Wedding Day Schedules – How to put one together
Wedding day schedules – do they fill you with joy or terror?!
Love ’em or hate ’em, they’re necessary – sorry, not sorry!
I admit that I’m a lover of being organised and having lists calms my mind. If I know that I have a written list or schedule for something then I know it’s not forgotten. Also, doing the wedding day schedules well in advance means that you can add or change things.
Not only do you and your wedding party need to know what’s happening when, but your venue does too. In a previous post we looked at what needs to be taken into consideration for your wedding day schedules. Now we’re going to look at how to put them together.
So the ceremony is the key element in your wedding day that everything else stems from. If you’re getting married in church or in a registry office then those timings are pretty inflexible. Even if you’re having a more relaxed celebrant ceremony on the lawn here, changes in timings have a knockon effect.
Choose Your Weapon To Create Your Wedding Day Schedules!
Computer, pencil and paper or sticky note pad? I’m a fan of the sticky note pad as you can move them around easily. But choose what suits you best. I’ll use the sticky note pad method as an example. You’ll need the computer or pencil and paper later on though.
Grab your notes as to what elements apply to your wedding and how long you have allowed for each. Write one sticky note per element. If you want to get fancy at this point you could have a different colour page per key person.
Stick the “Ceremony” note around about a quarter of the way along a handy surface. A wall or long table works well. Then place the remaining notes either before or after the Ceremony in the order they’ll happen in on the day. Once you’ve done that, take a different coloured pen and work the times out.
Now you might want to add in a little leeway time to some elements, especially if travel is involved. Google (other search engines are available!) might say it’s 20 minutes from church to reception venue, but traffic can factor.
Once you’re happy with the order and timings you can pop it all on a spreadsheet or document. I personally would do a separate sheet per key person if the timings/tasks are different. This keeps it simple for each person to follow. You might understand a complex document that you’ve drawn up, but others may not. They just need to know what they’re supposed to be doing.
Help Your Venue and Relevant Suppliers
As a wedding co-ordinator I find wedding day schedules very helpful. It’s very difficult to wrangle people if you don’t know where they’re supposed to be and when!
A short summary for suppliers with key timings may well be useful. For example the caterers and the photographer will need to know quite a lot of detail.
Make sure everyone understands what you’ve written. This isn’t a reflection on your organisational or communication skills, just that some people process information differently.
The great thing about doing this task reasonably early is that you can tweak it as necessary. If tweaking something after you’ve sent it to your suppliers/venue then ensure that everyone gets the update. Unless someone needs to approve the schedule I wouldn’t send it out immediately. Everyone’s inboxes get so overloaded on a daily basis that constant updates might be overlooked.
Set Up and Clear Down
Make sure that you have a schedule for your set up and clear down as well as the day itself. Allocate tasks to people and give them a schedule. Otherwise everyone could end up running around like headless chickens and not a lot gets done!