How to time everything on your Big day!
How to organize a perfect wedding?
The key to success is putting together a great timeline, which suits to everyone but especially you and your partner. Few things you should always think about such as children might change your initial timings but we believe it would only be small adjustments. Important is that your guests are not hungry or bored. Even though it seems like difficult task if you follow advises below we promise it will all seem much easier. Important is to understand that perfect formula does not exist and there are always some kind of delays. Do not worry about these and try to enjoy as much as possible as this happens at any kind of event. No one is perfect.
Your first thought should be about music and until what time does your venue allows you to have your DJ on. On the island the music normally needs to go down by 11.30pm, so if you wish to have at least good three hours of party you should start at 8 o’clock. Once you decide on this time you just work your way down from there.
Bridal party preparation
First decision is if you wish to have a photographer present during your preparation or not. This could totally affect the length of it. Another idea as mentioned in one of our articles is to arrange at least couple of trials for your make up and hair in advance so you know exactly what you want and you do not need to be choosing at that moment. It will also give you a small clue about how much it will approximately take for your bridal party to get ready. All these will prevent any major delays.
This really depends on what kind of ceremony you are going for. If it is just normal ceremony not too formal it shouldn’t be longer than 20-30 minutes. However if you are having ceremony at the church or having any type of religious customs you wish to go through you should often count at least with one hour. We would again suggest speaking to your celebrant to get an idea of how long they would need and maybe have a run through before the actual date at the venue itself.
Sometimes, especially if you have ceremony and reception at the same venue, you should think about some time for greeting your guests, as we believe everyone will want to come and congratulate. Regarding the size of the party keep at least half an hour in mind for this.
In case you have two separate venues make sure you also include time for transportation in your planning. First of all make sure to know the exact number of guests and how they will be all transported. If everyone has their mean of transport it could get bit complicated as you might not be able to get so many taxis and people driving their vehicles could get lost, especially if they not locals. If you hire autobus, count if this need to do two journeys or if you need two of them to transport everyone. Make yourselves this journey by car before to get approximate idea of timings.
Cocktails, canapés and photographs
After transporting everyone to your reception venue your guests could start to be hungry and it is also time for some pictures. Do make sure you organize drinks and canapés with your caterers to keep everyone happy. You should plan few meetings with your photographer before hand to speak about all the arrangements. Get an idea of who you wish to have on your pictures and if you will be taking them at the venue or outside as this could make a big difference to your timings. We would say normally the photo sessions last about an hour but it could go up to 2 hours if you need to travel somewhere for picks.
Seating guests and speeches
Seating of your guests might be so much easier with the seating plan. We always ask our customers for one because it makes everything much easier for caterers and guests. Waiting for 70 people for example get seated by themselves can take even an hour and trust us we have seen it. If you let your guests know where they are supposed to go this process should not take longer than 15 minutes and you can ask your DJ or someone from the party to ask everyone to be seated by microphone.
Speeches are favorite part of all the guests especially those really funny ones. The problem comes when deciding on when to do them. If you have had some canapés it should be ok to have these before your meals. Otherwise you could think of having one speech in-between each meal. Do not forget to advise the venue and your caterers about his. Normally speeches should last about 30-45 minutes.
Meals and Cake
When you get to the point of having your late lunch or dinner this should normally last for no more than hour and half. If you are not having any desserts through your caterer you can cut your cake straight after the meals or you can keep it for later on in the evening. And after all the formalities have been done you finally get to party a little bit.
After you have cut the cake and you also had your first dance is all about enjoying and we hope all the stress from the day is far behind you by this point. Just one quick reminder: once you have planned your timeline do not forget to check with all your suppliers, venue and guests of your wedding party (those helping with some organization on a day) if it would suit for them as well.