5 Steps To Design Your Wedding Day Timeline

The timeline for your wedding day is an important part of creating a romantic, stress-free day that everyone enjoys. But many couples aren't familiar with how to create a wedding schedule. To help you build your own personalized timeline, here are five steps anyone can take.

1. Start With the Ceremony

Certainly, the most important part of any wedding day is the actual ceremony. So start by focusing on this element and what it needs in order to be what you want. When do you want to say 'I do'? Do you want to time it for sunset? How long will your ceremony actually take? Be generous to your ceremony at this point, as you can always tweak it later if necessary. 

2. Create a List of Priorities

Next, take the time to write down a list of priorities. This is important because you will likely find that not everything fits. So, write a list beginning with the elements that are non-negotiable and going down to the items you can live without. For instance, if you need to reduce the length of the ceremony, you might opt to skip a reading or shorten the officiant's remarks. Decide together which would be more important before you have to start cutting.

3. Work Backward From the Ceremony

Once you know your target time for the nuptials themselves, work backward to add in time for all the prep activities. For instance, when should you arrive for the ceremony? How long will the limo ride take? How long will you spend on pre-ceremony photos? How long do you need to get dressed? When, then, should you schedule hair and makeup services? Working backward helps ensure you have enough time to look and feel great. 

4. Work Forward From the Ceremony

Now consider the time after the vows are done. This portion of the timeline is likely more flexible than the pre-ceremony activities. After all, you probably won't notice a slightly shorter reception than you would notice having too little time to get ready. Identify the major reception features and start adding them in, editing where necessary. 

5. Create Buffer Time

Even the most well-planned wedding day will have hiccups. Perhaps you hit traffic or someone suffers a fashion emergency. Or maybe photo sessions just take a little longer than expected. Expect the unexpected by inserting buffer times into your timeline. Do this by adding 10 to 15 minutes to major schedule elements like bridal prep, travel time, or ceremony setup.

Not sure what your ceremony needs or how long to plan? Need help designing the timelines both before and after it? Start by meeting with a wedding ceremony vendor in your area today. Together, you will design the perfect day and have plenty of time to enjoy it as well.