Wedding days can be hectic. In fact, many couples note after tying the knot that their wedding days were so busy that the ceremonies and receptions were over before they knew it.
Creating a wedding day schedule can seem like a daunting task. Couples tend to have lots of things to do before saying “I do,” and organizing everything so ceremonies begin on time can seem as puzzling as a brain teaser. But certain scheduling strategies can help couples ensure they look their best and make it to the altar on time.
• Start with the ceremony. Couples can establish a framework for their wedding day schedule by working back from the ceremony. Once the ceremony time is set, couples who plan to take photos before their ceremonies can then work with their photographers to determine how much time they will need for photos and where they want to take the photos. Bridal parties may need transportation to the photo session, so determining when and where to take photos before the ceremony gives couples an idea of when to arrange for pickup.
• Confirm when the wedding venue is open to the wedding party. Before booking hair and makeup appointments, couples should confirm when they will be able to access their wedding venue. Brides may want to get their hair and makeup done at the ceremony sight, but that may only be possible if the venue opens early for the wedding party. If it does not, then brides must account for transportation time to the ceremony sight when making their wedding day schedules.
• Determine how much time is needed for hair and makeup. Weddings that feature large bridal parties will require more time for hair and makeup than ceremonies with small bridal parties. Grooms and groomsmen often take care of their own hair, though some grooms might want to schedule hot shaves for themselves and their groomsmen. Grooms should ask groomsmen if they want a hot shave and then work with their barbers to determine how much time it will take to tend to all participants. Brides with large bridal parties may need to book more than two hair and makeup artists so everyone can get done on time. Wedding hair and makeup sessions can last several hours for large bridal parties, so brides should schedule their sessions early if their parties are big.
• Make lunch arrangements. Some couples choose to tie the knot and host their receptions at the same venue. In such instances, if brides are getting their hair and makeup done at the venue, ask the venue representative if lunch can be provided to the bridal party. Some venues may include small lunch buffets in their reception costs, while others might charge extra. Confirm the availability and costs, and if it’s unavailable or too expensive, then arrange for lunch to be delivered. Either way, couples should not skip lunch, as it may be their only chance to eat until after the ceremony.
• Distribute your schedule to one another and the bridal party. Once the wedding day schedule has been devised, couples should share it with each other and their wedding parties. Grooms’ wedding day to-do lists might not be as extensive as brides’, but grooms should still be kept in the loop regarding the schedule so they can help if anyone has questions or if something goes awry. Sharing the schedule with the wedding party decreases the chances of someone being late or missing an appointment.
Couples can solve the riddle of scheduling their wedding days by working backwards and asking their vendors to cooperate in laying out the day’s events.