Thursday, July 15, 2010

Timing is Everything!

As you approach your big day, it is helpful to create a timeline of events for wedding day.  Your vendors will likely ask for your timeline, especially if you have a band or DJ serving as the emcee for the reception.  If you have a wedding coordinator, she can help you create your wedding day timeline and will be there on wedding day to make sure everything stays on schedule.  Basically, you'll want to lay out all the little mini-events of the day on a schedule, starting with what time your hair and makeup will start and ending with what time you'll make your grand exit from the reception.  You'll include everything from when photos begin, to what time you'll do your first dance, to when you'll cut the cake and toss your bouquet.  To get you started, here are some general timing guidelines.
  • Try to get some formal photos done before the ceremony.  Even if the groom won't see the bride before the wedding, the photographer can go ahead and take individual shots of the bride and groom, shots of the bride with her bridesmaids, the groom with his groomsmen, the bride with her family and the groom with his family.  Then, after the ceremony, you'll have less formal shots to get through as your guests await.
  • Ceremonies usually last about 30 to 40 minutes.  If you're having a full mass for a Catholic or a Greek Orthodox wedding, leave about one hour for the ceremony.
  • Following the ceremony, consider having a cocktail hour.  The cocktail hour gives your guests something to do while you finish taking photos. At Jewish weddings, you'll also use a portion of this time for the yichud, where the bride and groom will spend 8 to 15 minutes alone with each other after the ceremony.
  • Don't forget to factor in a few minutes to bustle your gown!
  • The timing for the reception can vary. The typical reception length for dinner and dancing is about four hours. Consider switching around the usual order of events.  Instead of waiting until after dinner for your first dance, you could go right into your first dance as you make your grand entrance into the reception.  Want to leave more time for dancing the night away? You can save time by doing the toasts at the rehearsal dinner instead of the wedding reception. The cake cutting can be done immediately after dinner and served as dessert or it can wait until about an hour before the end of the reception.  Any special dances, such as the father/daughter dance or mother/son dance typically happen after dinner to open up the dance floor to the guests.  The bouquet toss and garter toss should occur after the cake cutting, not long before the bride and groom are ready to depart.  The bouquet toss can even be done as the bride and groom are making their grand exit.
Making a wedding day timeline will help to ensure there is smooth sailing on your Big Day!

No comments:

Post a Comment