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Timelines, Time Flies!

As you begin to plan your wedding day, you may begin to get flustered, overwhelmed, frantic. There are so many details and moving pieces to organize and you may just start to feel a panic attack coming on. You may start working on a timeline to see how it all fits together. You may just throw your hands up and accept whatever will be, will be. There are so many ways to manage the day's events from planners, apps, work sheets and even a professional wedding coordinator.

So, what is the best method to plan your day? What is the best way to estimate the time needed for events? How will you feel if your time line is off track? I get anxiety just thinking about these things which is why I didn't create a timeline for my wedding. Other than a hair appointment and getting to the church on time, I made lists and trusted the professionals I hired to do what they do best. Is this method right for everyone? Absolutely not! Did it work for me? Yes! My day went smooth and everything got done. I know many brides need a little more structure and control than I did for my wedding and that's completely OK.

You may think I'm going to outline the different options for organizing the events of the day but I'm not. That's a great post for another day. My intention for this article is to bring you some peace about those pesky timelines. No matter what you use to create a timeline and no matter how certain you are you can keep to that timeline, I'm here to tell you that things happen, plans change, and even the most carefully drawn up plan can not predict life. I may sound like a pessimist but I'm actually just a realist.

I've seen many a timelines in my career and I've never seen one go according to plan. A groom ran out of gas on his way to the venue and was late. It snowed and the couple had fun with unexpected photo ops and were late to the reception. A brides bustle broke before the first dance. These are all real things that derailed well thought out time lines. I've also seen gross misconceptions of how long it takes to go through a buffet line and timelines that don't account for two things happening at once, such as cake being served during the first dance.

By now you may feel I think timelines are a waste of time and nothing could be further from the truth. Time lines are invaluable for pre wedding organization. Handing out timelines to wedding party and family helps everyone know where they are supposed to be and when. Timing up to the ceremony will keep everyone on track for the main event. Having a general guide for vendors so they know what you are trying to accomplish and when other vendors are expected to start and end their services is also very valuable. The last thing you want from a timeline is rigid expectations that are impossible to keep. Plan general time frames and when events should take place! Let family and vendors know when you expect certain services to begin but be understanding that some things can be more fluid than others. If the caterer needs to serve at a certain time or the photographer needs to leave at a certain time, these are non negotiables. If your buffet line goes faster than expected or toasts go longer than expected, these things might be more fluid. It's important to view your timeline as a changing document and not something set in stone.

With all things wedding related, keep your expectations in check. Plan your timeline with a little wiggle room and maybe even bit of sense of humor. If things go according to plan or if things get a little off schedule, its still your wedding day and there is so much to celebrate!


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