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Create a Fool-Proof Day-of Wedding Plan

It’s important to create a wedding day timeline so everyone knows where they should be, but it can be difficult to figure out how to put it all together. Don’t be nervous about forgetting something. Just start with what you know and ask questions about what you don’t know, using vendor input. A good, detailed timeline is vital to an organized wedding day.

A good time to create your timeline is about a month before the wedding day since you’ll probably have most of the details finalized. Here are some easy steps that will help you put together an organized wedding day plan.

Write down the basics

Start with the times your ceremony and reception will begin and end. Include any drive time needed if you have multiple locations. Don’t forget to add a little extra time just to be safe. Next, write down when the venue opens and closes. Finally, add when your wedding party, family and vendors are arriving and leaving.

Ceremony and reception details. 

Ceremony and reception details help the officiant and DJ keep your wedding schedule on track. Ceremony details include the processional, special music or readings, the vows, exchanging rings, first kiss and recessional. Include information about the songs, references for readings, and the processional order and timing. You can use this same information for your program and wedding rehearsal. 

Reception details will be similar to the ceremony. Write down when you will enter the reception area as a couple, when to cue music for your special dances and what songs to play, the time of the meal, toasts, cake cutting, bouquet/garter toss and when you’ll leave the reception. Don’t forget any special events like a photo booth, food truck or carriage ride. Reception timelines can be a little flexible since there are several things that could happen unexpectedly. Letting your day-of-coordinator or DJ know what the schedule should look like will give them what they need to direct events smoothly.

Random little details

The final step is to include some of the random details. Write down the set-up time, including who is helping and what items go where. Add in the time it will take for you and your fiancé are getting ready (remember that girls typically need more time than guys). Write down when you will take family photos, photos with your wedding party and photos as a couple. Don’t forget to include any special moments like a first look or cocktail hour. The final item to add is the tear-down, including who is helping and what cars are carrying décor items and gifts.

Sharing the timeline

Once everything is listed, double-check that every item is in order based on time and then share it with each vendor, wedding party member, and any family member or friend that needs to be present at a certain time. Bring extra copies to your rehearsal, too.

** Photo featuring local couple Haley + Kyle

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