Today I want to talk about your wedding day timeline. You know how in everyday life we’re all constantly talking about whether or not we have time to accomplish all the things? From getting big work projects done to making sure we have groceries to squeezing in a solid workout to getting those precious eight hours of sleep… it can become hard to make time for it all. Oftentimes we know what’s important to us, but we have so many additional factors and others that we are trying to make happy in addition to ourselves that it might seem like a lot of pressure to pull off everything that we want to.
Ok, so here’s the thing. This might also happen to you in your wedding planning as you create your timeline. You know what you need to accomplish (in case you forgot, it’s actually just to get married), but you also want to create an event that celebrates the love you have. To some couples, that might mean following the traditions and order of events of the many couples that came before them. Toasts, cake cutting, first dance, and so on. To others, they might just want a simple party that follows their ceremony and features good food and great dancing. Maybe there’s a cake, maybe not. You and your partner probably have a vision and list of non-negotiables for your day. But I really encourage you to talk about the little things, too. When we stay focused on the big picture, like “Ok, we’ve got six hours and we need to squeeze in X, Y, and Z. Go!” we might not readily consider doing a staged first look for you and your mom or dad. Or making time to capture a special photo of you and your grandmother while she holds your bouquet. Do you have a special group of friends from college coming to the wedding? Why not plan to play your fight song during the reception so that you all can take in this amazing moment of being together again?
So here’s what I want you to do: COMMUNICATE. Even those small moments that may seem silly or insignificant. If they are on your heart, they are important. The key to the effortless, meaningful day of your dreams is making what you want known to your team of professionals early on. Then build it into your timeline and distribute that timeline before the wedding day arrives so nothing is missed. Even better than that, hire a planner or coordinator that will do it for you while you enjoy mimosas with your bridesmaids that are trickling into town to celebrate you.
And finally, I want to end on one more pro tip: Find at least 10-15 minutes of quiet time for you and your new husband or wife. Build it into your wedding day and don’t look back. Not sure if there’s time for this during the reception? That’s ok! Consider something earlier in the day, too. It is 100% ok to step away from the action for a few minutes and reflect on it all before or after the ceremony. Some ideas:
Private Dinners: While your guests are going through the buffet or being served dinner, you both can have your meal elsewhere on the property. Dinnertime is not a heavily photographed portion of your timeline, so make the most of it if you can.
Extended First Look: You can absolutely use this time to read special, not so public vows to each other (with or without your photographer) or just take a moment to look at each other’s fancy clothes and try not to cry.
Early Morning Coffee or Gift Exchange: Do you have a little time to have coffee together first thing the morning of your wedding day? Build it in! What a perfect moment to exchange carefully chosen gifts or get through any of those last-minute jitters together.
Secret Last Dance: You might have seen this before, and I’m just so glad it has become a trend. These secret last dances are generally staged while your guests are exiting the dance floor and being placed for your grand exit. Save your favorite song for last – for just you two – and then take a second to stare at your rings and lifelong commitment before wrapping up the best day ever.