It's never too early to start thinking about your timeline. There are a lot of logistics that go into making a timeline that works perfect for you, your guests and vendors on the wedding day. Here are some helpful tips and essentials to remember while fine tuning your wedding from start to finish, but get ready for everything to feel a little more real once you build the timeline!
Important Tip: Don't forget to factor in the length of time you have your photographer and videographers!
Where will you be getting ready, married and celebrating? Does your venue have onsite accommodations for you to get ready in? Will your ceremony and reception be taking place at the same location? Make sure to leave ample travel time between each location. Map out the time from one location to the next, don’t forget to account for traffic and construction delays, we are in Houston after all.
Fill the dead space. If your ceremony and reception are at the same location how will you fill the time while you’re getting your pictures done? Here are a few ideas: cocktail hour, yard games, or go ahead and start serving dinner (this is especially helpful if you have a large amount of guests). Don’t forget your photographers and videographers will be traveling as well and will need to load/unload and reset their equipment at each site.
Helpful Tips: If you are traveling with multiple people from one location to the next determine the driver and car you will be taking before the wedding day.
Pack the car with what you can the night before so there are less chances of forgetting something.
Make sure everyone (including guests & vendors) know how to get from one location to the next and try to carpool/caravan with your bridal party.
The day of the wedding we work side by side with the photographers to capture great content of you and your loved ones to try and make the process convenient and seamless for everyone involved. Do you have a shot list created? If so go through and determine when you want to get the pictures. For example you and your girls could get some pictures completed before the ceremony begins, as well as the groom and his boys. Will you be doing a first look with bridesmaids, dad, mom, siblings, and or groom? The more photos you can complete prior to the ceremony the more time you will have enjoying the reception and the less time post ceremony pictures will take. On average post ceremony pictures will take about 45 - 60 minutes.
Whatever you decide you want captured and when make sure to provide enough time for both photo and video to get their own shots AND so you don’t feel rushed and can enjoy each moment.
This is an area where your officiant will be the most help in planning. Make sure to let them know if you are wanting any readings, songs, or ceremonial events like unity candle, rope, sand or others. Until you are able to sit down and meet with your officiant allot for an average of 20 or 30 minutes on your timeline for the ceremony.
Schedule a time to speak with your caterer. Typically dinner service can take an hour to an hour and half. All timing depends on how many guests you will have and the service being provided (plated or buffet). Your caterer will have a pretty good idea how long it will take to have all guests through the line. Special events can still be scheduled during the dinner service but keep in mind your guests are here to celebrate with you and want to be a part of your events as well. Consider having a private dinner with you and your new hubby, this is one way for the two of you to connect alone after dedicating your lives to each other. Let’s face it, it will be hours till you’re alone again!
The reception is where the fun starts and even more memories are made on the dance floor. You will want to make sure everyone involved in the special events know where and when they need to be, especially for toasts and coordinated dances. Here is a list of a few special events you may want to keep in mind while working on your timeline.
Grand Entrance, First Dance, Father/Daughter Dance, Mother/Son Dance, Toasts (Bridal Party and Thank yous), Bouquet Toss, Garter Toss, Money Dance, Anniversary Dance, Table Touches, Grand March, School Hymn, Private Last Dance, Grand Exit
You can do all or none of the above events, this is your wedding day and you can do as much or as little as you would like. Speak with your fiancé and family and determine what the most important part of the reception is to you.
Helpful Tips: A lot of brides and grooms are going straight into the first dance after their grand entrance which is a great way to get all the events started. As videographers we do have one request if you decide to do this. Please allow at least 1-2 minutes between your grand entrance and first dance. This allows us time to reset our cameras and tripods and get in position. Also most venues and DJs lower the lights which means we need to have our lights set and ready to go as well.
Here are a couple ideas to fill that time: Thank You speech from you and your hubby or Parents or even simply walking to your table to set down your bouquet and toast your new spouse.
If you are looking for another way to save time during your reception consider having your toasts at your rehearsal dinner. This saves you time on your wedding day and provides a more intimate atmosphere for your toast givers without so many onlookers. We would even love to be a part of your rehearsal and capture those speeches for you!
Ultimately this is your wedding day and you will want the timeline to reflect what matters most to you. Thank you for reading this article, I hope you found some informative information that you are able to apply to your wedding day! If you need additional help please do not hesitate to contact me, I would love to help our booked brides with their wedding day timeline. You can reach me on my cell phone at 832-457-2171 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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