How should we order the events of the day?
Question: Hi! Please help! We are planning a wedding for April next year, and we have no idea how to start our timeline/event run sheet. We’re trying to base it on the wedding photographer package which runs for five hours. We just wanted a rough idea of what time everything should run through if our ceremony starts at 3:30 or 4pm. How much time should we allow for photos, what time should dinner/speeches/first dance etc. be? We have no idea.
Answer: by The Knot
For the best place to start off your timeline I am going to direct you to this super article on how the ‘traditional’ wedding reception flows. You can of course play around with this to your heart’s content, but it gives you a solid beginning and understanding of what is usually included in the schedule, and how long every step generally takes.
As for timing, if your ceremony and reception are at the same location then a five hour plan will be spot on. However, if both the bridal party and the guests will be travelling between venues (and the VIPs are venturing to several different spots for photographs) you may decide you need extra time with the photographer to guarantee you capture the special moments that occur later in the evening, such as cutting the cake. As you will see from the timeline article, a standard wedding reception normally runs for five hours, inclusive of a cocktail hour for the guests, which is when the bridal party are off with the photographer having the wedding portraits taken.
We know how important it is to get the timeline right, so we have also asked some of Australia’s leading wedding planners to share their tips on perfecting your run sheet and will be putting up an article on this later in the week. But one thing that really shone through was the importance of allowing extra time for everything. While this may sound impossible (after all how can you stretch an hour out to 75 minutes?), it will force you to assess if there is anything that can be removed from the schedule completely and force you to be tough when your aunt, cousin and second-cousin once removed ask you if they can join the bridal party do have their hair done too! The day will be over so quickly you have to make sure you have time to actually enjoy it.
For more expert advice, read Wedding Day Timelines: 9 Top Tips.
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