DAY-OF TIMELINE GUIDE
We are always getting asked for our input and advice for putting together the day-of timeline. That being said, if you've hired us that means you really don't need to worry about putting together the timeline because we do that for you; however, we wanted to include some FAQ and tips to help you get a better idea of when/what for your big day!
- What is a first look and should I do it or not!? We got it covered on this question over on our blog --> head here to read more!
- Should I have a 4 or 5 hour reception? Vendors such as photographer, DJ/band, bartender, venue, videographer, etc. may charge more for more hours so it is important to factor this in when determining the length of your reception. Also, if you can't decide right now then I would recommend at least knowing if it's possible to extend the party on the day of and if so, how much more and how must they be paid that night.
- Because of my photographer's time limit I have to choose between getting ready photos and the grand exit - which do you recommend? This is a tough question because it is completely up to your personal preference. I know for me personally I would much rather have wild drunk dancing pictures as opposed to pictures of me getting into my dress while someone else may really value having the entire day documented.
- How do I make sure to stay on track of the timeline? You don't, we do. We will be there the entire time behind the scenes to make sure vendors know when to do what, when you know when to do what and we will be accessible at all times if you need us. We are also flexible on things so if you decide last minute you want to nix the bouquet toss then cool, no bouquet toss. Whenever there is an activity or an event that is about to be happening we will politely check in with you and make sure you are ready to go or your toasters are ready to go for example and then we will cue the DJ. On your big day it's your job to relax, smile, have fun!!! Leave clock watching to us.
- My ceremony venue is only available really early in the day so I will have a gap between the ceremony and cocktail hour - what do I do!? Send your guests on a trolley tour of Savannah!! Or even better, rent a historic square and set up lawn games for guests. Or do nothing... but really... Savannah is an awesome city and your guests can easily find things to do! If you have a wedding website use it for recommendations.
Other Things to Consider
- When is sunset!? If you are against a first look but are planning a ceremony close to sunset then you need to make sure you are okay with your photographer using flash for the formal portraits and/or doing the portraits indoors.
- We recommend as minimal as possible events that interrupt the dancing. Sometimes it can be hard to get guests back up on the dance floor after stopping the music to cut the cake. But I mean hey, if your guests are wild partiers who like to get down than this really does not apply.
- Don't forget to eat!!! We have even had some couples have a sweetheart table in an entirely different room so that they can eat in peace before joining their guests.
- Hair and makeup almost always goes over the allotted time so we always recommend adding in a buffer zone in case it does go over. The last thing you want is to run out of time for pictures because you're still being beautified. Finished early? Cue the mimosas (and/or snacks) & a selfie stick.
- Your wedding day goes by QUICK. Try not to stress or worry - enjoy every moment with your friends, family and now husband or wife!! This day only happens once and it is going to fly by.
- If you have a young crowd or just a generally fun crowd who loves to keep the party going late then we highly recommend having a bar to send guests to. The best part about Savannah is that the bars stay open 'til 3AM & we have an open container law so you can take your drink from bar to bar.
- If you have 2 locations for ceremony and reception or even 3 make sure to add extra buffer zone for transportation timing. Traffic in downtown Savannah (i.e. horse carriages, tours, tourists...) can be crazy slow at times.
- Close to your dad? Highly recommend considering the father/daughter first look! Almost always these pictures bring tears to my eyes!!! See more here.
- Last but not least, if you already have your day-of timeline down then feel free to head over to our day-of timeline worksheet so we can get started putting your timeline together for you!
Day-of Timeline Example
9AM-2PM: Hair & Makeup [bride's hair - 1 hr; bride's makeup - 1 hr; bridal party hair - 30 min/per person; bridal party makeup - 45 min/per person --> bride should go as close to last as possible]
2PM: Photographer arrives for Getting Ready Photos & Detail Shots [have ready your ring, dress on pretty hanger, invitation suite, handkerchiefs, jewelry, shoes, other accessories and details]
245PM: First Look!
3-4PM: Bridal Party & Family Portraits
430PM: Guests begin arriving at Ceremony
5PM: Ceremony Processional [we recommend a 20-30 minutes ceremony]
530PM: Ceremony Recessional
6PM: Cocktail Hour [If you did not do a first look then this time would be spent doing all the portraits; however, if you did do a first look then this time can be used for portraits with just you and your now husband or wife. It's a great time to get some quality alone time to just bask in the happiness of being married.]
7PM: Grand Entrance
705PM: First Dance, Father/Daughter Dance & Mother/Son Dance [we highly recommend having the formal dances immediately upon entering the reception or right after dinner to help get the dancing going.]
710PM: Welcome Speech or Dinner Blessing
715PM: Dinner is Served! [buffets & stations are much quicker than having a plated meal.]
815PM-ish [towards end of dinner]: Toasts [these can either go before dinner with the welcome speeches or after; if you have more toasts than less than we would highly recommend leaving them for afterwards so that hungry guests can eat!]
830PM: Cake Cutting [this can go later too if you prefer but we usually recommend coupling it with something else like toasts or bouquet toss so that we are limiting the amount of dancing interruptions. Also, traditionally it is acceptable for guests to leave once the cake has been cut, so if you have a lot of over 60 guests it may be nice to not wait until past their bedtime]
845PM: PARTY TIME!!! [some couples will start the dancing with an "Anniversary Dance" (all married couples on the floor) just to get people up and dancing; however, you can really do this however you would like.]
930PM: Bouquet & Garter Toss
10/11PM: Grand Exit [sparklers, bubbles, smoke bombs are all a fun way to exit in style!]
& YOU'RE MARRIED!!!!!!!!!
12AM: Ivory & Beau returns your inventory to a pre-determined location.