Creating the Perfect Wedding Day Timeline
Soon after your engagement, the emotional rollercoaster begins!
Between finding vendors and asking your favorite gals to stand by you on your special day, there are a lot of details that go into planning your wedding. If you hire a wedding coordinator (highly recommended), they’ll have plenty of experience and input on how much time to allow for things like getting ready and bridal portraits. The joy and stress of wedding planning – it’s all beautiful, and D’Vine Grace Vineyard helps you customize your day to allow it to fit into your vision.
Read on for some excellent tips on creating the perfect timeline for your wedding day.
What is your idea of a perfect wedding? Start here!
For many brides, they have been dreaming of this day their whole lives. For some, a wedding has just recently come into the picture. No matter where you fall on the spectrum, there are still plenty of decisions to be made, and they should all revolve around what you want this day to look like.
There are many unique moments that can define your wedding and its memory even years after the day has come and gone. Sunset portraits, a reception underneath the stars, or an afternoon of dance and music – figure out what your “must-haves” are (as well as your future spouse’s!), and start there. We promise, it will be much easier to start building the rest of the day around those few things!
When planning for your big day and seeking the perfect venue, beware of venue restrictions. In some places, they may host multiple weddings in a day or set your timeline even before the date is yours. Exclusivity is more important than you may think – you do not want to have to share the venue with anyone else on this day! At D’Vine Grace, you will have 12 hours to enjoy all four of our event spaces. The possibilities are endless, as the whole venue is yours to soak up the day and make lasting memories!
I have started booking vendors, now what?
As you begin to build your dream team of vendors, they will begin to ask questions about your timeline. But how do you go about putting together a wedding timeline? There are a lot of things to consider when building the timeline for your big day, so we have put together a list of various items to work into the itinerary:
Your ceremony is the piece of your wedding that kicks off the beginning of the evening, so it is the part that we always recommend deciding on first! Once your ceremony time has been set, everything else can fall into place around it. There are a couple things to think about when it comes to choosing the perfect ceremony time for you.
Sunset Time –
Your photographer will agree with us when we say that golden hour photos are incredible! You will definitely want to schedule some time in the day to take portraits with your new husband or wife as the sun is setting (trust us, you will not regret it). With that being said, we would recommend starting your ceremony at least one hour before the sun is going to set so that you and your photographer have ample time to secure those coveted pictures.
Pre-Ceremony To-Do’s –
There are a few things that need to be taken care of before the ceremony can begin, so make sure to allow ample time for those items to fall into place. Chat with your hair and makeup team to see how much time they will need to get you and your wedding party all glammed up, talk with your photographer about pre-ceremony photos (bridal party and/or a first look with your soon-to-be spouse!), and even chat with the decorator or florist about the amount of time they will need to get everything into place!
The In-Between Flow
More often than not, there is a period of time between the ceremony and the reception in which guests are grabbing a drink and munching on some appetizers while you and your new husband or wife are taking photos with family and bridal party. This period of time, often dubbed as the cocktail hour, can get a bit tricky if your vendors are not on top of things. For example, you do not want to feel rushed through your photos, but you also don’t want your guests to be waiting too long! We recommend opening the reception doors about 45 minutes after the ceremony ends to allow guests to begin finding their seats as you are finishing up portraits. From there, your guests are making their way to the reception while you are bustling your dress, catching your breath, and taking a little break before heading in to start the party!
There are a lot of ways to make your wedding reception fun, personal and unique. From photo booths to the newlywed game, each additional activity might need to be taken into consideration when looking at your timeline.
Allow for Some Wiggle Room in Your Wedding Day Timeline
Be careful not to make your timeline too strict. If you don’t give yourself enough time between tasks, you could end up feeling rushed and flustered instead of being able to enjoy the day.
For example, ask your HMUA how much time they need to prepare the bride, but build in a cushion around it. If you decide to do a First Look, don’t expect the bride to be ready for photos exactly at the time the HMUA says they’ll finish. Plan for the photographer to start with the groom and maybe even photograph the groomsmen if the bride isn’t quite ready yet.
This is just a quick example and you can figure out the details for your specific timeline. The point is to make sure that your timeline isn’t too rigid.
Break Down the Reception (and Have Someone in Charge)
The ceremony isn’t too difficult to plan and ensure your guests are happy. The main thing is just getting the guests and the bridal party there on time. Plan for your guests to begin arriving about 30 minutes before the ceremony and keep the bridal party tucked out of sight during this time. Then, once the ceremony begins, the officiant will keep things moving along.
The reception is a different story. There are a lot of events that happen during the reception — cutting the cake, tossing the bouquet and garter, first dances, wedding toasts, and whatever other wedding traditions you might choose.
Definitely plan out your reception in detail with times for when everything should happen. Start with the caterer. They can give you a timeline of when and how the food will be served. This will drive the main part of the reception.
After that, the little events start happening. You should also have someone in charge of this timeline (who isn’t you) to ensure that everything happens when it should. You want to enjoy your reception, you don’t want to be worried about what comes next.
Your wedding planner is a great resource for this. If you have a DJ at your reception, they would also be a great person to have in charge of the timeline.
Enjoy Your Wedding Day
All in all, your wedding day is unique to you and your spouse, so make it yours! Planning out a timeline will help keep things running smoothly and take some stress out of the day. However, if you get behind or things don’t quite work out as planned, don’t stress about it! Ultimately, the goal is to get married and have a great time doing it.
Looking for a gorgeous venue that won’t box you in to their specific timeline? Take your virtual tour today at D’Vine Grace Vineyard in Texas where you can enjoy all the beauty of a Tuscan wedding on this side of the ocean!