Tools + Tips Thursday - Timeline | Cincinnati + Dayton Wedding and Event Planners

One of the services we are most often asked about is developing a timeline. The task seems to be a daunting one that most of our brides are overwhelmed with. And no, we aren't talking about the pretty picture timeline like the one to the left. These are fun for the bridal party or family to have to know the basics but a detailed timeline is broken down in much smaller intervals with more details like addresses, applicable vendors, etc.

So how do you start your timeline? Usually we start from 30 minutes prior to the ceremony and work backwards. Things to keep in mind while arranging your timeline:

- How long does your photographer need for photos?
- Are you planning to see each other ahead of time? If so this impacts the amount of time (if any) you'll need post ceremony.
- How many hours did you book your photographer overall? You'll want to make sure you have your pro there for preceremony photos + the major events at the reception as well if you went with a smaller package.
- Are you going to multiple locations before or after the reception?

- Build in extra time for all travel. You are moving around in a gown, with heels + flowers. Not mention the rest of the bridal party. Add extra time for parking if you are not renting a vehicle for the entire wedding party.

Hair + Make-up
- Most make-up artists ask for about 30 minutes per person. Hair ranges from 30-60 minutes depending on the length + style. Find out if your selected vendor is going solo that day or if there will be an assistant so you can double up your appointments. As a standard, hair comes before make-up.

Don't forget to allow yourself a little down time to eat! Make sure you have something pre-prepared, catered or delivered.

Post Ceremony -
- Are you having photos done or going straight to the reception?
- Will there be a cocktail hour?
- What time will dinner be served?
- Do you want to do your first dance right away or wait?
- Other items to consider - cake cutting, toasts, parents dances, bouquet toss, garter toss

These are just a few of the items to consider when building your timeline. Based on your individual plans + locations + vendors there can be so many more things to cover.

The key to any good timeline is to ensure you have plenty of time and don't feel rushed. If you have plenty of extra time built in the worst thing that can happen is you are running ahead of schedule. Make sure you have a detailed timeline with exact addresses for vendors, the bridal party and immediate family. Distribute the timeline early enough that you can make changes but not too early that is forgotten about before the big day - bring extra copies in case.

Last, be willing to be flexible if something needs to shift based on things out of your control. It's your wedding - you should enjoy it - leave the details to the pros you have hired!

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