Creating Your Wedding-Day Timeline

A timeline is integral to any good event.
If finances allow, hire a wedding planner. A wedding planner will live and breathe timelines and will be one of your most used tools on the wedding day saving you a toooonne of time and allowing you to sit back and relax.
If you are going to do it all yourself though, let me share with you my tips, tried and tested methods, and advice from personal experience for creating an easy and functional timeline.
If you are really struggling with timing things out, let me know - I'd be more than happy to help you work through it!
1. Start with your key times
Think of these as your non-negotiables, such as the ceremony times, catering service (hot food can only rest or stay hot for so long), the venue curfew times, as well as suppliers booked for a shorter time, like the entertainment.

2. Work backwards
Once you have your key times you can start to piece together the rest of your timeline around these. It can be easier to work backwards and you can think of it like a jigsaw puzzle of key moments and logistics.

3. Check in with each supplier
Your suppliers will know how much time they’ll need, and when. This will include hire companies, set-up crew, floral stylist, and beverage service team. In particular, check in with your photographer - you'll need to work together to plan out how long you'll need for group photos, bridal party photos and those all important sunset photos.

4. Be flexible
Like, really flexible.
It's unlikely that everything will run perfectly to time, and that's ok. Your schedule should be fluid to allow for any surprises, and this is where a Wedding Planner or Event Manager/Coordinator could come in handy – they are like timekeepers, that's their jam.

5. Consider how long things take, and be realistic
By this, I mean moving 100 people is not a 2-minute job. Cutting the wedding cake and serving all at 7.30pm will not happen. Five-minute speeches will turn into 10 minutes. Things take time.

6. Create a master timeline
This will be your absolute best friend on any event day. Your master timeline will include every single detail, down to the minute, and include each supplier's tasks, timeframe and duties. It will also need to include each supplier's contact details.

7. Give each supplier a copy
This will make sure everyone is on the same page and running to the same time schedule.

8. Start your timeline early in your planning
Make sure you get onto it as early as possible. Word Docs or Excel Spreadsheets are a great place to create your timeline. It doesn't have to be fancy; it just has to serve a purpose.
Your timeline is a map of the entire event. It is like a bible, a holy grail piece of work that will help to create a seamless event. Do not be afraid to include as much detail as you can into a timeline as it is better to be safe than sorry. Your master timeline can be a great place to include floor plans of the venue or detailed images and references, too.

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