One of the biggest questions I get when I am working with a wedding client is, "How do I figure out my day of timeline?!?!"
Majority of people have never planned a large party, let alone a wedding for all of their closest family and friends. I get it, it is intimidating! You want to be sure everything goes just right, everyone is having fun.
There are a lot of resources out there from Wedding Wire, The Knot, A Practical Wedding, and so on. However, I don't feel these help you plan your timeline. The timelines online are so long that you delete things, sometimes you don't even know what they are for. Or it is so long it is intimidating and you think to yourself "Am I not doing enough?", "Am I missing something?".
My simple trick to keeping things organized is COLORS.
To me, as a visual person, colors are immensely helpful. Have the items that are pending or you are unsure of, in RED when the information is set, say your ceremony and dinner time, turn it BLACK.
As you continue your planning, anytime you sign a contract or determine a new time, add it to the schedule and turn it BLACK immediately! Then you know it is set. Additionally, this allows you to plan along the way and keep track of timing instead of trying to do it all at once.
Below I pasted a sample schedule for anyone to use. I have used this format from day one of wedding planning and photography and tweaked it to make it just right over the years. I hope it helps you keep your day of schedule on track!
Of course, the one below is a "small sample" of what is needed for weddings. Don't forget to include other vendor arrival and tear down times per the venue, contracts etc.
I keep this in a Google Doc and send it to my couples so we can all edit it together or anytime new information arises. What is great about the Google Doc, is you can send the link to your vendors and you can prevent them from editing it. You can select this option in your specific document settings. You can also email this to your family and wedding party.
If you want me to send you the sample in a Google Doc or Excel Doc to help you continue the amazing progress on planning your wedding, just contact me HERE.
-- Lindsay Stayton Photography
PLEASE NOTE: The schedule below is best viewed on a computer, so, if you are looking on your phone, be sure to come back when you have a computer near by :)
Day of schedule variables:
|Date of Wedding:
|GETTING READY LOCATION(s)/HOTEL ROOM NUMBERS: TBD night of check in
|Hair and Makeup
|Hair and Makeup Address:
|Lindsay Stayton Photography Arrival at first getting ready location @
|getting ready photos @
|Photographer departs for 2nd getting ready location @
|Potential First Look Time
|Arrive at Ceremony Venue for photos
|Into Dress/Attire/ 2nd Getting ready photos @ ________ 1st Look to follow @___________ (if doing 1st look)
|Music Starts for Ceremony and to entertain guests
|Line up for ceremony - Family included
|Immediately following Ceremony
|Family photos at:__________ - include rain site if outside
|Point person for Family Photos: ________
|See printed document (next page for family photo list)
|Cocktail hour begins
|Bridal Party Photos - Following Family Photos - New Location
|Depart for photos around town
|Outdoor: (Insert locations)
|Indoor/Weather: (Insert locations)
|All guests seated for Grand March
|Bridal Party downstairs/lobby for Grand March
|Insert Grand March Order Below:
|Straight to tables for dinner
|Welcome Speech by:___________ , Prayer by:__________________
|Serve dance floor dinner tables first to ease dancing
|Last Plate Served
|1st (Maid of Honor) Name:_______________
|2nd (Best Man) Name:______________
|Couple Thank you
|Remove dance floor tables for dinner
|First Dances (list in order with songs for DJ)
|1st Dance Song: __________________
|2nd Dance Song: _________________
|Couple Dance Song:_________________
|Open dance floor/ Song: _________________
|Final evening photos(weather and time permitting)
|Want photos with skyline/lights/looking back to inside (pending weather)
|Lindsay - Photographer departs
|Last Call at Bar
|Last Dance / Song: _________________
|Event Over / Clean up begins
|Clean up Over / All out / Venue Closed
|Family Photo List
|Best to order from Largest Group to smallest and eldest and youngest first photos
Immediate Family Pictures: