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Wedding Day Timeline

Today we have another "expert advice" post, this time by the lovely Melissa DiStefano of MasterPiece Weddings. Melissa is one of the sweetest people I've encountered through the wedding blog world and I am excited to share her great advice with all of you (she was also nice enough to send along the lovely pictures from Caroline Johnson that are sprinkled throughout the post). So, without further ado, here is Melissa:
I feel so honored that Darci asked me to be a guest blogger for her! For those of you who I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting, my name is Melissa DiStefano, I have a blog here, I am a wedding consultant and I absolutely love helping brides!!! There are so many things that I could write about – so after thinking long and hard.I decided to talk a little about the time line of your wedding and helping your wedding flow.

The timing of your wedding is a vital part of the entire wedding process. You are designing, producing and orchestrating a party for 200 of your closest friends and family. This timeline not only assists with the flow of your day for you, the bride, but also for all of your wedding vendors. One very important aspect of the schedule of events is knowing when the photographer is going to start taking pictures. Because that will determine how much time prior to your ceremony you need to take photographs.

Let’s start with your wedding day, what is your first appointment that day? Is it Spa, Make-up, hair? Let’s say it’s your hair and make-up at 10AM and your ceremony is at 4:30, here is my typical wedding day schedule:

9:00 Flowers are being delivered to reception and set up begins
10:00 Hair and Make-up at Spa
11:00 Leave Spa for Hotel to start getting ready
11:30 Personal Flowers are delivered to the Garden Building
12:15 Private time for Bride and Groom prior to pictures
12:30 Pictures begin with Bride and Groom and Bridal Party
1:30 Move to Garden to take photographs with Entire Family
3:30 Leave Garden, everyone head to church
4:00 First Guest at Ceremony
4:30 Ceremony Begins
5:00 End Ceremony (I always give 30 minutes for Standard Ceremony – its average timing is 18 minutes 37 seconds)
5:15 Bride and Groom take photographs with Minister
5:30 First Guest at Reception for Cocktail Hour
6:30 Guests are invited to Hall for dinner and formal reception
6:40 Announce Bride and Groom
6:40 First Dance
6:45 First Course of Dinner is served
8:00 Father Daughter Dance
8:05 Mother Son Dance
8:10 Toasts and Cake Cutting
8:30 Dance, Dance, the night away
9:30 Bouquet Presentation to sister
9:40 Keep Dance Floor Open until 10:30
10:30 End Reception

This is actually a real reception for us. First, all receptions are different, this is NOT how all wedding receptions go. Secondly, things are done differently in Florida than they are in other areas of the country. Thirdly, we separated the dances at this particular reception because it seems that guests get board easily, and they start talking and joking quite loudly when all three dances are done in succession.

It’s also very important that each one of your vendors receives the same timeline. You wouldn’t want your catering manger to ask you when you’d like to cut the cake, and then 10 minutes later the photographer asks you when you’d like to cut the cake, then 3 minutes later the DJ - having a solid timeline helps create a nice even flow, and everyone is prepared. This also is avoided if you have a Wedding Consultant there to help you control the flow of your day. Because remember, once the reception starts you’ll want it to flow nicely, not necessarily worry about the time you have down to cut the cake.

Remember the more you’ve planned in advance, the less likely you are to worry about things on your wedding day. Happy Planning!

Thank you, Melissa! I hope you all enjoyed the post...feel free to leave any questions in the comments section or shoot me an email.

6 comments:

Riley said...

Wow!! That is a full day!
Thanks for posting this though - it's something that's really important, but nobody really talks about very much.
Good idea about breaking up the dances - really good idea!!
Thanks for all the info!

Molly said...

This is absolutely the one thing every one of my brides struggles with the most. I help a lot of them with it, but I hope every bride understands that putting a lot of time and thought into their itineraries can really make or break your day.

As a photographer, I love to be consulted b/c I can often help you find some flow for fitting in pictures without interrupting your experiences of the day.

A Windy City Wedding said...

tag you are it!

Taiger said...

Just great,I normally post a comment but i must say that this blog and the post is great, some really good advise and the photography is stunning. well done you.

Anonymous said...

Finally some that can provide a true timeline. This really helps :)

Brittani Gonzalez said...

This is a great post!! The day is really planned out. =) It needs to be though!!