How to Create a Wedding Weekend Timeline

lobster bake | wedding weekend timeline

After you’ve spent so much time working hard to plan your wedding, you want to ensure your day goes smoothly and without a hitch! As a wedding venue, we understand that there’s so much excitement on your wedding day, it can be challenging to stay on top of all the little details. It’s so important to have a plan in place prior to the day of. Creating a wedding weekend timeline keeps everyone organized, meaning less confusion and questions on the day of your wedding so you can simply enjoy every second! 

Each wedding day is unique in its own way – some weddings are held on a weekday instead of a weekend, or in the morning instead of the evening. Instead of a step-by-step timeline template, we’ve put together some tips for developing a custom wedding day timeline that best suits your needs.

1. Start Earlier Than You Think

Even though you may feel like you have all day to prepare for your wedding ceremony, there is no downside to starting “too soon.” In fact, there is no such thing as too soon when it comes to the hustle and bustle of your big day! When factoring in the time it takes for essential factors like getting ready, taking photos or having your first look, it can all add up and lead to stress. Taking the rush out of your day will make all the difference, so keep this in mind as you build your timeline.

2. Work Off Of Your Ceremony

Instead of trying to copy a template that may not fit your vision or plan for your wedding day, start fresh! Working off of your ceremony start time, compile a list of all the essential parts of the day – from getting ready to cocktail hour to speeches – and estimate how long each of these will take. This will help you break down the day easily for a smooth transition between each event taking place!

3. Chat With Experts

There is truly no better resource than those with industry experience, so use wedding planners and venue managers to your advantage when creating a timeline for the day! They will be able to offer helpful insights about how long things really take, so you can make any adjustments to your timeline accordingly. These conversations can also give you a good idea of how long vendors will need to get set up to ensure everything is ready to go when the ceremony is set to start.

4. Consider Your Unique Logistics

As you build out your timeline, be mindful of your wedding day logistics. As we mentioned, this can look different for everyone! Make sure you list out every possible detail before working it into your scheduled timeline so that you don’t forget anything. Some of these logistics can include:

  • Where you plan to get ready
  • Whether your ceremony and reception are in the same or different locations
  • Transportation of guests
  • When you would like your photos taken
  • How long your ceremony will be
  • If you are doing a first look prior to the ceremony
  • Any curfews or noise restrictions at your venue
  • How many toasts there will be
  • What time you plan to serve dinner
  • If you are incorporating a first dance or other ceremonial dances, such as with parents
  • Any additional activities such as bouquet toss, garter toss, and so forth
  • Whether you plan to have an after party

5. Incorporate Buffers

There are some minor details that may not need to be added to your wedding weekend timeline but that you will want to add a few extra minutes of buffer for. Factors like signing your marriage license, eating breakfast, or transportation between the ceremony and reception can take time, so build in some padding to prevent any unneeded stress.

Additionally, resist the urge to put an earlier time on your invitations to prevent late guests, even though it may be tempting. Simply put, people don’t like to wait! Factor in a few additional minutes to each event of the day, but there’s no need to include this detail on invitations. Give guests the exact start time and then adjust on the day of if needed.

6. Share Your Wedding Weekend Timeline

The best tip we have for your timeline? Distribute it widely! Email your weekend timeline to all of your vendors, including coordinators and event planners, DJs and musicians, caterers, photographers and videographers, the beauty team, and so forth. This will keep everyone aware of the flow of the day. 

It also doesn’t hurt to print off copies for your wedding parties and VIP family members who will be involved in your day. Not only does it enforce a schedule, but you’ll also have fewer questions from people wondering where they should be or what they should be doing.

Contact The 1812 Farm

It can seem daunting at first, but investing some time into creating your wedding weekend timeline will be well worth the effort when it comes to the big day! At The 1812 Farm, our team has years of experience with weddings of all varieties, so you can trust that we’ll be there to guide you through every step for a smooth, perfectly-executed day. To learn more about our venue and what we have to offer, please contact us today!