If you're planning your wedding, in Austin, San Antonio, central Texas, or anywhere, then you're most likely very overwhelmed, right now! We know exactly how stressful wedding planning can be. There are so many details to think about and so many details NO ONE ever thinks about! :( Luckily, Jason & Diana, of Austin's Best DJs, are certified wedding/event planners and we're here to help!
Here is our free, sample wedding day timeline template. This template is perfect for anyone planning their wedding, whether you're a DIY bride, or you just want a little more control over your wedding day and let's be honest, who doesn't? :) Using this template helps you easily plan your day of timeline. If you're a DIY bride, this is a great starter template. If you already booked a planner or day-of-coordinator, this will help him or her get a better idea of your wedding day vision!
All you have to do is download the file below and enter the details specific to your wedding. This is a general template and not every detail is included, since each wedding may have different details; however, this is a great template to start with!
The wedding timeline is a very critical component of your big day. Take the time to ensure that your timeline is filled out, completely. Not sticking to the timeline can mean a very unorganized, unpleasant experience for you and your guests. We aren’t suggesting that you must stick to the timeline, down to the exact minute, but use it as a general guide, to ensure your wedding flows smoothly.
Below, are some suggestions for the amount of time things will take, which are estimates, based on our experience of doing hundreds of weddings, each year, in the Austin and central Texas area. We hope you find this helpful!
Prelude – 15-30 minutes. Guests arrive and find seating. Allow 30 minutes (ore more) before the ceremony start time. Fifteen to thirty minutes is ideal, but always plan for people to arrive late.
Ceremony: 20-30 minutes. Most ceremonies are between 15 – 30 minutes, depending upon what is happening. Keep in mind that some church ceremonies can take longer.
Cocktail Hour: One hour, or slightly more, if needed. This time will be for your guests to enjoy appetizers and drinks, while the bridal party and families take pictures. Save photos of very large groups for the reception, allowing the DJ/MC to announce for everyone to gather for the photos. This is much more efficient than trying to track down everyone, during the cocktail hour.
Reception: 2-4 hours. How long your reception/dance lasts, depends on how long you booked your DJ/band for.
Introduction: 5-15 minutes. Wedding party, bride and groom introduction. Some couples introduced their bridal party, some do not. 5 minutes if only bride and groom introduction, more if wedding party is being introduced.
Welcome toast: 5-7 minutes. Given by the father of the bride or by the bride and groom.
Blessing: 2-5 minutes (if applicable).
Dinner: 1-2 hours for dinner, depending on the number of guests. 50-75 guests can usually eat in an hour. More than 75-150 guests will need about 1.5 hours, depending on whether your dinner is plated or buffet style. Plated always takes longer. More than 150 guests usually need 2 hours or more.
Toasts: 10 – 15 minutes, toward the end of dinner works best, since all your guests will still be present. Ladies first! Start with the maid of honor, followed by the best man, then parents, and anyone else.
Toasts: 5-10 minutes. The bride and groom can give a toast, thank their guests for coming, etc.
First dance: 3-5 minutes. The most common timing is immediately after the bride and groom enter the reception, but you can also do your first dance following the conclusion of dinner or right after cake/dessert.
Father/daughter dance: 3-5 minutes. Immediately following the first dance.
Mother/son dance: 3-5 minutes. Immediately following the father/daughter dance. Sometimes, this dance is shared with the father/daughter dance.
Guests invited to dance: Open up the dance floor, and get the party started!
Cake cutting: 10-15 minutes. Some couples choose to cut the cake right after dinner, which ensures everyone is present. Other couples choose to cut the cake halfway through the night. We recommend earlier. The bride and groom should cut one slice of cake, take pictures, and move on. The staff or designated person should then cut the rest of the cake. The DJ can announce when the cake is ready to be served.
Bouquet and garter tosses: 10-15 minutes. Right after the cake cutting. Allow time for your guests to come to the dance floor, for both moments.
Send-off: 15 minutes. If you're doing a sparkler farewell, for example, have guests start lining up about 10 – 15 minutes before you plan to exit.
We hope these tips help you on your wedding day. Congratulations and we hope you have a great, fun, memorable wedding day! As always, email us for questions and we'll be happy to help, even if you're not our client!
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
So your wedding is coming up and you have so much to plan and not enough time to do it all! After you've hired all your vendors, secured your wedding venue, and finally decided on the right food menu, now comes the actual wedding ceremony and reception planning. If you have a good wedding coordinator, this will be a breeze, since they will most likely have a general wedding timeline template for your to use and begin to plan with. If you don't have a wedding coordinator, this is where it gets tricky! Luckily, you have us here to help!
Not every DJ company is the same. Actually most are very different and what you get for your money will vary greatly, so be sure to ask lots of questions about what is included with the service. If you have a wedding planner, ideally, he/she will also serve as the day-of coordinator, but this is not always the case. Some planners will do all the planning and then charge an extra fee to also serve as the day-of coordinator. This is surprising, but true. So be sure to clarify with your coordinator if this is included. If it is not included, there are some options.
Option 1: Your DJ can also serve as the day-of coordinator for your wedding ceremony and reception. You'll need to work with your DJ and write every detail down, so he/she can be sure to follow your planning. Luckily, we have a very detailed wedding timeline document (and Quinceanera timeline document) that makes this planning process much easier. You'll need to identify every key moment of the night (ceremony start time, bridal procession time, cocktail hour, dinner, first dance, etc). You'll need to be specific about what time each event will occur and what songs should be played, too. Read our blog post on examples of popular songs for weddings, if you're having trouble getting started.
Once you have all the details written out, send a copy to your DJ (if he/she is willing to do this) and they should be able to coordinate everything according to your wishes. Oh, and be sure to ask if this is something your DJ will do. Not all DJ companies will do this. Many will charge extra, to do this, too. We include this service, free!
Option 2: Additionally, if you don't feel comfortable leaving the wedding details and coordination with your DJ, ask a member of your wedding party, or one of the parents. Most often, the maid of honor will have this duty. Give her your document and she'll need to check in with the vendors and DJ, as often as needed, to be sure everything is flowing smoothly. Be sure to send a copy to the DJ, too, just in case she gets busy and loses track of time. Make enough copies of your timeline to give to the vendors that may need it. Don't forget to have the designated coordinator introduce him/herself to all the vendors, as soon as they arrive, just so they know who to check-in with.
Option 3: The last option, is to go ahead and hire a day-of coordinator. Know that this can get expensive, though. The cost can be anywhere from $500 - $1500, for their services. If you have the money in your budget, then you should certainly consider this. If not, then try the above-mentioned options.
No matter which option you choose, be sure to have your wedding timeline thoroughly planned out and written. Every hour should be planned! It's better to over-plan, then to under-plan. Lastly, as always, if you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact us and we'll be happy to help!
Wedding & Event Planning Tips - Written By Certified Wedding/Event Planners!
We've taken our decades of experience and compiled it into a few helpful articles, to help you plan your wedding or event!
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