There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to your timeline, I hope these few tips can help your day run extra smooth!!
1. ARE THE CEREMONY & RECEPTION AT THE SAME LOCATION OF DIFFERENT LOCATIONS?
Sometimes the ceremony and reception take place at the same location, other times they are separate and there is a drive between them. Whatever the case may be, take that all into consideration. Are we going off site to do photos? Are we driving to an alternate location? Should we leave more time for travel? Will there be traffic? etc. It can be a good idea to minimize the driving in between (I can share LOTS of stories on how driving from one location for an hour to the next can cause major hiccups in your timeline) And trying to keep the locations closer together is a much better option!
2. HOW BIG IS YOUR WEDDING PARTY?
Whether you choose to include every friend from high school, every sibling, every cousin and a neighbourhood friend, or just a couple close friends this will all play into a few things! How long do you need for hair and makeup? Is everyone going to be getting ready at the same location? Is hair and makeup coming to you or will you be heading to a salon and everyone will meet there? I suggest trying to do what is easiest and less hectic! If you can find a company to come to you (I have lots of vendor recommendations if you need them!) then that DEFINITELY helps with timeline and the flow of your morning! As well as referring back to #1 above, if we are going offsite or to an alternate location for photos, make sure everyone has rides before hand and everyones transportation is planned for and worked out! You definitely don't want to be in the situation where you are ready to head to first look photos or to the ceremony and everyone is scrambling trying to find rides!
3. DOES YOUR VENUE HAVE ANY RULES OR RESTRICTIONS?
Some venues do not allow you to go in too early in the day to set up and have set times for when you need to be out in the evening. Knowing these times definitely help with delegating set up and take down. Notice how I said "delegating" ... YOU do not need to worry about this on your day! Give this job to someone else, you wont regret it! Also making sure to confirm with the venue where you are and are not allowed to go for photos is important as well!
4. BUILD IN EXTRA TIME
A good wedding planner, or photographer will help build in extra time to your day! When I build a timeline with my couples I always assume that things are going to run late or take longer so I slot in an extra 10 minutes here and there during different times of the day. You may look at your timeline and think OMG things are going to take forever! I promise that this will help in the event of something running late, and it not being a stressful situation! No one needs that added stress on their day! This also allows you to feel relaxed and not rushed throughout your day instead of feeling rushed from one thing to another!
5. WEDDINGS HAPPEN WHEN THEY HAPPEN
As awesome as timelines and schedules are for weddings one of my main things to encourage you to do is use it as a guideline! If something isn't exactly on time where it should be, take a deep breath and remember that it is ok if something runs a few minutes behind! And PLEASE let someone else deal with it, whether it's me, your planner, your MC, a bridesmaid! WHOEVER! It is not your place to worry, your wedding will happen when it happens! It's not like the guest have anywhere else to be besides the bar at the reception anyways!!
6. RECEIVING LINES
Picture your perfect wedding ceremony... you kiss, turn around, get announced as a married couple and walk back down the aisle together... then you get to the end and uhhh you don't know where to go or what to do so you stand there trying to figure it out, trying to decide whats next and before you know it a receiving line has started with all of your guests lined up ready to say hi!! Now you're spending 30 minutes or more greeting every guest individually before you break off to do photos or whatever you have next on your agenda! If this scenario sounds awesome to you then that is great! Plan it in to the timeline and you're good to go! If this sounds like an absolutely terrible idea and you don't want to be stuck greeting everyone there and would rather do this during the reception, then this is what I suggest. We either schedule a meeting place somewhere else after your ceremony where you and your wedding party will head off and hide too. This gives the wedding guests enough time to congregate to the next location and then we can head back and do family photos!
7. TIME OF YEAR
Every time of year allows for different lighting scenarios. Please know that if you choose to have a wedding in the winter months we will NEED to adjust these suggestions greatly since it does get dark around 3pm and we need daylight for photos. We can come up with a custom timeline to make sure we fit all of these things in!