Whether you are using an event planner or not, one of the most challenging things about planning your wedding day is creating a time line.  There are  many variables that can effect the timing; weather, traffic, and appointments that run longer than expected.  There are many things to schedule; hair, make-up, getting dressed, transportation, ceremony, reception, flower delivery, photographs and more.  Since couples plan only one wedding – there is no way to learn from past experience!  Here are 3 tips for planning a more carefree wedding day.

Think backwards when planning your day.  The natural inclination is to schedule a starting time for your vendors on wedding day. Instead, consider first the 2 times that are least flexible; the time of your ceremony and the beginning of your reception.  When booking your transportation, let them know what time you would like to arrive at the ceremony site.  Based on travel time, they can help you determine what time they should pick you up.  The same applies to hair, make-up, flower delivery and photographs.  Now that you know what time you will need to be ready to leave for the ceremony, we can tell you how long you will need for photographs.  You now have an idea of what time hair and make up should be finished, and you should add at least 45 minutes for everyone to get something to eat and get dressed.  If you are traveling to a salon, add that time as well.  Your vendors tell you how much time they need so that you can finish on time and that is how you can determine the start of your appointments.

Double the time that you think it will take!  That may sound extreme but remember, the more time you allow for travel, appointments and getting ready, the less stressed you will feel.  There are many things to account for that don’t occur during your usual morning routine.  Getting 7 bridesmaids and all of their bags from a hotel room into a waiting limo can sometimes take 15-20 minutes.  Forgotten items, faulty zippers, last minute trips to the restroom or touch-ups at the mirror – times 7!  It is not realistic to think that the trip from the hotel to the church will take the same length of time in your car as it does in a 15 passenger limo.   To avoid rushing at the last minute, mentally add extra minutes during the planning stage.

Choosing excellent vendors who will keep an eye on the clock for you will relieve you of a huge burden.  An experienced caterer or event planner will give you realistic ideas about how long it will take to serve 250 guests, your MC will help you with your reception formalities and of course we can tell you how long it will take to photograph your large bridal party.  Things happen and your wedding day will take on a life of it’s own.  Let your time line work for you, not against you – consider it to be a flexible guide.  Go with the flow, and enjoy one of the happiest days of your life!

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