Wedding Day Timeline
OK, so the wedding day timeline. A few things you should know—I started crafting our wedding schedule about six months before the wedding, and I reviewed it at every single vendor meeting that we had. (Truly, my biggest fear was that I would forget to do something, or go somewhere, or be somehow unprepared for our wedding—I had at least four nightmares about it!) Anyway, I reviewed the schedule with the reception venue, the catering staff, the DJ, and the photographer. Each of them had very definite ideas of how the wedding schedule should go, and although it certainly helped me to have their suggestions on how things would flow best, I didn’t always take their advice. Even though I’ve never had a wedding before, I had a very clear idea of how I wanted things to flow.
Example: Our DJ originally told us to cut the cake and then go right downstairs for the first dance. I was all, “What, I don’t get to eat the wedding cake that I paid a million dollars for, or all of the wedding pie??” And he was all, “No, the people will get antsy, and no one wants to sit back down for dessert!” Then on the wedding night, he came over and let us know that there was a pretty substantial line for wedding pie, so we would need to push the first dance out 15 minutes. Of course we would need to wait—don’t you know anything about pie?
Anyway. Here’s how the wedding day timeline was created. First, I opened one of my trusty Google spreadsheets. I used column A to schedule the entire day in 15-minute increments. Then, as I was made aware of when things would happen, I added them in. Here’s my example:
Anything that you see highlighted in blue is a time that a vendor gave us and we agreed on. I knew what time our ceremony would be, and I knew what time our cocktail hour would start. Based on that, my hair and makeup people could tell me when the best time for them to come was. Boom, half the wedding day timeline was done! Everything else just took a little bit of thought and planning by McGlovin and me, and some suggestions from our caterer/DJ about when the food would be served and how fast, which helped us decide how to order and space things.
But wait! I’m neurotic, so there’s so much more to our wedding day timeline.
After I had a general schedule, I broke it out into a number of groups. On this page, you can see columns for Saturday, Bridesmaids, Bride, Groomsmen, and Groom. Then at the bottom, there are tabs for the entire Weekend Schedule, Ushers, and all sets of parents. So, yes, every single person that had any part in being at our wedding had a schedule created for them. That way I knew everyone was accounted for and would have a very clear understanding of where they needed to be. (Sidebar: I like when people give me instructions and expectations. I’ve been in several weddings that had no planning, and I had no idea what I was supposed to do at any given time. I was trying to avoid that with our own…and went a bit overboard.)
So, that was our wedding day timeline. It was epic, and it kept our wedding so on track. Since I had gone over it a million times, I knew exactly where everyone was supposed to be at any given time and, more importantly, what I was supposed to be doing. It was, without a doubt, the hugest relief to know that I had gone through the day so many times in my head and on paper and everything was accounted for. It was an even bigger relief, though, to hand the schedule to someone else on the wedding morning and put them in charge of making sure things were running on time!
Which brings me to the question for this post—who are you putting in charge of the wedding day timeline?? I would really, strongly, forcefully encourage you to assign the schedule to someone other than yourself—ain’t nobody got time to worry about the time on their wedding day! So…who’s it going to be?
- Columbus, Ohio
- Executive Assistant
- Wedding Date:
- January 2013
- Cathedral ceremony, reception in a converted hardware warehouse