See if this sounds familiar, you got engaged and immediately started wedding planning. Heck, you've been thinking about your wedding for years now (am i wrong?) and knew just where you wanted it to take place. You secured the venue, hired the caterer, photographer, florist, and officiant, maybe even started dress shopping. You were feeling really good about yourself. Look how much you already accomplished is such a short time! You even thought, "i don't understand why people say wedding planning is so hard, it's really not that bad." And then it hit you. THE DETAILS! You got completely overwhelmed by all the details. Stupid details like pens and trash bags and scissors and safety pins and tape and...and THEN you had to actually plan the whole wedding day!!
Ok, i think you get the idea.
I'm here to help, since i've already planned a wedding and been through this crazy rollercoaster, and seriously, that's what it feels like. I remember days feeling so on top of things and the next feeling like i would never get it all done!
Here is a sample outline for a lovely, medium-sized, well paced wedding.
- 3.5 hours prior to wedding caterer arrives and starts prepping
- 2.75 hours prior to wedding hair stylist/makeup artists arrives and begins
- 2 hours prior to wedding florist arrives and sets out arrangements
- 1.5 hours prior to wedding photographer arrives and begins "getting ready" shots
- 1.5 hours prior to wedding bakery arrives and set up cake
- 1.0 hour prior to wedding officiant arrives
- 15-20 minutes before ceremony background music starts playing
- ceremony (about 1/2 hour)
- immediately after ceremony take time for yichud
- immediately after ceremony bar is open cocktail hour begins while you take formal photos
- 1.0 hour after ceremony dj announces dinner is ready
- 1.25 hours after ceremony dinner is served (or buffet is open)
- 1.5 hours after ceremony toasts begin
- 1.75 hours after ceremony newlyweds greet guests by visiting each table
- 2.5 hours after ceremony first dance followed by all other combos of dances followed by open dance floor
- 3.25 hours after ceremony dj announces cake cutting followed by more open dance floor
- 4-5 hours after ceremony photographers leave
Is this helpful? This was our wedding timeline. We had 70 guests at a sit-down dinner under a tent outside on the lawn. We scheduled our ceremony to begin at 4:30 p.m. and I wish we had made it start at 3:30 p.m. It all went too fast and it took us way longer to greet all our guests. We went around to each table during dinner and said hello to every single person. It took a LONG time. If we had started earlier it wouldn't have pushed everything else back. Just some thoughts from someone who's been there.