Planning Tips | Wedding Day Scheduling
Now this post may not spark excitement or joy for many of you (sorry Marie Kondo!), but scheduling is an essential part of planning a wedding. You’ve poured oodles of love into selecting your A Team of suppliers, thought carefully about the details and visualised the pretty. Now it’s time to pull all of that into a cohesive document to ensure everything that you’ve spent such a long time planning actually happens on your wedding day. I love every part of designing a wedding, but I’m a true planner at heart, and love to see a good plan come together! Even though I do say so myself, I am rather proud of my Wedding Day Schedules. They’re always incredibly detailed (usually around 20-30 pages), yet easy to read, and contain absolutely everything that my team and I need to know to ensure each and every wedding runs without a hitch. In my schedules, I also include floor plans, guest lists, the seating plan, menus, maps, and a photography shot list. Include what you feel is necessary for your suppliers and your wedding.
If you’re unsure where to begin in creating a schedule for your own wedding, I thought I would share a few of my top tips to get you started. It doesn’t need to be as detailed as mine, but as long as you remember to include these key pieces of information, you’re well on the way to ensuring your day runs seamlessly, and your suppliers will thank you for your organisation!
First and foremost, it’s important to list the key suppliers involved in your wedding, in case your venue or your Bridal party need to get in touch with someone. From your marquee company and any furniture or prop deliveries, through to your Photographer and Florist, keep a list of their names and mobile numbers handy. If you’re delegating any roles to your family or Bridal Party, include their contact details here too, along with a list of their responsibilities so that everyone knows where they should be and who to contact if necessary.
Although the timings will also be noted throughout your schedule, it’s a good idea to start off with a page of key timings for the day for quick and easy referencing. List the days activities chronologically, starting with your Ceremony, and at the very least include timings for your drinks reception, dinner, speeches, dancing and a finish time. Timings are sometimes difficult to judge, so it’s important to allow some space for movement on the day, but having a guideline is helpful for everyone to work towards. You can keep this quite simple, and then add any additional timings or information within the body of your schedule if you wish to expand.
In the body of your schedule, add any useful information for your events throughout the day; including logistics and design details, and note who is responsible for each task. Include any set up days in your schedule, which is particularly useful if you are planning a marquee wedding as often the set up and deliveries begin a few days earlier.
I start my schedules as soon as I begin the planning journey with my couples. This is then a working document which I continue adding to and changing along the way. If it’s helpful for you to do it this way as well, it may work better than trying to remember / look back at everything when your wedding day is fast approaching and you may forget some key information.
Address & Parking Information
When confirming details with your key suppliers, it’s important to provide them with as much information as possible, so that they don’t need to call you on the morning of your wedding with any last minute queries. Include the address for bridal preparations for your hair and makeup artists, and your photographer and videographer if they’ll also be coming to meet you there in the morning. If you’re getting ready at a hotel which isn’t in the same location as your wedding Ceremony, request some parking spaces for your suppliers if necessary (particularly important for City central locations) - this will allow them to arrive easily and won’t delay your timings whilst they try to find a parking spot.
The same applies for your wedding venue; if there are particular access arrangements for deliveries (and collections), or if your suppliers are required to arrive through a different entrance or park in an alternative location to your guests - let them know in advance.
If you have a particular look in your mind for how your place settings should look, then note it down in the schedule, or better still - create a mock up and take a photo! It might sound silly, but your thoughts on how the napkins should be folded, how the cutlery is laid, and where the menus or place cards sit, may well be different to your catering team or venue. It’s much better to let them know how you would like these to look rather than be disappointed on your wedding day when it’s too late, because it’s not quite how you imagined it.
If you have created a thoroughly detailed Wedding Day Schedule, then consider creating a shortened copy for your suppliers. Your caterers, for example, won’t require a full list of all of your group photographs, or require a full account of your Ceremony, so keep it relevant to ensure they’re able to read it easily.
Once you have distributed your schedule to your Bridal Party and suppliers, check back with them to see if they have understood it and if they have any queries so you’re able to answer them before your big day - then it’s time to enjoy yourselves and concentrate on marrying the love of your life!
If you’d like to discuss how I can help with your wedding plans (and create that killer schedule I’m known for!), then do get in touch to arrange an initial Discovery Call.