As your wedding is getting close it is time to start planning your timeline. This can be a daunting task, especially as it is probably your first time taking this on. We have some helpful tips for you! Here we go:
PLAN YOUR WEDDING BACKWARD
Say what?!?! Plan my wedding backward?? What does that even mean? It means, start at your end time and plan backward from there. Most couples pick a wedding start time randomly or based on what times other weddings have started that they have attended. This won't always create the type of experience you are hoping for. Take for example if you plan your ceremony at 3pm and want your wedding to end a 11pm. This will give you almost 4 hours of dancing time. This can be great IF you and your group love, love, love dancing. Maybe you plan to start your wedding at sunset, say 7:30pm, but have to end at 10pm per venue rules. This will leave you with only 20-30 minutes of dancing. Does this fit with your ideal? So ask:
HOW MUCH DANCING TIME DO YOU WANT?
This is key. Are you a dancing fool or a hang and chat type of person? How much time would you like for dancing, mingling, and celebrating after all the festivities are done? Also consider your sunset time (look it up!). Do you envision dancing during sunset, during the day or at night? Now next...
HOW LONG ARE YOUR GUESTS WILLING TO SPEND AT YOUR WEDDING?
Think about the last wedding or event you attended, how long did you spend there? Are you comfortable asking your guests to spend 4 hours with you? 6? 8? 10 hours? How long will the guests be drinking during this time? Will they tire out? Will it be hot at your wedding? What makes sense for your group? With these things in mind, consider how much time you want after the special activities to dance, chill, and celebrate. :)
NOW PLAN YOUR SPECIAL ACTIVITIES
Once you have your end time and how much dancing time you would like, you can build in time for your special activities, dinner, and cocktail hour. Here is a guide of how long special activities take:
Anniversary Dance - 5 Minutes
Dollar Dance - 10 Minutes
Cake Cutting - 10 Minutes
Garter Toss - 5 Minutes
Bouquet Toss - 5 Minutes
Parent's Dances - 5 Minutes Each
First Dance - 5 Minutes
Toasts - 5 Minutes per Person
Dinner - Less Than 100 People - 45 Minutes
Dinner - More Than 100 People - 60 Minutes
Grand Entrance - 5 Minutes
Cocktail Hour - 30-60 Minutes
Ceremony (Standard) – 30 Minutes
Ceremony (Full Mass) – 60 Minutes + travel time from Cathedral
DETERMINE YOUR CEREMONY START TIME
Once you have worked through this exercise, you can work backward to your ceremony start time. This will ensure that you plan enough, but not too much time for your wedding. We hope these tips help you plan your perfect day!
Want to talk more about your timeline and how to put it all together? Contact us today - we are happy to help!
Sound Wave Events
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