What is a Wedding Day Timeline?
A Wedding Day Timeline organizes the activities of the day into manageable chunks and creates a schedule that is more of a guideline than an exact or rigid schedule.
Why Do You Need One?
The largest purpose of the timeline is to make sure you can fit into your most special day all the elements you want from formal photos to cutting the cake and tossing your bouquet. Without a timeline it is actually pretty easy to lose track of time or completely forget a moment you wanted to share with your guests.
A Timeline won’t work very well for you if it stands alone. You need someone, a wedding planner or a really well organized friend, to be the gate keeper of the timeline – to help keep you on track throughout the day. If you booked your wedding at the Flower Farm at Dogwood Hill the chances are that a day of coordinator is included and we’ll be the gate keepers of the timeline we’ll create together.
Start really early.
Your wedding day is going to be a long day. If your ceremony starts at 3 p.m., for example, we recommend starting to prep at around 9 a.m. Sounds insane, but realize that it can take two hours or more for a bride to get her hair and makeup done. If your bridesmaids are also getting their hair and makeup professionally done, that adds even more time. An entire portrait session, including couple’s portraits and family photos will likely take over an hour, as well. Add more time if you’re planning on taking portraits at different locations! Then, there’s DIY decorating. And don’t forget packing the cars with your dress and other wedding items, and so on…
Flower Farm Brides – You won’t need to start as early because you’ll have brought most of your decorating items, non-perishables like bottled water, etc… to the rehearsal. We handle the pre-event cleaning and setup including the drapery decor being hung, so you won’t need to arrive to the venue nearly as early.
Talk to the experts
For brides booked here, this is really important. We know our space very well, we just know what works and what does not work. Wedding planners and venue event managers are great go-to sources when it comes to creating your “official” wedding agenda. You’ll also want to speak with your other vendors to find out how long they’ll need for set-up and prep so that you can schedule them accordingly and provide them with enough time to complete their tasks.
From the ordinary wedding venue’s perspective you have a contract to use the property/space for a specific period of time. The venue’s primary concern is that you don’t damage the grounds. But, a helpful venue can and will make suggestions to help you get your timeline organized. Here, at our Flower Farm, we have a few timelines that work well for the layout of our space. We’ll help you customize which ever timeline template you like best.
Flower Farm Brides – You’ll provide us with the contact information for your vendors, as your wedding coordinator we will connect with them and plan for their arrival and setup on your behalf.
Buffers…But not on the invitation
If you’re worried about your guests running late, it can be tempting to put an earlier ceremony start time on your invitation to ensure everyone arrives on time—or early. Our advice: Resist. The. Urge. Your guests will get annoyed if they arrive “on time” only to have to wait an extra 15 minutes or half-hour for the ceremony to begin (even more if you’re running late!). Instead, factor in an additional 5-10 minutes to your ceremony start time to give everyone a chance to find their seats and get settled. Also be sure to have ushers on hand to direct any late arrivals to their seats at an appropriate time after the ceremony has started.
Flower Farm Brides – We put buffers in our timelines to allow some breathing space between activities. You might need a moment to freshen your makeup or use the ladies room after an emotional first dance followed by a dance with your Father. We’re always ready to adapt if you decide to do something early, change or skip over an activity on the timeline.