Wedding day timeline (aka. day-of timeline) is one of the most important wedding planning tools to ensure the wedding day to flow smoothly and as planned. This article will provide you with a sample and template of a day-of timeline
There are wedding planners out there offering the service of creating a “production schedule”. A “production schedule” is how professional wedding consultants call a table that includes detailed tasks at certain time points for the rehearsal, day-of and day-after the wedding. This schedule is totally customizable, according to your wedding needs. For example some people might not have a rehearsal, or others might have an after-wedding luncheon with intimate guests. Thus you can make several schedules to suit your wedding plan.
In this article, we focus on how to create a wedding day timeline (aka. day-of timeline). A good and comprehensive day-of schedule will ensure that your wedding day flows smoothly and minimize the number of errors that could happen. Below you will find some sample wedding day schedules so that you can use as a template for your own wedding.
In order to have everything in place, you should also make a personalized wedding schedule for any key persons in your wedding, specifying what and when their tasks should be carried out. It could be for the photographer, the florist, the MC, the officiant, the band/DJ and the caterer. The vendors do not need a full wedding day schedule but only the parts that are related to them and who should they contact for specific matters. Remember to hand out the wedding day timeline to all the key persons no later than a week before your wedding.
Things you have to do before making your day-of timeline:
- Have a confirmed list of vendors that will be servicing your wedding
- Have planned out ceremony and reception timeline and program, this could vary according to your culture. The ceremony timeline template below is for a typical American wedding.
- Check with vendors to know when they need to go to the venue for the set-up. Florists may only need to set up a few hours before the ceremony and reception. However other rental vendors need to do the set-up a day before, such as lightning or tent.
- Find out when the venue allows vendors to come to set up for the wedding. Discuss and negotiate with your venue manager about the time your vendors need to finish all the set-ups. Make sure you come up with good timing that works for both the vendors and the venue.
- Decide how many photos you want to take with your fiancé, your family members and wedding guests at each stage in the wedding day: getting ready, before ceremony, after ceremony, during the reception. Then discuss with your photographer about when and the places s/he needs to arrive in order to take all the photos.
Your wedding day timeline should have 4 parts:
- Key points of contacts : these are the contacts of all the key people in your wedding day, this normally includes all the vendors, the officiant, the ceremony site contact, the reception site contact, make-up and hairstyle artists. The list could be longer or shorter, depending on how many people involve in your wedding day implementation.
- Pre-ceremony timeline
- Wedding ceremony timeline
- Reception timeline
Below is a set of wedding day schedules I made as an example. You can use this as a template in order to make your own schedule. There is no fixed template for a wedding day schedule, however the more detailed and thorough you make it, the better your wedding day will be implemented.
Wedding day important contacts
Pre-ceremony wedding timeline
Wedding ceremony timeline
You would need someone to facilitate with the vendors before everyone arrives at the reception venue as most of the deliveries and installations are done just a few hours before the wedding party and guests arrive. You could either hire a professional or ask a friend or relative to do this for you.
Wedding reception timeline
Here is the wedding schedule template file you can download for your own use. The file is in Excel format, inside you can find 4 tabs: Vendor contacts, Pre-ceremony, During ceremony and reception timelines. Happy planning!