Do you want to build a Time-Line?

Do you want to build a Time-line?…

Wedding timelines can be confusing when you’ve never done one—even if you’ve attended a lot of weddings, you probably haven’t paid much attention to how long each individual aspect lasted, unless it was the most boring wedding drug out for what seemed like days. Any wedding over 6 hours is dreadful for guests. “But really, I know we’re going to want to party until 1am!” you say. Dude—me too. But we’re in the minority. But as someone who’s hosted over 500 hundred weddings I will tell you—I can count the number of weddings where there has been a critical mass of guests still wanting to go after 10:30pm on one hand. Six hours is about the most weddings guests have in them. That said, should you make everyone go home at 10pm? Heck no. Move people to an after party! Pick a nearby bar ahead of time (or the hotel you are staying at), spread the word, and whoever wants to go can go. Do you have to host (as in, pay for) the after-party drinks? Negative. You totally can, and it would be super nice, but after paying for everyone’s drinks for six hours, you’re off the hook (and if you walk into a bar with a wedding dress on, I promise no one will make you pay for your drinks!).

{So, here we go} If you are booked at Kendall Plantation, take out that handy dandy 7-page contract you signed and thumb back to the last page—Conveniently, we have noted the suggested ceremony start time (you had to initial that spot remember?). We don’t just make up a number here- it is based on the sunset location, time of year, and how hot or cold it typically is that time of the year. We know what works best at KP, and we know what is most appropriate for the comfort of you, your guests, and the perfect glow of the sun for photos.

EXAMPLE NUMERO UNO:

{The early ceremony} (January-March, & Late October-December)

  • 10:00am—Bride and bridesmaids arrive at KP for dolling up
  • Wedding Planner arrives and makes sure everything is perfect for you
  • 4:00pm—Ceremony starts
  • 4:25pm—Ceremony concludes
  • 4:25pm—Cocktail hour on porch begins for guests/family photos
  • 5:25pm—Guests invited inside to take seats, Bride & Groom line up for introductions
  • 5:30pm—Introduction of Bride & Groom; blessing
  • ***Option: First Dance, welcome speech (by dad, or Bride and groom) or just go sit down for dinner
  • 5:45pm—Plated dinner is served (45 minutes) OR Buffet 20 min per 150 people.
  • 6:30pm—Champagne poured for bridal party; stage for toasts
  • 6:45pm—Toasts offered (MOH, BM, FOB or FOG, Bride and Groom)
  • 7:00pm—Father Daughter Dance, Mother Son Dance
  • 7:10pm—OPEN DANCE FLOOR DANCE DANCE DANCE
  • 7:40pm—Cake cutting/guests keep dancing, or stop everything and watch
  • DANCE DANCE DANCE
  • 9:55pm—Last Dance
  • 10:00pm—Big send off with sparklers!

EXAMPLE NUMERO DOS:

{The late ceremony }(April-September, warmer months).

  • 10:00am—Bride and bridesmaids arrive at KP for dolling up
  • Wedding Planner arrives and makes sure everything is perfect for you
  • 6:30pm—Ceremony starts
  • 6:55pm—Ceremony concludes
  • 6:55pm—Cocktail hour on porch begins for guests/family photos
  • 7:55pm—Guests invited inside to take seats, Bride & Groom line up for introductions
  • 8:05pm—Introduction of Bride & Groom; blessing
  • ***Option: First Dance, welcome speech (by dad, or Bride and groom) or just go sit down for dinner
  • 8:15pm—Plated dinner is served (45 minutes) OR Buffet 20 min per 150 people.
  • 9:00pm—Champagne poured for bridal party; stage for toasts
  • 9:05pm—Cut the cake
  • 9:15pm—Toasts offered (MOH, BM, FOB or FOG, Bride and Groom)
  • 9:30pm—Father Daughter Dance, Mother Son Dance
  • 9:40pm—OPEN DANCE FLOOR DANCE DANCE DANCE
  • DANCE DANCE DANCE
  • 11:45pm—Last dance
  • 12:00am—Big send off with sparklers!

 

{And there you have it} 6-hour wedding with all wedding activities concluded and all with 3 hours of solid open dance floor time, wedding celebrations, AND a 5 hour bar (whoa). Now, this may seem long to some, but really, 6 hours is a sweet spot. Nothing is crammed and slammed together, it is a relaxed pace, but still keeping the guests entertained.  You will save hundreds if not thousands of precious dollars on overtime wages from the DJ, Bar, Photographer, Video guy/gal, and security. Most vendor packages start at 5 hours, with tons of logic behind it! A photographer/video crew can only take so many dancing photos…And with longer than 5 hours of bar, you risk drunken stupors, fights, accidents on site or off site, and not to mention a TON of wasted money on alcohol. Remember a couple of paragraphs ago….., if you want to get to that point, have an after party at a bar. Save yourself THOUSANDS of dollars of overtime payments to vendors by having a 5-6 hour event, and having an after party for the hard core group of folks who like to party! Always leave guests wanting more, not wanting to find a secret exit.

Your wedding planner will guide you through this process a lot prettier than I. A timeline is very fluid and built upon your vision. Nothing is set in stone other than the ceremony start time—but be sure to consider the timing of each event, and the length of each event. Some weddings won’t have a toast, or garter toss/bouquet toss—saving a ton of time. Some won’t want cutting the cake to be such a huge ordeal, just cut it, pass it around and keep the party going. Once you sit down and play out your wedding in your head, jot down your ideas, wants and needs. A time-line is totally custom to you and built for you. Add in things like late night snack, fireworks, dollar dance, all sorts of activities that will change things up a bit keeping guests entertained.

It doesn’t matter if you change a bit—say 5pm start time, or 6pm start time, just consider the 6 hour rule of thumb for event time.

So, do you want to build a time-line?

Cheers,

Kristin Voss