Timelines for a wedding can be confusing when you’ve never done one—even if you’ve attended a lot of weddings, you more than likely did not pay much attention to how long each individual aspect lasted, unless of course you are waiting indoors without air conditioning on a 100 degree day for the bride and groom to show up.
You also didn’t notice the happy couple slip out to do sunset photos as you where having too much fun dancing. Having a professional event coordinator work with you in putting together a time line and letting the coordinator take charge will keep your wedding moving, without feeling rushed or ending up with weird chunks of time where nobody knows what to do.
First, it’s worth noting that timelines are a guideline, and always a moving target. I often have a two-page, single-spaced timeline—it contains every single thing that every single person is doing for the entire day. (Because my timelines will scare the crap out of some people, I will often pair them down when sending to a vendor). But, as I let all my clients know, it’s the extremely rare wedding that hits every single point at the time it’s supposed to. We extend cocktail hour because people are having fun (and/or the kitchen is running late). We move up the first dance because everyone finished eating early. Starting and ending the wedding on time is what we focus on—hitting everything in-between, in the approximate right order is important, but we usually have to adjust a little to the particular set of people.
Having a professional event coordinator isn’t just about keeping everything on time, but also about making sure the photographer is in the room taking photos of the bride and father when they are dancing and not eating in the back room. We also facilitate to calm
nerves as the best man is about to give his toast or help Dad simplify his toast to a manageable time so he can get through it before crying. Many couples say they can do without a coordinator and have a family member do it for them, but remember event coordinators are just as important as the rest of the vendors in providing you and your family a memorable and calm evening. Letting you and your guest be in the moment and not worrying about who is drinking too much or what’s on the agenda next is peace of mind for everyone involved.
Do you have a story about a timeline mishap? I would love hear your feedback.
Angela Strecker, Event Coordinator/Owner of A Strecker Event