Waiting around is something guests typically do for weddings. If you want to keep your guests all the way until the end of your wedding, then you must entertain them and keep them informed as to what is happening. This way they will be able to take part in all of the super cool wedding activities you planned for them.
The Schedule: It Does Matter
You and your fiancée know what to expect for your wedding, but your guests don’t. Most brides don’t make the schedule of the wedding known. There are so many different things that can create chaos on that day. If you think about it, a schedule will help eliminate the potential problems that you may encounter on the day of your wedding. Creating a schedule requires a lot more organization than you may initially realize. After reading this article, you will hopefully be able to create a schedule to help keep your guests informed.
Start by Gathering the Info
Collecting as much information about your venue and vendors will help you determine the things that are set and the things outside your control.
A few questions you can ask yourself to help you gather the right information includes:
- When are guests allowed to enter the reception site? And what time are you required to leave it?
- How many hours will your photographer be on-site?
- What time will the sun set?
- How long do you think the “getting ready” stage will take? Remember to count how long it will take for bridesmaids and groomsmen to get ready too.
- How long will the ceremony be? Depending on your religious affiliation, it could take longer than you may expect. But, most ceremonies take about 20 minutes.
- Ask the photographer how long the photography sessions will take.
- Are the ceremony and reception at the same place? If not, how far apart are they and how long does it take for people to drive from one to the other?
- Will you host a cocktail hour?
- How many people are giving toasts during the reception?
- When do you want to toss the bouquet?
- What time do you want to leave the wedding? Some couples leave before the party is actually over, while others stay until the end.
- What time do you want to serve food and how long do you want service to last?
When you meet with your vendors they should be able to provide you with round about numbers for the amount of time things take. This way, you can plan out your schedule accordingly.
Start Adding Times
Once you have all of the information you need, start creating a timeline and add the estimated time each event will start. For example:
4:00pm – Guests arrive.
4:30pm – Wedding ceremony.
5:30pm – Ceremony over and guests head to reception.
6:00pm – Wedding photographs/Cocktail hour begins for guests.
6:30pm – Cocktail hour is over and guests move into the dining area.
7:30pm – Dinner is over and dancing begins.
8:00pm – Additional activities are introduced.
9:30pm – Cake is cut.
12:00am – Reception ends.
Don’t Forget Locations
It is important to have the location of a formality like cutting the cake if it is being done in a different room than the main dining hall.
Create an Official Schedule for the Guests
After dotting all the I’s and crossing the T’s with the schedule, you can create a timeline specifically for your guests. You can either do a physical time line or a time by time list to create the schedule. Timelines are great because they are more geared to being visual but take a lot more time than just listing the time, event and location.
Have Some Fun With It
Make your wedding schedule fun for the guests. While your ultimate goal is to have guests in the right place at the right time, you don’t want to sound like you’re dictating their every move. Have some fun with your schedule creation – such as using cute wording to describe each event or even telling the guests what drink they should be enjoying at certain times. For example, cocktail hour is the “martini hour” while the activity time is all about a great beer. During the toasts or cake cutting you may want to suggest your guests get a glass of champagne – but offer up some ways to make that bubbly more fun (such as strawberries or raspberries in the glass).
You should keep in mind that you want the schedule to be fun for your guests. The last thing you want to appear as is someone who is dictating every single move versus being in the right place at the right time which is what you want. Use some type of social media type theme for your schedule. You can use social media related words and cute wording that can describe the event that is taking place.
Decide How You Will Distribute It
I know the last thing you may want to here is get these schedules out before your wedding, like 2 weeks ahead of time. The reason being is some people may plan to leave your reception at a particular time. But if you present them with a schedule before your wedding, they may want to change their minds on the time they might be leaving.
Hire a Pro for the Design
If you want a professional look for your schedule then, create the schedule in a Word Doc then go to fiverr.com. The designer at this company will create a style for your schedule based on your Word Doc.
A wedding schedule ensures your guests are in the right place at the right time, but it also keeps the guests involved. They know what is happening – so they aren’t standing around wondering what is coming next. So, to make sure your wedding day goes as perfect as can be, make sure you create your wedding schedule.