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Crafting the Perfect Wedding Day Timeline: A Comprehensive Guide

Your wedding day is a beautiful whirlwind of emotions, memories, and celebration. It’s a day you’ll cherish forever, and creating a seamless timeline ensures that everything runs smoothly, allowing you to relax and savor every moment. Crafting the perfect wedding day timeline may seem daunting, but fear not! With careful planning and consideration, you can create a schedule that sets the stage for a magical day. Here's a comprehensive guide to help you do just that:

Cleveland wedding venue
Natalie Dawn Photography

Consult with Vendors: If you have a coordinator, they will assist you in establishing a timeline. If you're handling the timeline yourself, it's crucial to communicate with all vendors to determine the optimal start and end times.

Morning/Getting ready: When planning your timeline and deciding when to start preparations, it's best to work backwards. Begin by considering when photos are scheduled to start. Your photographer will require a specific amount of time for pre-ceremony photos, and your hair and makeup artists will need time for each person. Typically, each bridesmaid requires 45 minutes for hair and makeup, while the bride usually requires an hour."

Include all events in your timeline: Incorporating all major and minor events into your timeline ensures that your day runs smoothly and vendors are informed about what's happening and when. Even seemingly small events, like bustling your dress during cocktail hour, should be included to prevent oversight. Ultimately, it's not crucial that your dress gets bustled precisely at exactly 6:45pm or whatever time you have it scheduled for, but rather that it gets done! Expect events to run slightly behind or ahead of schedule by 5-15 minutes. Don't stress!

Inside Ohio wedding reception
Wild Embers Photography

Budget extra time for everything: It's crucial to allocate enough time for each individual event for both you and your vendors. Little tasks tend to take longer on the wedding day. For instance, if each bridesmaid takes 45 minutes for hair, it's wise to budget 50 minutes for each girl. Having a bit of extra time to relax rather than rushing through preparations is always better.

Prioritize the things that matter the most to you: For some couples, this means taking extra time during cocktail hour to sit in the bridal suite and take a breather or sneaking away during golden hour to get those beautiful sunset pictures.

Review all vendor agreements and their hours of service: Most vendors have a certain amount of time that is included in their packages. Be sure that you are keeping these times in mind. If your DJ is only booked for 6 hours, make sure your ceremony and reception is within a 6 hour window.

Cleveland wedding venue with bridal suite
Makayla Lynn Photography

Getting Ready Pictures or Late night Dating Pictures?: Most photographers include 8 or 10 hours in their packages. You might have to decide between wanting those cute getting ready pictures in your pajamas or those fun late night pictures on the dance floor. If both are super important to you, then you can discuss adding on time to your package.

Stay Flexible: Stay flexible while creating your timeline and observing it unfold on your wedding day. It's unlikely that everything will go exactly as planned. A groomsman might take longer for his speech, or dinner service might run behind. Trust that your vendors will adjust accordingly, and everything will fall into place!

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