As the details of your wedding day begin to take shape and you start to flesh out a wedding day timeline, it is easy to nail down the big ticket items. Ceremony time, dinner service, and grand exit. However, as you work out the flow of your celebration there are a few key items you need to account for in order to ensure the day is seamless.
An unexpected 15-minute delay here followed by a 10-minute hiccup there can throw the entire timeline off schedule surprisingly quickly. Thankfully, we've rounded up all the important, and often overlooked, items you need to account for in your timeline!
Hair and Makeup Timing
This is the part of the timeline where you have to work backward! If your first look or bridal party pictures start at 2 p.m., for example, you would likely want all beauty services to conclude by noon so you have time to get dressed and ready for pictures.
Your particular hair and makeup artist will be able to make a more specific schedule, with appointment slots for everyone, but a good rule of thumb is 30 minutes per person per service. With a larger bridal party you may end up needing to start as early as 8:00 am or so! Break out the mimosas (and coffee!) it's going to be a busy morning!
Venue Load-in Time
Another spot where you need to read your contract carefully is when it comes to your venue load-in time. Many venues will provide a set number of hours for load-in, per the contract, and charge per the hour for any additional hours you may need.
Speak with your floral and event designer team to figure out how much time they'll need to load-in. They may need a few more hours in the morning. Or, if the decor is more complicated, they may even need an additional day or more.
Travel time from the ceremony to the reception
If your wedding ceremony is being held at a different venue from the reception, at a church for example, then you want to factor in the time it will take to bus guests over to the reception. If the trip takes about 15 minutes then consider adding an extra quarter hour to your cocktail hour. This ensures that guests won't feel rushed, and will have a chance to visit the bar, before being asked to be seated for dinner.
Additionally, if you're providing transportation for your guests, in lieu of having them Lyft or drive themselves, remember to factor in how many trips the bus may need to make. You may want to consider having multiple buses so guests don't have to wait for the transportation to make a round trip to the venue before they're able to depart.
Providing a seamless transportation experience for guests ensures they'll enjoy the overall flow of the day!
I'm sure and a million and one people have told you that your wedding day will fly by. Guess what? They're correct. This day is about you and your new spouse, so consider scheduling in a ten or fifteen-minute private moment at the end of cocktail hour (after family formals) and before you're introduced into your reception.
Also, if your wedding dress has a bustle that needs to be done this is the perfect time to do that! Pro tip: ask your caterer to have a plate of your hors d'oeuvres and your specialty cocktails waiting for you in your private moment space!
Band Break Time
If you're having a band perform at your reception chances are, per their contract, they require a band break. Your point of contact with the band will be able to tell you when they typically like to take it and they'll ask that you help them curate a playlist to have going during that short time.
A great way to deter attention from the empty stage during the break is to schedule the cake cutting or any other special programming elements to take place during the break. Guests won't realize that it is a break the band had to take, they'll just assume you planned it all that way!
Style Me Pretty Contributor - Hannah Nowack is a freelance writer, calligrapher, and event designer living in the Midwest. When she isn't working, you will find her decorating her Danish Modern-inspired apartment, frequenting the gourmet cheese counter, or enjoying a glass of Cabernet with friends.