Your wedding day is finally here! All your planning, decisions, and efforts are coming together into one of the most important days of your life. How to you make sure that everything runs smoothly, and all the moments you want captured happen in the short 5-hour period? Read more to make sure your wedding day runs smoothly:
Arrive on Time: Make sure you aren’t late to your own wedding. If your hair and makeup are running late, or VIP guests arrive late to the ceremony, your entire timeline will run behind. Know ahead of time that starting your planned 4:00 pm ceremony at 4:30pm ultimately means cocktail hour and dancing will be cut 30 minutes short. Your vendors are contracted to stay for a certain amount of time, and if your wedding is running behind and you don’t have your first dance or cut the cake until 30 minutes past the original time, they may not capture it.
Take your planner’s advice: Your wedding planner has made hundreds of wedding timelines and knows how long each part of the wedding will last, but more importantly, they know how long it takes to transition to each of these events. For example, guests will not immediately be seated for dinner following cocktail hour. Some will continue to mingle, some will go back to the bar, others will be reading the seating chart, and it can take up to 15 minutes to get everyone seated for dinner. Follow the timeline your planner has curated for you to ensure the day goes smoothly.
Be Realistic: A 5-hour wedding can’t fit in as many events as an 8-hour wedding. There are a few ways to get the most out of your wedding day. Some examples are:
- Giving your photographer a list of photos to take ahead of time: If your photographer knows what photos to take ahead of time, they can keep to a schedule and make sure to get all the shots you want but not keep you from enjoying cocktail hour. Another great time saver for photos is to do bridal party photos prior to the ceremony. Most venues will allow you to show up an hour prior to take photos, and you don’t have to use your cocktail hour time after your ceremony to take these photos.
- First dance right away: A great way to keep your wedding running smoothly is to roll into your first dance right after you’re announced into dinner as husband and wife. All your guests will focus their attention to you, and this avoids an awkward pause later into dinner to get up for your first dance.
- Keep the speeches light: A common way to lose track of time is to have speeches go past the allotted time frame. Let toasters know ahead of time that they have a maximum of 5 minutes
and do not have more than 3 toasts and don’t allow for an open mic. The longer speeches go on for, the less attention guests keep, and the less time there is for dancing later into the night.
- Know what’s important to you: With all the guests you must mingle with, it’s inevitable that you will miss some parts of your wedding. Let your planner know what is most important to you so that in the event plans change at the last minute, your requests are met, and you can participate in those aspects of your wedding. For example, if you really want to take a photo in the photobooth but you’re busy talking to guests, you can lose track of time and miss out on it. If your planner and photographer know that capturing your cake cutting on film is important to you, they will do everything they can to make sure you cut the cake before the photographer leaves for the evening.
Keeping these few tips in mind when planning your wedding timeline will insure everything runs smoothly and you can enjoy all aspects of your day.
About the author: Milestone Events Group is Northern California’s most experienced & largest event management company providing site selection services to multiple locations throughout Sonoma County. Over the past 5 years Milestone has helped hundreds of couples simplify the venue selection process by providing clarity, predictability and ultimately confidence for clients who work with them to evaluate wineries, ranches, and other locations for their private events.
After the venue selection process is complete, Milestone is also available to help produce events in a stress reduced and highly professional manner. www.MilestoneEventsGroup.com