Wedding Vows & Ceremony Discussions

Wedding Day Timeline

Hi everyone, I'm getting married on 8/31/18 and starting to try to put together some sort of a timeline. The wedding is a Friday at Seasons in NJ...we have a 6:30 arrival time at Seasons with a 7 pm ceremony start time (not our choice, we were just told that they won't start at 6:30 since people will probably come late and they typically start later). Anyway, we can get to Seasons for our first look pictures/portraits, etc. as early as 5/5:30pm. The women are all going to get ready at our hotel which is 15-20 minutes away, so I think everyone should be ready by 4:45 pm the latest so we can head out and not be rushed, and we will be getting into our dresses at Seasons and doing only hair and makeup at the hotel (my mom's idea). I have 2 hair stylists and 2 makeup artists coming, and including me, 10-12 women will need hair and makeup. I'm trying to figure out the best start time to have everyone be at the hotel and see if anyone who has dong this before has any critiques to our current plan! TIA!

Re: Wedding Day Timeline

  • Your hair and makeup artists will be best when it comes to estimating how long it will take them to finish 10-12 women.

    More importantly, on your invitations list 7 pm NOT 6:30. You don't punish polite people that come early or on time and the staff at Seasons will never know what time your invitation says.

  • Definitely check with the hairstylists & MUAs for their time estimate, they should know about how much time it will take for them to get everything done and will likely build allowances into their time estimates.

    Also put 7 pm as the start time on your invites. If the space will be open for guests to get there early, you can write something like "doors open at 6:30, ceremony at 7" or whatever. Since it is a Friday night I'm guessing the venue wants to accommodate possible traffic issues for guests arriving on time? If you have guests coming who aren't familiar with the area or the traffic, you can also spread the word that there may be more traffic than they think. 
  • For the record, your invitations need to say 7pm start time - not 6:30pm. Don't punish normal people for people who suck at being on time no mater what. The vast, vast majority of people come 10-15 minutes early for weddings and if you lie, you'll have on-time people standing around for 45 minutes. People who are going to be late are going to be late whether you say 7 or 6:30.

    Anyway, I would tell the MUAs and the stylists you need to be completely done with hair and make up by 4:00. Ask THEM to estimate how much time they need person and to give you a start time. Then add 30 minutes buffer. That will give you time to take polished "getting ready pics" if you want to and time to get into your dresses. Your leaving goal should be 4:30 - not 4:45. With 10-12 women getting ready for a formal event, leaving is harder than you think. 

    That said:

    10:30am - gather at getting ready location
    11:00 - start hair and make up (I'm estimating just under an hour/each)
    12:00 - serve lunch 
    3:30 - photographers arrive to take detail pics (your dress, shoes, accessories, candid getting ready pics, etc.), exchange of old/blue/borrowed/new pics, and then group pics
    4:00 - dresses on 
    4:30 - out the door
    4:45/5 - arrive at venue (offer light snacks and drinks - that don't stain!)
    5-5:20 - first look
    5:30-6 - wedding party photos
    5:30/5:45 - family arrives 
    6-6:30 - family photos
    6:30-7 - everyone goes back to their "waiting areas", pees, freshens up, gets a final snack or whatever.
    7:00 ceremony

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