Wedding day timelines come in all shapes and sizes, and can look different for every couple. Depending on what you prioritize, what your photographer’s shot list is, and what the overall feel of your wedding is, these factors may impact the way you spend each hour of the big day. Breaking down the critical portions of your wedding day can be intimidating, which is why we wanted to give you our expert advice. Beauty, ceremony, and toasts are critical points in your wedding timeline. Curious as to why? Follow along as we break down what each of these critical points in your wedding day timeline are, and what I (as a Hood River wedding planner) suggest you keep in mind to help keep your day seamless and stress free. Let’s get into it!
Ready to get glam? Your hair and makeup portion of your wedding day is crucial and can quickly exceed its allotted time if not planned out correctly. The morning of your wedding is exciting and loads of fun! However, you can also be under a tight time crunch. You and your bridal party all have to get hair and makeup ready at the same time, but you may have only hired one or two hair and makeup artists. And if your hair and makeup artist(s) fall behind schedule — you’ll quickly find yourselves making up for that time elsewhere throughout your wedding day. You may find yourself rushing to get to your venue if you aren’t already there, speeding through pre-ceremony photos, and overall not having the time to really soak in the beauty of your wedding ceremony and reception! And we definitely don’t want that. The best way to ensure that you don’t run out of time for hair and makeup is to simply ask your HMUA how much time they anticipate it taking and if you should have more than one artist. Your hair and makeup trial will give you a good idea of the amount of time you can expect to be in the chair. Trust us when we say nothing can compare to having a smooth and seamless timeline on your wedding day.
Your ceremony is the reason everyone has gathered with you on your special day; to see you and your partner exchange vows and share your love story is a beautiful thing! But, ceremonies can easily switch up your wedding day timeline. If your ceremony runs over or starts late, you may see your cocktail hour or golden hour photos get cut short. Additionally, if your ceremony is taking place outside you will also want to consider planning around the natural light as the day comes to a close and the night time fun begins. But, don’t worry! With a skilled wedding planner you’re sure to be kept on schedule and have a beautiful ceremony that runs smoothly. Your wedding planner will help you account for all the moments in a ceremony that may cause your timeline to be extended. We’ve seen everything from flower girls and ring bearers too shy to walk down the aisle, to guests not arriving on time as well as technical difficulties with sound causing unexpected hiccups. So, be prepared and work with your wedding planner to figure out where you will need some wiggle room in your wedding day timeline!
Hilarious and sweet. Sentimental and important. Toasts are an iconic part of every single wedding day. They are also notorious for almost always being longer than anticipated. We all know that one family member who, when given the floor and a couple of drinks, could talk for hours. And well, oftentimes that family member is the one who happens to be giving the toast! While these speeches are entertaining for you, they can sometimes drag on for your guests. Typically you’ll see toasts happen towards the end of dinner once guests have finished eating and are ready to hit the dance floor. Toasts act as one last hurrah before the party really starts. But, if you find your toasts exceeding 30 or so minutes your guests may start to get bored. There are many ways you can navigate this timeline setback to make sure toasts stay on time while still allowing everyone to say their peace. One simple solution is to have one toast at the start of dinner and the remaining towards the end, or to have the toasts start while guests are still eating. And, if you think dad will be giving a PowerPoint presentation maybe ask him to give that at the rehearsal dinner, haha! Asking those who will be giving your toasts to keep them under a certain time frame is a great place to start but you may also recommend they keep their speech to one — maybe two — memories or stories. And if all else fails, give them a heads up that if their speech starts to run long your DJ, wedding planner or emcee may have to (very kindly and professionally, of course) step in and keep the ball rolling. Not ideal, but sometimes necessary!
All in all, your wedding day timeline is the backbone of your day. It is what all of your vendors are following and will ultimately help you feel at ease throughout the day. Allow your wedding planner to provide you with suggestions on where you should allot your time; they’ve seen many weddings and can provide some great expertise! Take it from us though, you’ll absolutely want to prioritize the beauty, ceremony, and toast portions of your wedding day to make sure you have plenty of time to allow for all of the things you want to do. For more helpful tips and suggestions for all things wedding planning be sure to check out our blog for more fun resources and inspiration!
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