Updated: Aug 24, 2022
Tips from Honey Dew Events on creating a strategic timeline to get the most out of your big day!
Write in “getting dressed” directly into your timeline, and allocate 30 minutes. When you identify a time that you need to be ready, it helps to keep your HMU(s) on time, provides a cue to your wedding party to get dressed, and is a great way for your photographer to determine the appropriate time to arrive.
The most time-efficient decisions you can make for a smooth wedding day is to have a “first look” with your spouse-to-be. A first look is a private moment prior to the ceremony where your photographer captures the moment you see each other for the first time. Why is this so great? When you get must-have photos done before the ceremony (i.e. portraits and wedding party photos), it means you can actually attend your cocktail hour! After the ceremony, you finish off the must-have photo list with family, and boom, you’re enjoying your reception in no time. Not to mention, first look photos are the sweetest.
Build in a moment for yourselves. A great time to do this is after your “golden hour” photos. It is common for couples to take photos during golden hour, which is the hour right before sunset. When your photographer is done capturing all the goodness, hang back and take a breather. It may only be a few moments, but I promise you won’t regret taking the private time.
If you’ve chosen to have a buffet or station-style meal, the catering staff need to call tables. Not only is it more organized than watching hangry guests rush the buffet, but it saves time. The staff is able to keep guest tables clean and clear, regularly re-fill dishes, and keep lines short. If you have chosen to have toasts during dinner, calling tables is also a great way for your planner to time out when to prepare your Maid of Honor, Best Man, and anyone else raising a glass to you.
Cut your cake immediately following dinner. Whether or not you want a crowd to watch you cut the cake, I recommend making it happen in the last few minutes of the dinner hour. Why? Because it’s time to start the party. Sometimes it’s difficult to get people on the dance floor to begin with, so the last thing you want to do is to break it up and make your guests feel obligated to watch you cut the cake. In addition, there are always guests looking for coffee to follow dinner, so it’s a natural transition.