Don’t you hate it when you go to an event and it’s unorganized, chaotic and no one seems to know what the heck is going on? Decorations are still being put in place, the DJ is still setting up equipment and the food is not even close to being served. So why does this happen? And more importantly why does it seem to happen at events with small and large budgets? My best guess – they didn’t have a thorough event timeline, if there was one at all.
Early on in my career, when I was still in corporate America and planning all types of events, I always knew the importance of having an event timeline. As I moved into planning weddings, I found it to be extremely important to have a well crafted timeline to be able to keep up with all of the moving pieces.
Anyone who has coordinated events knows that on the day-of, life can get pretty hectic and it’s not the time or place to “wing it”. Yes, you may know in your head how you want things to go, but will everyone else who is involved with the event know your vision? Probably not. That’s why an event timeline is key for any wedding or special event to run smoothly.
Here’s how an event timeline can help you a sail through your event day.
Vendors will know what is expected. When you develop your timeline you want to use this as an opportunity to collaborate with your event vendors to make sure they have enough time to perform their specific duties. What you may think should only take 30 minutes, may actually take an hour.
For example, you may think your wedding photographer should be good to get all of your family photos completed in 20 minutes after the ceremony. That may be fine and good if you have an extremely small family but anyone who does this on a regular basis knows that corralling everyone for those family shots can be like herding cats. If you communicate with the photographer ahead of time and get their input, you’re more than likely to stay on schedule.
Your venue is ready for the event. When you select your venue for your special event, you need to know exactly how much time you have in the venue because this will determine what your vendors will be allowed to do. Unless you have rented the venue for the entire day, many venues have a set amount of time for events such as 4, 6 or 8 hours. If this is the case, you then need to consider how much time your event decorator needs to complete their set up. Depending on how elaborate your event design is going to be, it may mean that you need to pay for additional hours in the venue or you may possibly need to scale back on the décor. Once again, these are things that you must think about well before event day to make sure everything goes smoothly. The last thing you want to happen is to have guests walk into the venue and the decorations are still being installed. It sets a bad tone for the rest of the event.
Event participants are on the same page. The event timeline lets everyone who is participating in the event, such as the wedding party, know exactly what is expected of them on event day. For me, once I have finalized the timeline for a wedding, I create one that is a little less detailed for the wedding party. After the wedding rehearsal, I make sure that everyone gets a copy and I explain the importance of them knowing exactly where they are expected to be and what they are responsible for doing throughout the day. This detail alone, allows everyone to buy-in to the fact that the event will run on time and that we need everyone to be in their position.
You’re able to handle the unexpected. As with most events, something can and will go wrong. So what if somebody goes off script with their portion of the program? It happens, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world and you don’t have to have a melt down when it does. Having a well planned timeline helps you to be ready for the unexpected. If someone doesn’t show up to do their part, you have a timeline to refer to and it helps you get back on track with the rest of the event.
Your guests will have a great experience. When you have taken the time and spent the money to host a wedding or special event, you want your guests to have a great time. You’re starting off on the wrong foot when you disrespect the time they’ve taken to show up and you’re not ready to get the party started. Your guests want to come and enjoy the festivities that you have planned, they don’t want to sit, wait and watch you or your event vendors set up their equipment or bring out the food. When you have a well crafted timeline, it assures you that your guests will enjoy themselves and everything that you’ve planned for them to experience and you’ll be looking like a rock star host.
Do you need help creating your wedding or event timeline? Are you overwhelmed, frustrated and don’t know where to begin with planning your special event? I’ve helped many brides and event hosts have a stress-free event planning process. Don’t take my word for it, here’s what a few of my clients have said:
"Words can't describe the amount of support Staci and It's Your Day! provided us throughout our entire wedding planning process. Weddings can be very frustrating and time consuming but she helped us every step of the way and I am forever grateful. Because of her support, knowledge of the industry and extreme professionalism, we had a wonderful, stress-free wedding." -- Demone and Teresa Dickerson, Bartlett, TN
"Staci is a saint. Her incredible attention to detail, organization and sense of calm are exactly what every bride and bride's mom needs on her wedding day! Staci is a true professional, making my wedding day absent of stress. And how often do you hear that about a wedding?!!." - PJ and Jenny Koltnow, Germantown, TN
"It’s Your Day! helped me with my wedding by creating a wedding and reception timeline and coordinating my bridal spa day. I was very pleased with the assistance Staci provided. She was prompt and very knowledgeable. Her experience enabled her to walk me through all the various activities that could take place the day of the wedding. We were able to discuss the various options and Staci was able to provide insight as to how certain activities normally go and I could make an informed decision about what I wanted for my day. Some of the activities I didn't even think of, but was happy she suggested. I recommend her services for Your Big Day!! Thorough, honest, hardworking and on time. Thanks Staci!" - LaShundrea Partee, Collierville, TN
“Staci is absolutely amazing!!!!! She helped make my wedding day vision go above and beyond my expectations. Her and her team allowed my wedding day to run very smoothly and completely stress free. Very professional and highly recommended. Thanks again Staci!! – Myeshia Carter, Memphis, TN
If you want to sit back, relax and enjoy your upcoming special event, call, email or use the contact form to reach out to me. I can’t wait to hear your ideas for your event!