail hour.
Cocktail hour is a time for guests to bond while they wait for the newlyweds to finish taking wedding photos but don’t take too long, especially if you have a long program prepared for the reception proper. You don’t want your guests tired only halfway through your reception.
5. Coordinate all the people involved.
From your wedding coordinator to your wedding party and your vendors’ point persons – leave no stones unturned. Coordinate your schedule with all of them.
The last thing you want is a clueless person entering or exiting at the wrong part of the wedding.