Is there really a magic secret to a stress-free wedding day? There is! And we’ve seen it work so many times! But it’s probably not what you’re thinking…. it’s having a well thought through timeline!
You’ve probably been to one of those weddings before. You know the one where everything got off track, the flowers ended getting delivered to wrong place, the bridal party had confused times to arrive at the church, the receiving line took way longer than expected and now the pictures are running behind, the cocktail hour is in a different location than the reception and guests are confused as to go where next….so on and so forth.
Having a well thought through timeline makes a world of difference! It’s more than just knowing the start time for the ceremony, cocktail hour, and dinner. Its logistics, coordination, trouble shooting (ahead of time!!), anticipating needs, and most importantly communication of the the timeline to all parties involved.
Not only that but the timeline needs to be approached from multiple vantage points.
When we create timelines for our clients we are considering the needs of the couple & bridal party, the guests, and the vendors. Knowing where each respective “group” or persons needs to be at any given time is crucial. The overall purpose of the timeline is to account for “who needs to be where, when?”. It’s also important to evaluate different transportation needs as well as realistic travel times to and from all locations.
Once the timeline is drafted, it is essential to review it from each of the different perspectives. Does everything line up? Are all travel needs accounted for? Does it flow well? Are there any points of confusion where additional signage or direction might be needed (for guests/vendors?) Are there any outside factors that could affect these plans (ie road construction, weather, community events that could affect parking or roadways like a race, festival, or farmers market…)?
However the magic (or necessity!) of the timeline is in the communication with ALL parties involved. Timelines only work when the expectation is set and then implemented by everyone. Once your timeline is set, it needs to be shared with everyone on it (emphasis added because we really really mean it! haha). For the bridal party & vendors it means, having typed up or emailed versions that are distributed, for the wedding guests the communication was partially taken care of on their invite, but one should also consider if more information needs to be distributed to the guests on the wedding program, special handouts, verbal announcements, or signage at the various locations on the wedding day itself.
This is a huge part of what we do as professional wedding planners and probably the most important thing we do for our clients! Countless times we hear back from brides after their wedding about how smoothly the whole day went. It’s one of the best compliments we can receive because we know how much work went into designing a well thought through timeline as well as how much time we spent communicating with vendors to ensure that everything happened perfectly. It’s no small task!
We can’t even begin to tell you how much stress of the wedding day is ELIMINATED when a thorough timeline is created AND communicated with everyone. And who doesn’t want less stress?? 🙂
If you’re looking for stress free wedding planning, stunning decor, and an amazing experience for you and your guests, send us a message! We’d love to chat with you more about your wedding plans and help create for you a flawless timeline that will help the entire weekend flow smoothly!