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  • Writer's pictureCWP Society

The Importance of a Wedding Day Timeline

You've spent months hiring your wedding vendors, deciding on your florals and wedding design, and generally figuring out how to make all the details of your wedding day fall into place. But how can you be sure that everyone is on the same page when the big day actually arrives? When you work with a Certified Wedding Planner, they can create a wedding day timeline that allows for all of the details you spent months planning to flow together flawlessly.


Having a schedule of events is the key to ensuring your wedding day will run smoothly.


As a newly engaged couple, you might say, “I don’t really think I need a wedding planner. I want the day to ‘go with the flow.’”—which is the dream for every couple. However, someone must create that flow, and that’s where your Certified Wedding Planner comes in. Your Certified Wedding Planner will know all the factors that go into creating that seamless flow that every couple dreams about.


So much of a wedding’s success is dependent on the timing of all the events that take place throughout the big day. If you try to create the wedding timeline yourself, or if you work with someone who isn’t experienced in creating wedding timelines, you run the risk of experiencing a stressful wedding day.


The average wedding can have 10 to 20 wedding vendors. Combine that with your family and wedding party—which can be an average of 36 to 40 family and friends—and suddenly that is a lot of people who all need to be on the same page for the day's events.


If you do not hire a Certified Wedding Planner, you open yourself and your fiancé up to any questions that your wedding party, vendors, family, and friends may have on the wedding day. Hiring a Certified Wedding Planner will allow everyone to have a single point of contact separate from the two of you so you both can focus on enjoying your special day.


When you hire a Certified Wedding Planner, they will be able to handle all the behind-the-scenes logistics, including maintaining the timeline, for you. This will allow you to focus on the memories you are making with your wedding party and family.


Certified Wedding Planners specialize in creating wedding day timelines.


While this may be your first time planning a large wedding/event, this isn’t your Certified Wedding Planner’s first time. With many weddings under their belt, they know what works when it comes to creating a smooth flow for the wedding day.


Your Certified Wedding Planner has also taken the time to seek education on all the ins and outs of how to create a wedding day timeline, and they have many tools and resources at their disposal. They also understand that unexpected things may happen and will create a timeline that includes buffer time throughout the day in case anything runs late.


Certified Wedding Planners know how important it is for you to truly enjoy the day. They will create a timeline that will include moments for you to relax and soak in the day with your partner. Whether it’s a private dinner or a moment after the ceremony for just the two of you, your Certified Wedding Planner will work with your vendor team to allow you to enjoy some private moments.


Your Certified Wedding Planner will work directly with all of your wedding vendors in creating the timeline.


Whether you have hired your Certified Wedding Planner for a Full Planning Package or a Month-of Coordination package, they will be getting in touch with all of your wedding vendors at some point during the planning process. They will ensure that each vendor knows all the details of the day, such as what time they have access to the venue, how much time they need for setup, what time the event ends, etc.


By the time your wedding day arrives, some details might be different than they were on the day you signed your vendor contracts. Your Certified Wedding Planner will discuss all these updates and changes with your wedding vendor team.


Your Certified Wedding Planner will work hand in hand with your vendor team to determine their arrival and departure times. They will ensure your vendors know all the relevant details so everyone will have time to do their job.


With each and every vendor, there are many details that will affect how they will need to time out their day.


  • For your photographer, how many hours of service have you secured them for? What time will they be arriving? Which locations, travel distances, etc. are involved?

  • For catering, what time is the cocktail hour starting? Will the cocktail hour be in a separate location from the reception, or will it all be in the same room? What time will they be arriving for setup? If the ceremony and cocktail hour are in the same location, they will need to arrive earlier.

  • For your entertainment provider, how much time will they have to set up their equipment? Will they need to set up their equipment in multiple areas? When will the first dance take place?

This aspect of the wedding planning process is why there is no such thing as a “Day-of Coordinator.” In order to create your wedding day timeline, your Certified Wedding Planner must be in contact with all of your wedding vendors at least one month before the big day.


Each event of the day is dependent on what happens before it. Your Certified Wedding Planner is skilled at knowing exactly how much time you will need to allocate for each wedding day event.


We can start with the beginning of the day, with hair and makeup. Your Certified Wedding Planner will work directly with your hair and makeup team to allocate enough time for each wedding party member. This will then affect what time you will need to get dressed. That will affect when your photos can start, which will in turn affect when you need to leave for your ceremony.


As you can see, each event on your wedding day impacts the others. Your Certified Wedding Planner will know how much time needs to be dedicated for each moment in order for the whole day to flow seamlessly.


Your Certified Wedding Planner will have these timelines available for your wedding party and family at the rehearsal and will pass them out.


As we mentioned earlier, there are several members of your wedding party—people who will have questions and will need guidance on what to expect for the wedding day. Since your Certified Wedding Planner will pass out the timelines at the rehearsal, everyone will know the game plan and can be on the same page going in.


Your Certified Wedding Planner timeline will be so detailed. It will include when everyone needs to arrive to get dressed, when photos will begin, what time shuttles are arriving, when the flowers will be delivered, and so on.


Since your family and wedding party will all be informed by your Certified Wedding Planner, there will be less confusion and questions for you—the couple—on the wedding day itself. Your Certified Wedding Planner can even take it up a notch and schedule out text message reminders on the wedding day to your family and wedding party.

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