Updated: Sep 13, 2022
Your wedding day may live in your mind as a glorious, love-filled stroll through the park. Your wedding party and vendors will make magic happen and you will not have a care in the world.
Trust me: you are not prepared for the swift kick of reality you'll get on the actual day.
A wedding day is the most complicated, one-day event you will probably plan. There are so many logistical elements and moving parts, it can be overwhelming. If you have hired a wedding planner or even a day-of coordinator, you should be all set. But if you’re on a budget or are a total DIYer, you absolutely NEED this tool.
I, unfortunately, learned from experience. I was a (slightly) frazzled mess on my wedding day. I always felt woefully behind schedule, but I had no reference point. Because I didn’t hire a professional, it all fell on my shoulders to keep everyone moving. Don’t get me wrong; my wedding party was definitely there to help, but some things fell through the cracks (like my getting-ready bottle of Prosecco). Not having a plan for the day was my second biggest mistake. My first one was not having a designated DND person.
You must create an in-depth, hour-by-hour wedding day timeline to guarantee a stress-free celebration. You'll be more prepared, calm, and on time if you do this (because being late by just a few minutes can throw your entire day off-schedule). All of your wedding day vendors and your wedding party will benefit from knowing the itinerary for the big day in advance.
We designed a great wedding day timeline creator for you. All you have to do is plug in the important information that pertains to your wedding day and it will create a handy form that you can print and distribute to all the important people.
There are a few things you'll need to settle on before you can begin organizing your wedding day. If you have the solutions to these questions, you can begin filling in your timeline.
Where will you get ready for the big day? The hotel where you've booked a block of rooms for your guests/your home?
Who is in charge of the food for the morning? You may not feel like you’ll be hungry, but it’s imperative that you eat something.
If you’ve decided to have a separate venue for the wedding and reception, Including travel time in your wedding plan is a must if this is the case.
Do you plan on providing transportation for the wedding party and guests? If that's the case, we might be able to cut some time and effort out of our travel plans.
Is a "first look" and pre-ceremony images something you're interested in? Or would you want to hold off on taking family and group photos until the cocktail hour? Is being at cocktail hour important to you? You may have to schedule pre- and post-ceremony sessions.
Do you have a preferred time of day, such as the "golden hour," the hour before sunset, for your first look or wedding portraits?
How long do you anticipate your ceremony to last? Your officiant is the person you should consult about this. A full religious mass or service, for example, can take far longer than a 30-minute wedding ceremony.
When will you sign the license? You do not want to keep the officiant waiting as there might be additional charges if the signing is after their allotted time.
Do you plan on having your cocktail hour before the ceremony or after? Traditionally, cocktail hour goes after the ceremony, but you may want to serve some refreshments beforehand.
Will you have a receiving line? This will add a lot of time to your ceremony, and you would therefore want to start your reception later.
Is there a time limit on when your reception can end because of noise ordinances or curfews at the venue? Less time will be available for preparation of the wedding reception if you are required to terminate the celebration by a predetermined hour.
If you have contracts with suppliers, how long do they typically last? How long will you need the services of your wedding photographers, DJ, videographer, officiant, etc.?
We know this tool will be invaluable to you on your wedding day. Is there anything that you would add to this timeline? Let us know in the comments!