We've already put together a preliminary wedding timeline in part 1 and part 2. I wanted to finish up with a very important step: building in buffer time. Weddings tend to run late and that's not a bad thing. You just need to be prepared for it.
The part of the wedding day that most commonly runs late is getting ready time. Makeup and hair appointments frequently run late, so it could be helpful to bump back their start times. It always takes a surprising amount of time for the bride to get dressed, especially if she has a lace-up gown. Just a few extra minutes built into the timeline will help the bride and her bridesmaids be ready on time.
Some parts of the wedding are time eaters. One of the biggest is the receiving line. Think about it, even if you only spend 30 seconds with each of your 100 guests, you've eaten up 50 minutes! You could choose to greet your guests during the cocktail hour or reception, but if you want to have a receiving line, make sure to build in plenty of time for it, and do your best to keep the line moving.
Also, make sure that you factor in travel time. Whether it’s a 30 minute drive to the ceremony or 10 minutes for your guests to walk from the cocktail hour to the reception, make sure you include travel time throughout the day. Corralling a big bridal party from one location to another takes longer than you might think. From the hair salon to the church to the picture location, it all takes time. And if you don’t build it in, you’ll be eating away time at that location before you even get there.
Every aspect of the wedding day is personalized to the bride and groom and that includes the timeline. Building a good timeline is important, but it doesn't have to be overwhelming. Your wedding coordinator and wedding photographer have great advice that will help you put together the best timeline for your big day.
And in case you were wondering, my wedding timeline was incredibly detailed and probably overly thought out. The timeline tracked what the entire bridal party and vendors would be doing throughout the day. I built in snack time, relaxing time, and hair and makeup touch up time. The timeline spelled out what time our family was supposed to arrive for pictures and which bridal party members should ride together. It was kinda the behemoth of all timelines. (Did I mention that I'm detail oriented?) Just ask my wedding photographer or anyone in my bridal party and they’d love to tell you all about my “yellow book.” Maybe I'll even share it on the blog sometime!
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