Wedding planning is full of many unknowns as,chances are, you’ve never done it before. Many decisions are entirely personal and to your taste, but the timeline is not something you should just guess at. Here are a few don’ts to consider when scheduling for the big day.
1. Giving guests a false start time. I’ve seen entirely too many ‘tips’ that suggest telling the guests that the ceremony will start 15-30 minutes prior to when you actually want it to start. There will be a few who are late, but the vast majority will be on time or even early. Making your guests wait 30-45 minutes is just going to make them irritable and reflect poorly on you since they will think it’s YOU that’s late!
2. Underestimating how long hair and makeup will take. Rarely do things that are scheduled go off without a hitch. A maid will be late, the stylist may have car troubles… the list of possibilities goes on and on. Make sure you have an accurate count of who will have hair and/or makeup done and add 30 minutes to an hour extra to the stylist’s quotes.
3. Not allotting enough time for photos The biggest time suck is family photos after the wedding. You want every permutation of family arrangements possible but only allotted 1 hour between the ceremony and reception to do family as well as party and bride and groom photos. First looks are an excellent way to avoid a huge gap between the ceremony and reception.
4. Stretching the reception schedule out all night While everyone is there to share in the joyous occasion with you, it doesn’t mean they want to stay out until all hours of the night doing so. It’s nice to get all the necessary traditions finished early in the evening so your guests can enjoy themselves and not pester you for when the next thing is coming.
4. Getting ready in the next town over Even though you need to think positive, you also need to remember Murphy’s Law: whatever could go wrong will go wrong. Waiting until the last minute to travel to the ceremony venue is just asking for trouble: car trouble, traffic jams, forgetting something vital after you’ve driven all the way to the venue, etc.
5. Splitting up to work the room If you don’t take a first look, you will not have any alone time until you leave the reception. Your wedding day is all about you and your new spouse. You don’t want to think back and remember that you didn’t spend any time together because you were dealing with issues or shaking hands and kissing babies separately to finish the task as quickly as possible. Enjoy the first day of the rest of your lives together.
6. Making the schedule too tight I’ve already harped on this a time or two, but leave extra time for issues to arise because they always do. Being rushed is always stressful and there are too many other places for stress to be introduced to leave any room for it in your schedule. If you plan too much time for hair, you’ll have time to take a breath, have a drink (a strong one or not), and get caught in the moment of your impending nuptials!
7. Expecting everyone to know where they should be and when You’ve planned the schedule, you’ve taken tips from 20 different sites on creating the perfect schedule, but you didn’t tell anyone else. You’re going to be too busy getting beautiful and being in love to worry about making sure everyone is where they should be at the appropriate time. Make tangible timelines (and plenty of them!) to pass out to all the important people.
8. Taking care of everything yourself There are lots of components to a wedding: food, photos, decorations, lots of people, dresses, cars….the list goes on! The potential for crises is great, so having someone delegated to take care of issues will make your day 100% better. I’m not saying you have to shell out big bucks for a wedding planner, but appoint someone – your maid of honor, the mother-of-the-groom, your pregnant best friend who couldn’t be in your party, soon to be sister-in-law, anyone you could depend on – to take care of situations in your place.
Here is an excellent guide to planning your timeline. Make sure to be a team player and consult each of your wedding professionals on your day-of timeline. http://www.bridalguide.com/planning/wedding-planning-basics/complete-wedding-day-timeline
Here are some beautiful examples of wedding day timeline guides for all the important people in your wedding day! (Click to be taken to the Etsy shop!)