February 17, 2023

Biggest Mistakes You Can Make With Your Wedding Day Timeline

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Sydney Meyer

In Ink designs + plans intimate weddings for Austin and San Antonio couples who believe their day should be an illustration of their EPIC love story. A dash of whimsical edge, a spritz of unconventional sparkle, and a party that beams with your personality!

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We like to keep things positive at In Ink Weddings & Events, but it’s time for some hard truths. Your wedding timeline is the most important part of your day. But, the number one thing couples planning their weddings get wrong is making one (if not multiple) of the biggest wedding day timeline mistakes.

What are the biggest wedding day timeline mistakes?

I’m so glad you asked! Because that’s exactly what we’re chatting about today. You’ll learn the biggest wedding timeline mistakes you’re at risk of making, how to avoid these, and what can happen if you don’t (I told you this post wasn’t going to be all sunshine and roses). Before you get too spooked, let’s dive in and dissect these tantalizing wedding timeline mistakes.

What is your wedding day timeline?

Your wedding day timeline is the running order of your wedding. Put simply, the order things happen.

If you’re having a wedding weekend, you’ll have a longer timeline including your rehearsal dinner, meeting drinks, post-wedding brunch, and any other wedding-related happenings.

If you’re not the greatest time manager, you might be clamming up at the thought of managing hundreds of people and multiple locations.

Planning your wedding day timeline is tough, and it’s the main cause of stress and frustration on a wedding day. That’s to say, you really don’t want things with your wedding day timeline to go awry.

Why is your wedding day timeline so important?

Yes, a poorly planned and executed wedding timeline is a major source of wedding-day anguish, but what does it mean for your wedding plans and guests?

Making one of the biggest wedding day timeline mistakes (I promise we’re getting to them) means you’ll have to miss parts of your wedding day, spend less time engaging in each activity, or not produce the results you desire.

Basically, that dream-worthy, Pinterest-looking, heart-warming wedding day you’re envisioning? It’s not going to happen. I told you there’d be some tough lovin’.

The biggest mistakes you can make with your wedding day timeline

Not leaving enough time for pictures

If I had a dollar for every Austin, Texas wedding couple who didn’t leave enough time for their wedding pictures… well, let’s just say I’d have the funds to plan my own wedding one-hundred times over.

So many couples don’t dedicate enough time on their wedding day to photography. The majority of these couples have a selection of specific photographs they want. But, due to time constraints, they can’t capture these once-in-a-lifetime images.

My biggest recommendation is to speak to your wedding planner, consult your photographer, and leave a 60-75 minute buffer between the ceremony and reception to ensure you have enough time to take all the photographs you want. And if there’s time left over, amazing! This additional time is for silly shots and having fun—the kind of photographs that might not go on the mantle but make A+ Insta posts. Or better yet, any leftover time allows a moment to debrief before the reception starts!

Another piece of advice is to be aware of sunset times. We recommend starting your ceremony 1.5 hours prior to sunset. If your wedding is in the summer, allocate 20 minutes to briefly sneak away from the reception for golden-hour shots. (Simply type your venue location + date + sunset time into the Google search bar and you’ll have the information you’ll need.)

Not accounting for travel time

As much as I WISH time travel was part of the Ink In Wedding & Events experience, we’re not there yet. And my guess is another planner, or you, aren’t either.

To accommodate our time travel-free lives, you need to consider how long you’ll be traveling on your wedding day. The biggest wedding day timeline mistakes couples make regarding traveling is not considering the time it takes guests to travel between venues.

If you’re having your ceremony and reception in different Austin wedding venues, add ample travel time to your wedding day timeline. Give yourself enough time to travel stress-free, and add a few minutes for Aunt Janice— you know she’s a slow walker!

Not allowing enough time for the ceremony

You’ve walked the aisle, lost yourself in the eyes of your lover, and promised to love, care for, and cherish them forever. How long can that take? It turns out a lot longer than most couples expect.

Not allowing enough time for the ceremony is one of the biggest wedding day timeline mistakes couples make. There are a few ways you can tackle this issue:

  1. Talk with your venue, officiant, and planner to establish an accurate estimate of how long your ceremony will take.
  2. Add buffer time to your ceremony slot to account for lateness, organization (everyone
    needs to find their seat and tear their eyes away from you for a few seconds), and other unexpected occurrences.
  3. Sometimes, for larger weddings, we’ll list a start time on the invitation but intentionally begin 15 minutes later (based on the wedding day timeline). This ensures all guests have arrived on time and we’ve *secretly* begun the ceremony at the designated time.

Not accounting for meal service

Although I 100% support whatever your wedding meal choice is, most couples don’t opt for an In N Out fast food catering service. Instead, most Austin couples have a sit-down dinner, often with multiple courses. It can take a long time for everyone to be served and finish their meals. People eat at different speeds, and your timeline needs to account for this. I often allocate an hour for dinner, but if things are finished up early, will move the timeline along to begin toasts.

Rushing guests through their meals can leave an unpleasant taste in their mouths and dampen
the atmosphere. Make sure you give everyone enough time to enjoy their dinner in a relaxed, attentive, and considerate way.

How to avoid making one of the biggest wedding day timeline mistakes

If you’re feeling a sudden pressure to measure your wedding day activities down to the minute, it’s time to take a breath. It’s true. A lot is riding on your wedding timeline, and making a mistake will result in having to make compromises on your wedding day. But you don’t have to be the one anxiously clock-watching and calculating how long it takes your father-in-law to chomp down a steak— actually, no one has to do that.

Instead, you can partner with a planner who has a meticulous understanding of the wedding day timeline and years of experience organizing and executing them.

I’m in the business of making sure you don’t miss a beat when it comes to your wedding day. You won’t be clinging close to the clock, timing every event like your old gym teacher, or saying goodbye to any of your wedding day activities.

The In Ink Weddings & Events team will correspond with your vendors, allocate enough time to each stage of the day, and be on hand to ensure everything runs according to plan. All you have to do is be ready to soak up every second of your experience.

You can learn more about the In Ink Weddings & Event planning services here & inquire about partnering with us to perfect your wedding day timeline here.

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no matter what.

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