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Wedding: Timeline

by Meghann on February 18, 2013

I didn’t realize how important a wedding timeline was until a few weeks before the wedding when everyone started requesting one: the photographer, the caterer, the DJ, the hair stylist, etc. Everything needed to be planned down to the minute and being super organized ahead of time was key to making sure everything ran smoothly.

So I started frantically googling and tweeting for wedding timeline advice. A reader, Allison, sent me a copy of her daughter’s timeline and my jaw just about dropped when I saw how beautifully organized it was. I used her timeline as a template for our day, then emailed the timeline to just about everyone I could think of who needed a copy, including members of the bridal party and the majority of our vendors.

At the top of the timeline I included all of the vendor contact information for a quick reference guide to anyone who needed it and added the contact information for the bridal party members at the bottom. Members of the bridal party appreciated having everyone’s contact information in case they needed to get a hold of someone that wasn’t just Derek or myself.

*TIP* Share all wedding documents with your bridal party via Google Docs so everyone has quick access to everything on their smart phones.

The timeline may have looked a little over the top at first glance, but it was nice having everything organized the day of. We might have drifted a few minutes here or there from the timeline, but we pretty much stayed on schedule through the day.

And since I know how helpful it was to see other wedding timeline examples, I wanted to share ours.

(Please note: I removed the first and last page with everyone’s contact information for privacy reasons.)

AndersonRussellWeddingTimeline2.png AndersonRussellWeddingTimeline3.png

You can download a .doc version of the wedding timeline HERE.

Some notes:

  • I wish we had more time for photos before hand. I would have added another 20-30 minutes.
  • We only had our photographer until 8:00, which is why everything looks so packed at the beginning of the reception.
  • All of the times were approximations. I wish I would have stressed this more to my DJ, who was a teeny bit thrown off when I wanted to deviate from the schedule.
  • I forgot to put the traditional dollar dance in the schedule so we never had one. Oh well.
  • Make sure you go over the timeline multiple times with your groom. If he just nods and doesn’t say anything… go over it again. Trust me.

Do you have any wedding timeline advice?

1 Taylor @ Coffee & Combat Boots February 18, 2013 at 12:42 pm

If you are looking to cut down the Recieving line time if you have a larger wedding like we did, we dismissed the rows in the church ourselves and greeted everyone as the filed out.. That way they tend to stand and chat less and just give a quick hug and do more of the visiting at the reception, because they know everyone in the church is waiting on them! Just a little trick but it helped us get to the reception alot quicker and not have that backed-up line ๐Ÿ™‚
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2 Sarah February 18, 2013 at 12:44 pm

My advice is to set your groom and groomsmen’s time to arrive anywhere at least 15-20 minutes early. My husband and his buddies were catching up and playing XBox and totally lost track of time. Luckily for them, I had built-in this cushion of 30 minutes so they were technically on time ๐Ÿ™‚

3 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats February 18, 2013 at 12:45 pm

I just sent this to my friend getting married in June, I’m sure she’ll appreciate it since she’s doing everything on her own too!
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4 Stacy February 18, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Thank you, thank you! We’re getting married July 5…we only have 5 hours at our venue from ceremony start time to us leaving…I was worried about photos too because we aren’t doing a first look, however, our photographer will stay the whole time, so I’m hoping for more action shots rather than portraits. Really nice to have a document that I can download and work with! 137 days to go and I can’t believe it!
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5 deva at deva by definition February 18, 2013 at 1:14 pm

AAAAHHHH so totally bookmarking this! Your day-of timeline is exactly what I needed. Seriously. I am pretty sure I will be duplicating this exactly for my wedding in May! Thank you SO much!
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6 Beth @ Running with the Sunrise February 18, 2013 at 3:08 pm

Thank you *so much* for the copy of your schedule and your tips! I honestly find the task of putting together a timeline for my wedding day so overwhelming. I don’t even know where to begin, or I didn’t until I read this post. I am definitely referring back to this post when it gets closer to my wedding day and I need to put together a schedule of my own. Thanks again!
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7 Angela February 18, 2013 at 3:53 pm

We had the opposite problem… The dj refused to follow any sort of timeline or playlist. So frustrating ๐Ÿ™‚ so we also did not get the dollar dance…
Angela recently posted..25 things about my favorite 25 year old.

8 Brianna February 18, 2013 at 8:39 pm

This is so helpful! I’m getting married in July and will definitely be using tips from this ๐Ÿ™‚

9 Jayson Lecuyer February 22, 2013 at 4:43 pm

What a wonderful timeline. I love that golf tee time for the men ๐Ÿ˜‰


Jayson Lecuyer recently posted..Amherst Wedding Photography by Jaysonโ€™s Photography

10 ashley March 22, 2013 at 6:14 am

Oh thank you! I love looking at your meals and miles and stumbled upon this. This is such a helpful template!! June 22 going to be much more organized now.

11 Awi March 22, 2013 at 8:19 am

Very Informative post for those about to marry. Planning things in advance and having a timeline does help your chances of making your big day the best one!!!
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12 Samantha Mason April 12, 2013 at 2:36 pm

I just finished my timelines. Yours were a HUGE help. Thank you for posting this.
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